Art and Fear

Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking
by David Bayles and Ted Orland | 122 pages

Art and fear. (You may have noticed they go together.) This is a quick-reading (122 pages), witty, real look at the process and challenges of making art. Of course, I think the biggest art project all of us can ever engage in is the creation of our own optimized and actualized lives, so we’ll be focusing on Big Ideas we can apply to our lives today including: quitting vs. stopping, fast vs. slow, 50 lbs, the importance of progress, naive passion vs. informed passion and how to get work done like a PRO!


“This is a book about making art. Ordinary art. Ordinary art means something like; all art not made by Mozart. After all, art is rarely made by Mozart-like people — essentially (statistically speaking) there aren’t any people like that. But while geniuses may get made once-a-century or so, good art gets made all the time. Making art is a common and intimately human activity, filled with all the perils (and rewards) that accompany any worthwhile effort. The difficulties artmakers face are not remote and heroic, but universal and familiar.

This, then, is a book for the rest of us. Both authors are working artists, grappling daily with the problems of making art in the real world. The observations we make here are drawn from personal experience, and relate more closely to the needs of artists than to the interests of viewers. This book is about what it feels like to sit in your studio or classroom, at your wheel or keyboard, easel or camera, trying to do the work you need to do. It is about committing your future to your own hands, placing Free Will above predestination, choice above chance. It is about finding your own work.”

~ David Bayles and Ted Orland from Art & Fear

I got this book after reading about a Big Idea from it in Black Box Thinking.

It’s a great addition to our growing collection on creativity that goes nicely with Steven Pressfield’s trilogy and Austin Kleon’s books.

It’s a quick-reading (122 pages), witty, real look at the process and challenges of making art. (Get a copy here.) Of course, I think the biggest art project all of us can ever engage in is the creation of our own optimized and actualized lives, so I’ll be focusing on Big Ideas we can apply to our lives today.

Let’s jump straight in!

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About the authors

Authors

David Bayles

Photographer and co-author of the book, Art and Fear.
Authors

Ted Orland

Photographer and co-author of the book, Art and Fear.