Saturday, February 11, 2012

'Art and Fear'

Photo by Rose Altom

I have been reading a book called 'Art and Fear',  Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking by David Bayles and Ted Orland....and I think that I have found an author who understands!  Art is such a personal journey that it is at times tantamount to climbing Mt. Everest!  An uphill battle that tries to beat us down, knocks us off our feet, and challenges us to get up and take charge!  The writer says in the beginning of the book that for art lovers, what matters is the end result...the painting, sculpture, etc.  For the artist, and ONLY the artist, what matters is the journey, the experience in making that art.

You are going to spend 99% of the time creating work that NOONE cares about.  Maybe 1% of the time will you create something that the public will respond to.  How  disheartening is that statement!!  But if you really think about it, art is such a personal experience for the artist that no one else can really understand what it means to you.  I am  struggling with that thought...that no one cares as much as I about my work, not my mother, not my children, and bless him, not even my hubby! 

It is rather freeing to admit that to myself, however.  Look at the odds!  99% to 1%.  It is highly unlikely that I am THAT much of a failure!  And I am learning from each and every piece of work that I 'fail' at.  Not a bad thing at all!  I can't learn and grow without trying new things, practicing, creating.  Have you SEEN some of Picasso's early works?!  He was really a lousy artist when he was 2.  But he got better!  He grew from the journey.

Bayles and Orland say that becoming an artist means learning to accept yourself, so that your work is personal and distinctive, and YOURS.  You find your footing on the climb, and your voice in your art.  What a glorious journey it is to be an artist!

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