|Artist Jimmy Talarico|
This post is a continuation of my review of the book Art & Fear by David Bayles & Ted Orland. It looks at the second chapter titled "Art & Fear."
"Artists don't get down to work until the pain of working is exceeded by the pain of not working." -Stephen DeStaebler
This is how I lived for years. I would let the urge to create bubble up within me until I felt like I was going to explode without some sort of release. Then I'd go on an art binge for a few days and create anything from sculptures to films to rap songs (yeah, I wish that was a typo!). After the binge I'd let the creative hunger recess back to my brains nether regions until the urge would rise again a few months later. The problem with sporadic creation like that is it lacks consistency, and consistency is essential to growth and development of skill.
"Making art precipitates self-doubt, stirring deep waters that lay between what you know you should be, and what you fear you might be." -David Bayles & Ted Orland in Art & Fear
I was watching a great interview on artist Polly Morgan who gained immediate "success" as a taxidermy artist. Her work really is amazing. But the thing that struck me is during the interview she said (paraphrase), "I have this fear that someday people will realize I'm just a fraud." Now that was great for me to hear! This truly talented artist shared the same fear that the rest of us have.
I think it comes from the strain between essential self-exploration of one's work and the worry of "will anyone like this?" As an artist, what others think needs to be a reaction to the art you create, not a catalyst. And uncertainty is foundational for creative discovery.
"People who need certainty in their lives are less likely to make art that is risky, subversive, complicated, iffy, suggestive or spontaneous. What's really needed is nothing more than a broad sense of what you are looking for, some strategy for how to find it, and an overriding willingness to embrace mistakes and surprises along the way. Simply put, making art is chancy -- it doesn't mix well with predictability. Uncertainty is the essential, inevitable and all-pervasive companion to your desire to make art. And tolerance for uncertainty is the pre-requisite to succeeding." -Art & Fear
Jimmy & Melinda Talarico
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