|Artist Jimmy Talarico|
"Fears about artmaking fall into two families: fears about yourself, and fears about your reception by others. In a general way, fears about yourself prevent you from doing your best work, while fears about your reception by others prevent you from doing your own work." -Art & Fear.
Chapter 3 in Art & Fear looks at fears about yourself. Generally this comes down to getting out of your own way and giving yourself permission to simply create. We question wether we are really artists or just pretending, do we really have talent, is my message worth telling?
Concerning talent: "By definition, whatever you have is exactly what you need to produce your best work... Artists get better by sharpening their skills or by acquiring new ones; they get better by learning to work, and by learning FROM their work. They commit themselves to the work of their heart, and act upon that commitment. So when you ask, "Then why doesn't it come easily for me?", the answer is probably, "Because making art is hard!" What you end up caring about is what you DO, not wether the doing came hard or easy."
An example is given in the text where a ceramics teacher divides his class into two groups. One group would simply focus on quantity while the other group would only focus on quality. The results were that "the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity." Good work doesn't come from trying to produce one great piece. It comes from struggling and learning from many pieces.
The authors' conclusion is that quantity of production will get you through these self esteem issues. Do more work. And while you're doing your work know that greatness will not always come quickly, but it will eventually come. Success with art (however you define it) is a lot like finding aces in a deck of cards: you know there are four in there, but you don't know how many cards you'll need to flip before you find them.
Will you decide to just keep flipping?
Jimmy & Melinda Talarico
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