New Year, Art & Fear
10th January 2012

Ten days into 2012 and I’ve finally laid out my creative resolutions for the year. I recently picked up my copy of Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking, by David Bayles and Ted Orland, in an attempt to jump start things. This book was mandatory reading back in uni-days. Although I don’t think it says much, overall, I’ve found this book to be the single most important book for me in my artistic development.

Here’s an excerpt from Art and Fear, on failure, process and community:

“You learn how to make your work by making your work, and a great many of the pieces you make along the way will never stand out as finished art. The best you can do is make art you care about–and lots of it.

The rest is a matter of perseverance. Of course, once you’re famous [everyone] will circle back in droves to claim credit for spotting evidence of genius…But until your ship comes in, the only people who will really care about your work are those who care about you personally. Those close to you know that making the work is essential to your well being. They will always care about your work if not because it is great, then because it is yours–and this is something to be genuinely thankful for. Yet how ever much they love you, it still remains as true for them as for the rest of the world: learning to make your work is not their problem.”

What are your fears in artmaking? Where is your work going this year? What is stopping it from getting there? Answer these questions to yourself and share them with your community.

The year ahead will hold challenges, successes and inevitably, failures. And thank God for the failures, which are essential in development.