“Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking”

By Ted Orland and David Bayles

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.


This book is about the challenges in making art: it is difficult.

Many times artists stop making art and then feel guilty about not returning. Why? Mostly because of lack of confidence and self doubt in the artist. If you have ever had thoughts like “I’m not an artist” or “Other people are better than me”, you know exactly what I am talking about.

Also fear about what others say after looking at your work can be strongly intimidating. But note that the only work really worth doing is the work that focuses on the things you care about and the one who makes you happy and satisfied.

Ultimately, each artist finds his own way to proceed in his path, and it belongs to that artist only. You need to find you own, and not compare yourself to others.

Basically, it all becomes a choice between certainty and uncertainty. And strangely, uncertainty is the most comforting choice in this case!

“Making art can feel dangerous and revealing. Making art is dangerous and revealing. Making art precipitates self-doubt, stirring deep waters that lay between what you know you should be, and what you fear you might be.”


from Art and Fear

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Ted Orland is a photographer and writer from Santa Cruz born in 1941. He exhibits his artworks nationally. He received a degree in Industrial Design from USC in 1963. In 1966 he attended a workshop in Yosemite with photographer Ansel Adams, and returned the following year as his assistant and later as an Instructor at Adams’ workshops.

Ted Orland (Left) and David Bayles (Right)

David Bayles was born in 1952 in Oregon. He is an accomplished photographer, author, workshop leader, and conservationist. He has studied with Ansel Adams and Brett Weston, among others, and has taught and written extensively in the arts for over thirty years.

“To require perfection is to invite paralysis.”

from Art and Fear

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