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Art and Fear: Oberservations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking [Paperback]

David Bayles , Ted Orland
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

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Kindle Edition 5.39  
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Paperback, Mar 1994 --  
MP3 CD, Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged 10.49  
Audio Download, Unabridged 9.35 or Free with Audible.co.uk 30-day free trial


Product details

  • Paperback: 122 pages
  • Publisher: Capra Press (Mar 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0884963799
  • ISBN-13: 978-0884963790
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 15.2 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,274,555 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Author

This book is written by working artists, for working artists
Art & Fear is a book about the way art gets made, the reasons it often does not get made, and about the difficulties that cause so many artists to give up along the way. The authors (David Bayles & Ted Orland) are both working artists, grappling daily with the problems of making art in the real world. The observations we make are drawn from personal experience, and relate more to the needs of fellow artists than to the interests of viewers. Do not mistake Art & Fear for a pop psychology self-help book -- we are not interested in freeing your inner child! This is a book about what it feels like to sit down at your wheel or keyboard, easel or camera, trying to do the work you need to do. Simply put, you have a choice between giving your art your best shot and risking that it will not make you happy, or not giving it your best shot and thereby GUARANTEEING that it will not make you happy. What we have tried to do is illuminate the obstacles you face, and offer some artistic strategies for getting past them. Art & Fear has never been advertised and was never reviewed by a major publication, but it has nonetheless become something of an underground classic in the three years since it was published. Our distributor says it has become required reading for at least a few hundred university art courses across the country. (One painting instructor told us that, over the course of the semester, she reads the entire book aloud to her drawing class as background input while they¹re at work in the classroom studio.) It is now in its seventh printing.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Learning by Doing! 4 Sep 1997
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Art & Fear is an easy book to rave about, but it is a particularly difficult book to write about. The authors have chosen their words so well, that it seems as if there ARE no other words with which to talk about this subject or this book. I'll try anyway, fully knowing that whatever I might say surely will not please me as much as what I have read in their pages. And this is part of the message of Art & Fear, one of the lessons to be learned - just do it and learn from it.

Art & Fear is an unpretentious little paperback, written by two lifelong friends who have been artists, as well as other things, for most of their lives. Both of them have their feet firmly rooted in the real world that we all live in (however high their ideas and ideals might fly), and both of them have keen insights into what enables individuals to produce good art and to continue to produce good art, and what stumbling blocks stop many individuals. These insights are of value to artists in any medium whatsoever, and are in fact likely to be of significant value to many individuals who don't think of themselves as artists at all. One doesn't need to be an artist to be struggling with goals that seem beyond your reach and a lack of appreciation from others; it's just a little more pervasive in the artmaking world.

Reading this book is like sitting down with the authors for a long and lively conversation. You'll learn something of them, and something of yourself, and good things are sure to come from it. I've actually found it too good to keep to myself - I'm on my 6th copy now, as I keep giving them away to friends!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for every artist!!! 17 Aug 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book address the fears that are common to all artists, most specifically why am I not doing my work? It is succint and well written. It is enlightening and comforting while addressing the problems many artists face. It's one of those books you will keep around and refer to again and again for inspiration. 117 pages of great therapy and the right price.
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book is now a must for all of my art majors. It underscores the messages I give daily on staying focused on internal issues (the process and being honest with oneself)and to not be led astray by external pressures (end product and audience reactions)for justifying the work and defining the self. For those who need to get on track, this is the book for you!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars worthy of 5 stars? oh Yes. 12 Jan 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
An ability to convey the vast majority of conscious and subconscious artistic thoughts in such a concise way is to be marvelled at, a truly great book NOT to be judged by it's cover (which isn't very good) I am a better more focused less idealistic person for reading this little paperback.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read for Comfort and Motivation 2 Aug 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
With pearls of wisdom gleaned from the writings of such as Conrad and Hippocrates, the authors offer artists (and would-be artists) advice and encouragement to follow a calling that is too frequently thought to be more appropriately a hobby. Though the reader addressed is one who aspires to art as a profession, much of what Bayles and Orland offer is as applicable to any undertaking: "Artmaking involves skills that can be learned. ... Even talent is rarely distinguishable, over the long run, from perseverance and lots of hard work." Liberal doses of unpleasant reality are well balanced with insight and reassurance. The sort of little book that one might keep about for an occasional dose of comfort and motivation.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keep it by your bed, kettle, anywhere 12 April 2010
Format:Paperback
No matter what your art discipline, this book is a must for anyone who has ever wondered why they are bothering. This is my second copy, so I have one to lend out. It's always uplifting when reading a book where the author/s have been in the same place you find yourself - again.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have for emerging and established artists 24 Aug 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
One of the few truly excellent books on the process of making art. My other favorite is a book called "The Blank Canvas." I plan to return to both books regularly throughout my career as an artist.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Art In The Real World 15 Dec 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Authors Daivd Bayles and Ted Orland explain what an artist goes through when creating their art pieces. It answers some questions that I had when creating a work of art. In a nutshell, they explained that you sould create your art work and try not to let, certian members, of the real world get to you.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this now!
Oh, my God! This little book is a goldmine!!! I wish I had known about it years ago, it's simple wisdom in bite-sized bits for the artist within! Read more
Published 28 days ago by Maxine Hyndman
5.0 out of 5 stars recommended reading for nervous artists!
I found this to be a very useful to confront some of my fears that arise from my creativity. I would recommend this to any new artist.
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars I bought several as Christmas presents
It tells Hesitant Artists how to spot, conquer and finally demolish their very own Artist's Block. Just buy a copy.
Published 2 months ago by D. Halfpenny
5.0 out of 5 stars practical and inspiring
this book was a long time in the writing and it shows - I've already lent it to a friend who is an artist struggling with creative block.
Published 7 months ago by John Griffiths
5.0 out of 5 stars great little book
yes I found this was very very helpful, and one I fall back on occasionally.
easy to read and understand
Published 7 months ago by Sharon Goodsall
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
For those who find getting started and sustaining their creativity this is wonderfully motivating book.
Read mark and inwardly digest.
Published 8 months ago by S. Lacey
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Really got fired up by this book. Actually making art is hard and putting it off is easy... But this book drives you on to DO something. Excellent.
Published 10 months ago by V. Mellors
5.0 out of 5 stars Overview
I read this cover to cover in two nights, underlining as I went...........the best little book written in plain language covering different aspects of several of the... Read more
Published 10 months ago by MER
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointment
I feel like I wasted 6 pounds by buying this book. And I bought it after hearing so many recommendations and reading good reviews. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Giedre
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
A fantastic book to read post-Arts degree. The authors write plainly and tackle many problems that artists face when working as a solitary practitioner. A must read. Buy it.
Published 15 months ago by Word Soup
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