I’m going to do a bunch of posts expounding on quotes or themes found in the book “Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking” by David Bayles and Ted Orland. This is the first.
In the transition from my initial period as a “grown up artist” to what’s next, I have found this book to be invaluable. You can read about these phases, starting with this post. The book covers so many of the emotions, fears, resistances and other challenges to finding yourself as an artist that I’m going to use it as an outline to elaborate on what I am going through. I’ll start with a quote from the book and then blather on about it a bit.
It’s going to help me work through all this and might help others get to know me. What the hell, get that vulnerability out there …
“Making art now means working in the face of uncertainty; it means living with doubt and contradiction, doing something no one much cares whether you do, and for which there maybe neither an audience nor reward”
So true. Especially when you are starting out. Your friends and family are supportive, they might even like your work (if you have any skills). But talk about a (pre) occupation with no promises! Every artist has been through that phase where either their Mother, spouse, landlord or inner evil twin has said something to the effect: your art is all over the place, what are you going to do with it??! No one initially gives a damn about what you make, let alone be ready to cough up a few coins to buy something. You need to be immune to criticism and more committed than you likely ever thought required to keep going.
Why? Why keep going? Because something is compelling you to create. There is a point when you transition from wanting to make art to having to make art. It stops being an option.