Book Club – Art & Fear

28 Jan

We had our first Book Club meeting last week, discussing Art & Fear by David Bayles & Ted Orland. I had some company in town for a few days so I didn’t get the blog post completed right away. I felt like it was more important to spend time with family, so the post got delayed a few days. 🙂

Art & Fear

Art & Fear

Art & Fear is about our fears surrounding our art – fears of our selves and fears of others. Are we good enough? Are we not any good at all? Do we have a message or story to tell? Do we just want to make something pretty? Will we be able to make money? We will be considered an ‘artist’ or a ‘crafter’? Does anyone care what we do? Can we really commit to the work? Do we have support? Do we have the right skills? Can we create a habit of doing the work? Will people laugh at us? Or ignore us?

We have all thought about these questions, and many more. Perhaps we have even thought about what the answers might be and whether or not it all really matters. We over-think and over-analyze and spend way too much time in our heads instead of spending time in our studios. We start to believe that if we ‘think’ about things long enough, the answers will reveal themselves and the perfect answer will appear and everything will fall into place and make us happy! This is just not going to happen.

What it comes down to is this: get over yourself and just make your art! You have to do the work. Nobody else will do it for you. And even if nobody else cares, you have to do it. For you! That should be reason enough.

Please leave your comments, ideas, thoughts, etc about this book below so we can all learn from each other.

Next month’s Book Club will be Feb 28th at 1pm. I had a different book in mind, but of course I changed my mind. We will be reading Chapter 1 (up thru page 35) of Mixed-Media self-portraits by Cate Coulacos Prato. Many of you probably already have this book.

Mixed-Media self-portraits

Mixed-Media self-portraits

There are assignments in this book which you are encouraged to do on your own. Please come prepared to discuss Chapter 1 of the book, or join the discussion here on the blog.


Let Your Inner Artist Out To Play

Blue Twig Studio – 5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, CO 80918 – USA



2 Responses to “Book Club – Art & Fear”

  1. Lynnita Knoch January 30, 2014 at 7:22 pm #

    Deb, I really enjoyed the book. It was very thought-provoking – making me think about why I create art? what are my fears about my art? Is it the process or the end product I’m concerned about? – as well as all the questions you mentioned above. I agree with you – you have to make art for yourself – you have to forgot about others and what they think of your work and just do it!!

    I took a few art classes many years ago in oil painting, colored pencil, and watercolor. I loved them. They made me get out of myself and do something that I grew to love and work on it every week. I participated in a few exhibits with the group I was involved with and even sold a few paintings and received a couple of commissions. Then the group started getting clique-ish and I was no longer welcomed because I didn’t live close enough (Looking back, I really think it was because I was one of only a couple people that actually sold anything or got commissions from the exhibits). I allowed myself to quit painting and drawing. So, I took up quilting, as I had always enjoyed sewing.

    I love quilting, too, but it took me awhile to get to where I felt comfortable making art quilts and now I’m starting to paint wholecloth quilts. So I’m combining my drawing and painting background with quilting. But I still missed painting and drawing, so I restarted about a year ago. Now, I’m making art because it’s part of me – I have to paint or draw or make an art quilt. I’ve finally gotten over my fears (most of the time! they still haunt me at times!) and make it for myself. I do enter shows (not always accepted, but that’s okay – it’s a learning experience).

    All of this, is to let you know where I’m coming from and why this book, Art and Fear, really spoke to me. I had to read sections 2-3 times. I know now, from experience, what the book is trying to get across – just create because you have to and to enjoy the process. If people like my work, fine, but if they don’t – that’s okay, too. Art is a part of me.

    Thanks, Deb. Looking forward to the next book.


    • Deb Prewitt January 30, 2014 at 8:10 pm #

      Very excellent points. And probably a familiar journey for many people. We worry about ourselves. We worry about others. We over think and get stuck in our heads. It is tough to just let go of everything – all the expectations and such – and just make art for ourselves. It is almost as if we don’t think we are worthy of our own art. Or that our art isn’t important enough to make. But it is. I’m glad you are making your art. 🙂


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