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

Average Rating 4.5
( 24 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

Accomplished its purpose

I believe this book accomplished what it set out to accomplish--to describe the perils and rewards of artmaking. It was not hard to identify with many of the obstacles it describes that are often encountered in the artmaking process. The book was extremely insightful ...
I believe this book accomplished what it set out to accomplish--to describe the perils and rewards of artmaking. It was not hard to identify with many of the obstacles it describes that are often encountered in the artmaking process. The book was extremely insightful and had some amazing quotes, and in that light I found it to be a humbling and enlightening experience.

However, I would not recommend this book to anyone who is struggling to overcome their fear in art. I'm sure there are other books and resources that would be much better fit to motivate and inspire you to continue your art. This is not so much a "how to" book, but rather a book that identifies common conditions that prevent us from creating. In other words, it points out the problems. When I read it, I think I was expecting more SOLUTIONS, or at least something a little more positive, but that is not actually the purpose of the book.

Overall, I found this book to be a great resource for someone who is seeking to understand WHY there are obstacles in artmaking (which was it's purpose), but not so great if you are seeking HOW to overcome those obstacles.

posted by kmconverse on December 7, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Highly Recommended- very helpful

Great read for anyone who creates. Leads you through the pitfalls of what art making can feel like. Takes the excuses away and leaves you feeling free to create. All artists should read this!

posted by Mark40CO on March 26, 2012

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  • Posted December 7, 2011

    Accomplished its purpose

    I believe this book accomplished what it set out to accomplish--to describe the perils and rewards of artmaking. It was not hard to identify with many of the obstacles it describes that are often encountered in the artmaking process. The book was extremely insightful and had some amazing quotes, and in that light I found it to be a humbling and enlightening experience.

    However, I would not recommend this book to anyone who is struggling to overcome their fear in art. I'm sure there are other books and resources that would be much better fit to motivate and inspire you to continue your art. This is not so much a "how to" book, but rather a book that identifies common conditions that prevent us from creating. In other words, it points out the problems. When I read it, I think I was expecting more SOLUTIONS, or at least something a little more positive, but that is not actually the purpose of the book.

    Overall, I found this book to be a great resource for someone who is seeking to understand WHY there are obstacles in artmaking (which was it's purpose), but not so great if you are seeking HOW to overcome those obstacles.

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 26, 2012

    Highly Recommended- very helpful

    Great read for anyone who creates. Leads you through the pitfalls of what art making can feel like. Takes the excuses away and leaves you feeling free to create. All artists should read this!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2012

    Astounding!

    I don't know how it took me so long to find this tiny book of big ideas. It should be required reading @ every art school.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 5, 2011

    This book describes my fear perfectly

    Spoke to my soul

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2006

    If you are an artist, you need this book.

    Definitely delivers on what it promises. An organized collection of essays discussing the major pitfalls, hurdles and issues everyday, yes, everyday people go through in the process of practicing their art, hindering and suppressing them, sometimes to the point of getting them to quit. If you've quit or thought of quitting, or have become paralyzingly frustrated, or just having a hard time making music, art, dance, whatever, this is the book for you. Let me add a little disclaimer here: this is NOT a book with all the answers. Ratherm it has some of the answers, and leads to some of the mroe important questions, questions you'll need to answer yourself. Really great book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2006

    Art is in our nature

    This book should be required reading for all college freshman regardless of their major. It not only gives practical advice on approaching art, but it encourages experimentation and expression. I encourage anyone to pick up this book you won't be able to stop reading it until it is done.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2002

    This book "spoke" to me!

    I'm not much of a reader and this is one of the first books I've ever read that actually spoke to me. You don't have to be a professional artist to know what it's like to be a frustrated artist. This book not only validated how I feel when trying to create, but moreso, gave me inspiration to push forward! I've dog-eared and highlighted nearly every page in this book and have even taken notes (in a separate notebook) to refer back to when I start to question myself again. It's not a book to help you get creative; it's a book that pushes you to make that thumbnail sketch or idea in your head come to life! An excellent resource for those who need help making their ideas a reality.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2013

    A great support for artists

    This book has a long life on art class to-be-read shelves, which is where I came across it. It celebrates art as a conceptual leap in a world that might see it as craft. It helped me reconceptualize my own struggle in this fueld between definition and actuality. Worth searching for and reading more than once

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2002

    Excellent Read! Worth every cent!

    This book gave me a sense of purpose and an understanding of my whole approach to art and the art-making process. You will be guided to discover your own voice of expression. I believe every artist, writer, photographer, musician, creator should get this book. You will love it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2000

    This is THE book for insecure, fearful artists!

    The pages of this book are littered with insights. Keep a pencil handy, because you'll be underlining a lot. Among my favorites: 'After all, you know better than anyone else the accidental nature of much that appears in your art, not to mention all those elements you know originated with others (and even some you never even intended but which the audience has read into your work). From there it's only a short hop to feeling like you're just going through the motions of being an artist. It's easy to imagine that real artists know what they're doing, and that they -- unlike you -- are entitled to feel good about themselves and their art. Fear that you are not a real artist causes you to undervalue your work.' So, forget your therapist(s). Just buy this book. And then do your art.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted September 24, 2011

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    Posted January 21, 2013

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