I just bought a book to read because of a recommendation made on Lori Greenburg’s blog. Lori writes on a multitude of topics including the business of being an artist. She is concise, helpful, and knows of what she speaks. She is a working beadmaker.
The book is called Art and Fear – Observations of the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking, by David Bayles & Ted Orland.
They ask the basic questions that matter. What is your art really about? Where is it going? And, what stands in the way of getting it there? It makes for interesting reading and inspiration.
Once, a young man I worked with when I first started my career as a Behavioral Specialist asked me a very poignant question. I had been struggling with a piece I was working on and had brought it in to work with me to ponder while I did other things. I often keep pieces that need some problem solving out where I can see them. They’re like the “first draft” of a book. Let’s see…make it bigger/ smaller/ more colorful/ orient the hole differently/ maybe if it were off mandrel…. Well this kid was watching me while I watched this bead (“Hey, stop that young man! I’m the one who does the observations”- I was thinking). Later he approached me and asked me that question, “Why are you so afraid to succeed?’ Wham-O, direct hit, right between the eyes.
From that point on I tried to adjust my viewpoint and broaden my vision. Why was I? It was something I needed to explore and address. Success is something I think we all need to reflect on. Include all of the ifs, ands, whys, and self-doubts and then go with your genuine feelings. Art for enjoyment, art for success, art because you can’t possibly conceive of life without it? What is it that’s driving you and how can you cast off those demonic shrouds of doubt hanging over your work relationship.
I’m not sure if it’s heavy but I do know that often my own fears get in the way of my success and I plan to continue to work on that issue. I think this book is going to help speak to that part of me that gets in success’s way. One hundred twenty-two pages and I’ll be closer to the answers….I’m a work in progress too!