Saturday, December 17, 2011
Art & Fear
After wanting to for several months, I FINALLY got the chance to read David Bayle and Ted Orland's book Art & Fear. This past semester has been difficult in many aspects for me, one of which surrounds my confidence and inspiration concerning the things I make. The contents were so helpful to me in trying to get back into the right groove, and would serve anyone with creative interest well.
Here were some thoughts that stuck with me:
The far greater danger in not that the artist will fail to learn anything from the past, but will fail to teach anything new to the future.
To see things is to enhance your sense of wonder both for the singular pattern of your own experience, and for the meta-patterns that shape all experience. All this suggest a useful working approach to making art: notice the objects you notice. (e.g. Read that sentence again.) Or put another way: make objects that talk --and then listen to them.
Some things, regardless of whether they are discovered or invented, simply and assuredly feel right. What is natural and what is beautiful are, in their purest state, indistinguishable.
Artmaking grants access to worlds that may be dangerous, sacred, forbidden, seductive, or all of the above. It grants access to worlds you may otherwise never fully engage. It may in fact be the engagement--not the art--that you seek. The difference is that making art allows, indeed guarantees, that you declare yourself. Art is contact, and your work necessarily reveals the nature of that contact. In making art you declare what is important.
To make art is to sing with the human voice. To do this you must first learn that the only voice you need is the voice you already have.
I will gladly discuss this book further with anyone who is interested. And if anything, do yourself a favor and go find a copy of this book STAT!