Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Art & Fear

by David Bayles and Ted Orland

Books encouraging one to express oneself are often more frustrating than inspiring; afterwards, I often regret reading instead of actually creating, or I slump back into those existential creativity-killing questions such as "But what's the point?" or "Who cares?" Rather than focus on a particular craft, Art & Fear addresses creativity in general and helps deal with some of these questions head-on, freeing the reader to just get on with the creative work. From the introduction:
This is a book about making art. Ordinary art. Ordinary art means something like: all art not made by Mozart. After all, art is rarely made by Mozart-like people - essentially (statistically speaking) there aren't any people like that. But while geniuses may get made once a century or so, good art gets made all the time.

The book seems to talk in the voice of a friendly mentor. It's the kind of book you want to underline several times a page and give to all your art-making friends. Being a fairly slim volume, it won't distract you from your work for long, and you can easily carry a copy with you in your toolkit.

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