NICOLAS COLE

Author & Entrepreneur

#ABookAWeek: Art & Fear By David Bayles

CreativityNicolas Cole2 Comments

Reading is a key component of learning. I do my best to read a book each week. And I'm always looking for new titles! To share your own book suggestions, use #ABookAWeek on Twitter or Instagram and tag me @NicolasCole77. If I choose your book, I'll tag you in the blog post!

This week I read Art & Fear by David Bayles.

Finding books on the process of art (or a specific craft like Writing) isn't difficult—everybody knows making art is hard and there are plenty of books out there that tackle the issue.  But finding books that actually get to the root of the issue—the underlying human fear—is a whole different challenge.  Art & Fear by David Bayles is one of the few books I've read that was able to capture the issue we all seem to have with creating art: It's scary.

As a young artist myself, it's books like this that really resonate with me.  Young artists still haven't made it far enough through their own process to realize there is no "end."  Young artists haven't faced public criticism yet.  Young artists are still very much in the thick of figuring themselves out, and all of those challenges often times lead to the young artist deciding to give up all together.

That was the most poignant part of Art & Fear was the blatant admittance that many, many artists stop being artists because they stopped creating art.  It's a very simple but helpful way of looking at it.  The term "artist" seems to imply glorification, attention, recognition, but the truth is that the title of Artist only lasts as long as the pen is still moving, the brush is still flowing, the music is still playing.  To be an artist is to live in a state of flow, of creation.  

Where young artists struggle is they think there is some "end" that they have to achieve in order to "become" an artist.  They have to do something, something big, and THEN they will be crowned an Artist.  And the seasoned artists shake their heads and smile.  They know there is no end.  No one defining moment makes an artist an artist.  It's the daily practice that makes an artist an artist—and ultimately, is what makes art in itself.

Art & Fear is a quick read but it is filled with depth and worthwhile passages to think on.  If you are an artist, someone who enjoys the act of creating, then this is the book for you.  Highly suggest.

Have you read Art & Fear?  Post a comment below and let me know what you thought!


Want to join the #ABookAWeek club?  Submit below!  Every Sunday I give you a new book to read.

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