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Publisher's Summary

What is your art really about? Where is it going? What stands in the way of getting it there? These are questions that matter, questions that recur at each stage of artistic development - and they are the source for this volume of wonderfully incisive commentary.
Art & Fear explores the way art gets made, the reasons it often doesn't get made, and the nature of the difficulties that cause so many artists to give up along the way. This is a book about what it feels like to sit in your studio or classroom, at your wheel or keyboard, easel or camera, trying to do the work you need to do. It is about committing your future to your own hands, placing free will above predestination, choice above chance. It is about finding your own work.
©1993 David Bayles and Ted Orland (P)2012 Tantor
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By zozobraswife on 05-10-12


Where does Art & Fear rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This book is one that I will return to again and again like a mantra. I'm so happy that it is available in audio now. I can listen to it driving back and forth to the day job - the job that allows me to buy any art supplies I need but keeps me too busy to remember where my studio is and too tire to go there when I do remember.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Art & Fear?

"The hardest part of artmaking is living your life in such a way that your work gets done, over and over..."

Have you listened to any of Arthur Morey’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No. This performance would be my first for him.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

"It is easier to paint in the angel's feet to another's master-work than to discover where the angels live within yourself."

Any additional comments?

I've read Art & Fear two or three times over the last several years. My paperback copy is worn and underlined. It's a book I go back to when I get stuck in my art. Yesterday, I was looking for my copy, couldn't find it and turned to Audible. I was thrilled to find it here! The prose is sometimes beautiful and sometimes sarcastic. The writers don't take themselves too seriously. That being said, they never fail offer the encouragement I need when I start doubting my artistic integrity.

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29 of 29 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Die Falknerin on 10-25-13

For every creative soul

"How does art get done? Why, often, does it not get done? And what is the nature of the difficulties that stop so many who start?"

These are the questions the authors ask, and more importantly, answer, in this concise, brilliant book. By turns philosophical and pragmatic, insightful and witty, ART AND FEAR is a gift for the creative soul.

It's valuable to working artists, artists who have given up, and artists who have yet to begin.

And if you remove the charged word "artist," one might say it's valuable to anyone who struggles to create anything.

You need not be writing a symphony or a novel, dancing a principal role, or attempting to release a sculpture from a hulking block of marble. Maybe you're designing a dress, creating a new dish, keeping an illustrated journal, or teaching yourself to play a ukulele. What creative thing you do isn't the point. Continuing to do it is:

"What separates artists from ex-artists is that those who challenge their fears, continue; those who don't quit."

This is at the heart of the authors' message. They've written it to help us figure out how to stay in that first group. To stay in it, you must be able to combat fear, which includes facing any issues, preconceptions, misunderstandings, or even delusions about yourself or anyone else that may be holding you back from doing your work. What is involved will be as individual as your work. There are no easy answers or magic formulae. But it can be done, and is, every day you refuse to give up.

When my brother gave me this book, I didn't hold out much hope, but I kept my reservations to myself. After all, I'd read a sea of books about creativity, many of which turned out to be filled with useless pop psych clichés and other nonsense. But this one is different. It provides something deep and true, something everyone who creates can use.

Or as another artist friend said, "This is the straight stuff, straight up."

Indeed it is, and it just might change your creative life.

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13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Rob Fisher on 09-05-16

Every artist should read this for their own sanity

A great self help book for the struggling artist. Will help you to take value in your mistakes and see art as a journey. Very enjoyable and enlightening !

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Roscoe Rules on 07-21-16

Big huge smiley face

For anyone, even the most amateur, attempting to create something they love, this is so perfect. Also 5 stars for the deadpan delivery. Love it.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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