Art and Fear: Observations on the perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking.
By David Bayles & Ted Orland
Pages: 122 pages
Dimensions: 20.2cm x 13.9cm x 1.1cm
Price: Around 12 to 13 dollars
Personal Experience: You know being a booknerd such as myself, I have encountered far too many books about art and how to do this and that or books that will give you an in-sight about several aspects about this design and that art-piece. This is not one of them.
Many have praised this book and funnily enough, I never found one negative comment about it. Not even a zlitch, which made me curious for months until I got it lately in my hands. Not a fancy cover at all as if it is a reading book. Well to my surprise it IS a book to read it all from cover to cover. Literally. Let me just describe how much value this book has; this book does not sit on my shelves, this book sits on my bedside table.
Personal suggestion? If you can fetch it personally rather than waiting for the Library to fetch it for you will be much better because it is one of those books that will truly stay for life, no matter what artistic path you pick. An important piece of underground text, rarely heard of since it does not discuss some Mozart or Leonardo Da Vinci.
In a nutshell:
This book knows no age, no fixed occupation and no walks of life: it only knows the artist. As long as you're on the path of art-making this book is for you. The ONLY book you will really ever need to read from cover to cover; it's not long and even if you are inpatient in reading, a safe guarantee this will not be a waste of time. Other books are just trinkets no matter how big or informative they are. This book can be also classified as "philosophical" in a way, give or take. Don't get fooled though; this is no old Socrates philosophy, it's very much contemporary.
This piece of text targets areas such as: the outside world; how normal people see Art, how academic schools tackle Art, how a lecturer of Art can easily lose the time for art-making due to teaching art-making itself and so on. Even if you go beyond those feelings, what's the worth of making art? It also goes onto a personal level, such as the artists' fears, purposes, quality vs. quantity issue and so forth. As the book implies at the back of the cover in a good non-missable bold font: These are questions that matter.
Accompanied with good sarcastic humor, examples and thorough research from a hell lot of people the authors met and discussed the book's topics with, it will either be a huge boost of motivation if you are passionate in what you are doing or it will shoot your fleeting artistic muse down if you are taking your dedication for art too lightly. Do not expect this book to sugar-coat the world of art; on the contrary, this is a book packed with reality.
Bluntly put, this is the portal to the real world of Art & Design.
About the Authors:
David Bayles and Ted Orland are two artists that have written a number of books about art-making, but they are mostly known as being photographers.