Tuesday, August 17, 2010


So I've been revising my work in progress. To help me along, I picked up a few new books. For the next few weeks, I'd like to share some of the words that have spoken to me.

First, from a book called ART & FEAR by David Bayles & Ted Orland.

"Fears about artmaking fall into two families: fears about yourself, and fears about your reception by others. In a general way, fears about yourself prevent you from doing your best work, while fears about your reception by others prevent you from doing your own work."

Just for fun, let's talk about that second family first -- the fear about your reception by others.

This is a fear I know. I've written about it lots of times, most recently here. Now check out this quote, particularly that last sentence:

"Making art provides uncomfortably accurate feedback about the gap that inevitably exists between what you intended to do, and what you did. In fact, if artmaking did not tell you (the maker) so enormously much about yourself, then making art that matters to you would be impossible. To you, and you alone, what matters is the process: the experience of shaping that artwork. The viewers’ concerns are not your concerns (although it’s dangerously easy to adopt their attitudes.) Their job is whatever it is: to be moved by art, to be entertained by it, to make a killing off it, whatever. Your job is to learn to work on your work."

I LOVE THAT!! (Attaching to my bulletin board as we speak...)

"The lesson here is simply that courting approval, even that of peers, puts a dangerous amount of power in the hands of the audience. Worse yet, the audience is seldom in a position to grant (or withhold) approval on the one issue that really counts – namely, whether or not you’re making progress in your work. Theyre in a good position to comment on how they’re moved (or challenged or entertained )by the finsished product, but have little knowledge or interest in your process. Audience comes later. The only pure communication is between you and your work."

And guess what? I AM MAKING PROGRESS IN MY WORK. So happy!
Wishing you progress too... more of this to come.


  1. Wow, I need to get this book, as in now. Lovely post, Irene. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Great post, Irene. And I'm so happy you're moving forward with your revision!

  3. I like the quote but it doesn't apply to me... you know that is true! My creative outings are for me first and if you like it too well isn't it a wonderful world. Started quilt number five today. hehehehe

  4. Thanks for sharing, Irene! Good words to create by.


Your thoughts?