Friday, February 13, 2015

Fear and Art - Off the Wall Friday

As I work my way through my latest piece, I'm liking it more and more.  Now that's pretty unusual for me.  By this point in the process,  I'm usually ready to pitch the whole thing and take up Paint by Numbers.  But not this one.  I really like the ways the curves are shaping up.  In fact, I could see me loving the way the curves are shaping up. 

With all that love floating through my mind, a dark cloud started to creep in.  What if everyone else doesn't love it as much as I do?  What if I'm just kidding myself that this piece is actually working?  What if I go through all this and it doesn't get juried into Sacred Threads.  Hmmmmm..... this cloud is threatening to become a full fledged thunderstorm!

Now all of a sudden, I've gone from a place of confidence in my art to a place of doubt.  Why???

Fear is destructive.  Fear is limiting.  Fear is exhausting.  Fear is a prison.

So, with my art, what am I afraid of?

  1. People will hate it.
  2. It's ordinary and plebeian.
  3. I'm wasting precious resources of time and money.
  4. I don't have anything to say .
  5. It won't be as good as I see it in my mind's eye.

My answers?

1.  If people hate it, so what?  Am I making art for me or for them?  And really, one thing I've learned is that anything can be loved by someone, somewhere.  The popularity of the television program, The Bachelor is proof of that!

2.  Does something need to be unusual  to be good art?  I don't think so.  My favorite art is those that show the beauty in the ordinary.  Besides who really wants a canvas of stapled dead rats on their wall?? (Yes, I did see this once in an art show!)

3.  Is it a waste if  it makes me happy and I'm staying  mentally active?  Entertainment takes time and money.  There are far worse ways to spend my entertainment dollar. 

4.  Me?!  With nothing to say?  Who am I kidding??

5.  I'll never know if it's as good as it was in my mind's eye unless I finish it.  If it's not, then what's
the worse thing that can happen?  I work out the problems and fix it.  Or I change my initial vision.

Answering my fears is sometimes enough to quiet them.  Also, reading inspirational quotes and essays remind me that everyone - even the greats  - have fears.  They all succeeded despite of them and so can I.

What are your fears?  How do you handle them?  And if you are. . . . .

What are you doing Creatively??


Jenny K. Lyon said...

Oh I know the feeling! My favorite book on making art is "Art and Fear" and I feel like they crawled into my head and explored every fear I have about making art. Can't wait to see your finished piece!

Nina Marie said...

Hi Jenny, that book is on my "To Read" list. I just haven't quite gotten that far. It cracks me up when I read how great artists had the same fears. See ...I can't even have my own original insecurities!! Lol! That's because nothing is original!!

Norma Schlager said...

Did you get inside my mind and see what's going on in there? I'm having the exact same thoughts about what I'm working on now.
Great post! Love the picture of the baby! It says it all.

Anonymous said...

We probably all relate to this! I've come to think that I am a lousy judge of my own work. There are some of my own work that I love but that others are ambivalent towards and others that I really don't especially like and I get all kinds of terrific feedback. So, I make what I want and try not to think about who else will like it. But, I'm not a good business person either!

Teresa Duryea Wong said...

Fear can be paralyzing. We do it to ourselves. I love your images illustrating these thoughts... and your honesty!

Susan Lenz said...

This week fear has been on my mind too. Hopefully by next Friday we'll all feel that we've conquered a bit of it. Thanks for sharing with such cool illustrations!

quiltedfabricart said...

Wonder if most artists are like me - insecure introverts. We delve into the solitude of creating our art and love every minute of it. The lifeline of the Internet is my salvation since we can put our work and processes out there and hopefully get the reassurance that we need - that we are doing a good job or at least get constructive criticism. This is why I love your blog and link up. It not only gives me inspiration, it gives me a chance to connect with a bunch of very nice artists who are a lot like me.

And this is why I don't do commissioned work if I can help it. I agonize over whether the recipient will like it or not. No amount of money is worth it to me. I make things for me first

Sherrie Spangler said...

I can definitely relate to this! Thanks for some good answers to those fear questions.

Margaret said...

I've read "Art and Fear" -- or parts of it -- several times. Still, what can paralyze me (keep me procrastinating) is the question, "Who do you think you are?" often followed by the statement, "You'll never be as good as [insert the celebrated textile artist-of-the-hour here]."...

Turtlemoonimpressions said...

You're in good company here! I certainly go through this. Sometimes it's hard to shake off but I think we all work through this at some point. My response is to keep on keepin' on!

Maggi said...

I think you answered your own questions well there. I'm fortunate not to have to make a living from my art so if I like something I do, that's great, if I don't then I try to learn from what I feel went wrong. Whichever way, I just keep on creating.

Heidi said...

Thank you for sharing your thought-provoking posts, your techniques, and so much of your art here. I enjoy following and hope that one day I can share my own, original fiber art with your weekly linkups -- without FEAR - haha!

quilthexle said...

"Fear is a liar" - yep. But a very very good one ;-) I love how you resist to believe what fear tells you, and I'm pretty sure you'll end up with a great and meaningful piece !