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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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Story

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Amazing!

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.

28 of 28 people found this review helpful

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  • Ashe
  • NEW ORLEANS, LA, United States
  • 11-05-12

Powerfuly helpful!

What made the experience of listening to Art & Fear the most enjoyable?

The content of the book is perfect! I whish I was a writer so I could adequately express how this book has impacted my life. I have been bound by fear and many other issues that the author writes about, that I was frozen. I could not work, paint, sing, play my cello. After the first chapter I was cleaning off my work table and got back to work! Thank you so much!<br/>This book has truly changed my life!

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

Every moment.

Any additional comments?

Thank you, Thank you!!

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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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.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Anna
  • West Long Branch, NJ, United States
  • 12-12-12

The voice of reason when you want to give up

Would you consider the audio edition of Art & Fear to be better than the print version?

Yes, I can listen to this inspirational self portrait any time I need it, and spend the time painting that I would be reading!

What did you like best about this story?

It spoke to thoughts that I have often.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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An essential book for anyone interested in art

If you could sum up Art & Fear in three words, what would they be?

Essential for artists. I don't mean artists who are professional only; this is valid for hobbyists; for craftsman; for artisans. It says in voice and print what every artist should hear: make art, make a lot of it, and don't be afraid to make mistakes because error is human. I'm on my second listen and in times where I feel not at my best when it comes to making work, this will be playing to get me through those times along with the dry spells.

What other book might you compare Art & Fear to and why?

I have yet to compare it to anything.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I did, but not laughing or crying; it gave me a sense of enlightenment and encouragement to stop keeping my creativity and my willingness to try new things in a stranglehold and to let go of my fear with my work. While I won't say this is an overnight change, it's helping me a lot.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • db
  • Kansas City, Mo
  • 01-09-13

a wonderful and necessary read for artists

If you could sum up Art & Fear in three words, what would they be?

encouraging, enlightening, reaffirming.

What did you like best about this story?

encouragement in a language that creatives all speak, musicians, visual artists, dancers, culinary artists, sculptors, it speaks to all of us in our language. It provides a path out of frustration and the option of quitting the creative process.

What about Arthur Morey’s performance did you like?

Solid and soothing.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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My first audible book

Would you consider the audio edition of Art & Fear to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the print version

What did you like best about this story?

It was reassuring and although it didn't go deep into how to get out of a block or overcome many creative difficulties, it did have a few solutions and ideas. The strength in this book for me was that it describes many of the things i have experienced as a growing artist, and the narrator is so casually (in a good way) reassuring about them. The authors are both artists and they are simply expressing that many difficulties of being creative in most fields, are either an intrinsic part of the process, or more importantly, your process. They emphasise that not all art can be Mozart, or Picasso, that actually most art is good art, but how can we make good art, or even great art if we get lost in the process and quit. The authors talk about how quitting is forever, but starting and stopping is an important part of it all. It's cyclical and you must learn to start again, because when you don't that's quitting, and its forever...<br/>

What does Arthur Morey bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

A gentle reassuring tone, that still manages to stay matter-of-fact. I wasn't distracted so i could listen to the book attentively as if i were reading it myself.

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

The part about quitting. The way i understood it was in that its never quitting if you start again. They say that quitting is forever, but actually, you can always start again. The work is so important but until you're well on your way to technical mastery, its easy to forget along the way, when you're largely working with talent, that this thing that you love and have a passion for, is work. It's dedication, discipline, perseverance, patience, and a host of other things.

Any additional comments?

I had to leave a review because i tried a few others and it was looking bleak until this book surpassed my expectations. I seemed to have lost my bibliophilia when this block settled in, and i'm trying audiobooks as an alternative. I keep falling asleep before the end, but thats not a bad thing, and after this book i'm more interested and committed to this audio thing.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Janelle
  • moree, Australia
  • 01-01-13

Really,really good.Very helpful

I teach art and this book consolidates what i have been trying to say for years
That is -- just get in and do it

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Bill
  • Manassas, VA, United States
  • 06-22-12

Great meditation on the making of Art

I really enjoyed this meditation on what it means to be an artist and to make art. The authors try not to have it be specific to one type of art and are generally successful. While I found the section on art school interesting it was not particularly useful to me for the making of art. The book is a good encouragement to create the art you have the desire to make.

The performance was excellent. A very good and engaging reader. This book could have come across as dry or tedious but Arthur Morely brings the book to life.

If you create any kind of art I recommend this book.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

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Very good book, inspiring.

What did you love best about Art & Fear?

It inspired me to do more with my creative self.

What did you like best about this story?

It's analysis really, not story. I like all the different scenarios, the different ways we can be successful.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes and no. Yes, because it is very interesting, but no, because it makes me think, and I have to take a little time to digest the ideas, think how I could put them into practice, and then try listening to a little more. Like eating a good steak, it's great but you don't want to just wolf it down all at once.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Rob Fisher
  • 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 !

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Roscoe Rules
  • 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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Jane
  • 06-07-16

Valuable insight from experienced artists

For me this book featured many new, valuable and thought provoking ideas about the process of art-making. Along with Steven Pressfield's 'War of Art' and Juliet Aristides' books on classical art methods, it is the most inspiring writing I've encountered so far. It takes you to the heart of your fears, and then points out the choices you have to make if you choose to make art. Given the focus on the fears inherent in art-making, I found it somewhat depressing in places, but ultimately uplifting. The authors aren't offering any quick fixes or guarantees - just telling it like it is. I agreed with 90% of their propositions, but I found one or two of their underlying assumptions questionable. Overall, this deserves a five star rating for the amount of thinking and questioning it made me do - a great book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • FEAA
  • 07-29-17

An encouraging book for artists

An interesting read and well narrated. It said everything I felt about being an artist and why I have to make Art for myself rather than for others.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Losa
  • 12-22-15

A must for any creative person

I am yet to come across a more useful, life-affirming and motivational book. A positive, yet realistic guide to creative practice (and not without a touch of humour) The authors are clearly expert in subject and in education. Recommended with the highest praise!!!!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Bunford
  • 02-07-15

Great stuff!

Got off the back of Robert Rodgriguez (movie director) recommending in an interview with Quentin Tarantino. Really good advice here!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • P. Evans
  • 11-30-17

Loved it

I'm not an artist, though I know what I like. I'm not afraid, though I have a well-developed decision-making process. Yet it was the title which jumped out and forced me to buy this excellent book.

Art &amp; fear is an arm around the shoulder of the creative spirit. For &quot;Artmaking&quot;; read &quot;living&quot;. The book brims with diverse and apposite anecdotes. It has its head in the clouds with Mozart and Michelangelo and its feet march with mine.

Arthur Morley's dead-pan delivery grew on me but not enough for the full five stars.

In short I agree with the opinions of pretty well everyone else who has read this book and has taken time to write about it. Its great.

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  • Zac
  • 07-22-17

Inspiring and Motivational

Pretty much what the title says!
I was beginning to have doubts about my art but this book has taught me that every inspiring artist has these misconceptions and fears including the greats. I can honestly say this book has motivated me to get past my fears and bound forward with my art!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-22-16

A must read for any creative artist.

Truly inspiring. Got the creative juices going again. I would recommend this to all creative souls.

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  • Sabina
  • 03-16-16

Pretty Good!

Quite a good audiobook, inspirational and read well. A good read for any artist, art student or tutor.