* Chapter 2 – Art and Fear

Audio Version of the Chapters is Here.

“Artists don’t get down to work until the pain of working is exceeded by the pain of not working.” – Stephen DeStaeble

“Art and Fear” India Lindemann, Pen on Paper, 2017

Have you ever felt the above quote in your own life?

In order to be one of the few artists who do not quit, you need to make sure that you confront the troubles of being an artist… the troubles that are faced by ALL who choose this life. As an artist who continues, you may deal with an idea for a length of time, take it to an endpoint, decide that you can no longer get anything more useful from it, and then return to a starting point. Take Pablo Picasso for example (can you think of a better example in the art world for darn near anything? Alright – Robert Rauschenberg is an American example… that is true… good point). He might begin dealing with realistic figurative work… go abstract / cubism for a while… take it to an end point… and return to the realistic figurative work… begin again.

What is your destination for all the hard work you put forth in the creation of your artwork? At this point, it might just be the crit. At some point it might be a gallery / museum. GREAT! Just remember that it is important to have many goals (at least more than one) in mind for yourself and your artwork. What happens to you when GRADUATION comes around and the support, the unwavering, free and sincere support, ends? YIKES!

Answer the following questions that are posed below: What are your fears / doubts about being an “ARTIST?” or worse yet a “REAL ARTIST?” The authors give a few examples that they have seen their friends, students and even themselves have had.

Some more points about the remaining headers in the chapter I feel are important for you to consider. Vision and Execution: Why is the vision always more perfect than the execution?

Imagination: “The development of an imagined piece into an actual piece is a progression of decreasing possibilities,” (16). I love the final statement in this passage “The artist’s life is frustrating not because the passage is slow, but because he imagines it to be fast.” My brain works much faster than my hands can produce the artwork (no question – just my comment).

And the Materials: I believe in the statement about the materials doing exactly what your hands tell them to do. It is a challenge to get them to do what you are imagining for them, especially at this early stage of the game in your art making experience. Another bit of this I struggle with is the idea of being too comfortable with a material (or a technique) and not challenging yourself beyond it. That said, what materials do you find that you are TOO comfortable with at this point in your art making career? Why does this material work so easily for you? On the other hand, what materials are you afraid of (and why)?

LASTLY… On page 12 is the Operating Manual for NOT Quitting. I’d like you to write this down on the BACK cover of your sketchbook so you have a continual reminder of how NOT to quit.


75 Replies to “* Chapter 2 – Art and Fear”

  1. -No one has ever asked me if I was an artist but I have been called one. Hearing someone call me that is always a bit unnerving because the most common thing people ask when the word ‘artist’ is thrown into the mix is “Can you draw me?”.
    I personally feel like I lack in the drawing/painting/sketching/whatever department which makes me awkwardly laugh at the question. “I don’t do 2-D” I would say and then that would be the end of it. People treat 3-D art differently than 2-D which makes me worry because when I look at something that took me a while to make, I fear that it is not as ‘artsy’ as a painting or drawing would be. I worry if my art is truly art.
    -In my head, I can imagine the most beautiful works of art in a hundred different styles. They are stunning and would definitely turn heads if they existed but they do not and I feel like other artists share the same visions. We’re so involved with trying to create what we imagine so that when we look at the work we actually create, disappointment sets in. I have always wished for a way to make exactly what I had imagined but as I got older, I realized that the only way for my vision to be reality is to keep trying.
    -I’m pretty sure I have taken every 3-D class offered in my high school years so I have a pretty wide range of knowledge of materials and the way to use them. That being said, I believe that you can never be too comfortable with a material until you’ve exhausted most of the possible ways to use them. Clay is a very malleable or pliable material. I am comfortable with it and I enjoy using it because of its range. It can be used for functional art or sculptural art. I feel the same with cardboard, metal, and glass and even digital media because of the use of computers. Not all materials are created equal though. I really hate popsicle sticks. They seem so childish and not to mention ‘dangerous’ (I hate slivers in my hands). I also really hate using wood to make art because it is so easy to ruin a piece if your measurements are off or if you are using a wood burner and mark the wrong area.

  2. Quitting art has stuck to me my entire life, I’ve had multiple ups and downs when in comes to sucess and failure. If my work does not exceed my expectations or others. I should just quit. Every time I would put down my materials I’d think about the common questions, “What can I do now?” Or “What shall I do.” There is no “Quit.” In the world of art that’s why I’m slowly progressing in my own work because, I cannot just simply quit and call it a day.

  3. I relate to this chapter in the way that a lot of the time, I don’t execute my ideas primarily because I don’t think the final result was be satisfactory. Maybe I am right sometimes and I am really saving my time or maybe sometimes I am still right however I am hurting myself by not pushing through that struggle.. ?

  4. I don’t think I’ve ever had a problem with having “the critique” as the final destination of my art. Almost always, if I like how the piece is turning out, its final destination is my wall. I agree that having artist friends is helpful towards motivation because they help push you to make art, and you push them to make it too. If your friends are all talking about how their latest pieces are going, and you don’t have anything to show, it can jolt you into action. I also agree that holding onto an idea can be more challenging than coming up with an idea. It’s always super annoying when you’re most of the way through something, when suddenly, a better idea shows up and messes up your plan.

  5. This was my chapter and i could and couldn’t agree with it. To me art and fear means so much to me because the art i wanna do would be illegal in a sense. Fear for me is what other people would think of my art. In the chapter it says never to give up and that you quit only once. I dont think thats true to me at least i wanna quit all the time .but. i dont quit i just take a pause. I stop creating art and spend more time to think and reflect on what i am doing and what im creating. I think thats part of the reason why i am having a hard time making art right now. And the chapter compared art students to medical students about how it is after college. I think its unfair to compare the two because they are completely different majors. I think this chapter was important for me to read because it talks about fear and i have many fears when i create art because im scared about how people will respond. I have even a fear of stepping back from my art and looking at what i have done.

  6. “Artists quit when they convince themselves that their next effort is already doomed to fail. And artists quit when they lose the destination for their work–for the place their work belongs” (10).

    The second chapter resonates with me in terms that I need to continue pushing through my struggles and continue to make art. I often do not have a destination for where my art will end up, but I do continue to believe I can continually make better art once I move forward. It took me four years in art to realize that I can accept failure, and learn from those mistakes in that piece, and recreate my ideas for that failed piece. Before, once I completed a piece, I never retouched the idea and abandoned what destination that piece may have reached. The art making process has taught me that art work is never finished, and may always be resolved. Likewise, the destination for art may not be tangible, but be strictly for the artists sanity. I remain content now in creating work for myself in addition to creating a specific piece for a project.

  7. My biggest fear about being an “artist” is not being good enough, feeling inferior in the art world. The vision is always more perfect than the execution, because, in my mind, anything can be created. I can create anything in my mind. However, when I try to execute, I realize the reality of the piece and how restricted I am, even with all the materials given to me. I find myself a little to comfortable with Photoshop. I was introduced to it at a young age, and it came easy to me. I guess using technology to make art is natural to me, which makes me comfortable with using it. I am afraid of paint. It does not matter what type of paint it is. I am scared to use it, because I feel trapped. I can’t just erase or control Z, which makes me feel I have to be perfect. I make A LOT of mistakes. Therefore, paint scares me.
    I related to this chapter a lot. When it talks about people who pick certain “moments” to quit, I think of some people in my life who have done that. It talks about someone stopping art and years later going to a coffee shop saying they wanted to paint when they were younger. I instantly thought of my uncle when I read this. He was amazing at art! My mom remembers looking at his art and being amazed. However, he decided to stop, and just get a “normal” job. I see and hear about people stopping after certain “moments”, and I always just hope I don’t do the same. The author mentions graduation as a “moment”, which makes sense since you aren’t pushed to make art everyday or get critiqued. I feel that quitting art would be too hard, personally, because of the impact it has had on my life. I also agree with the part about imagination. I do feel the final artwork is a loss of the other forms is could have taken. After the first few lines of an artwork, reality seems to wrestle imagination leaving me to find a nice medium. This medium, I often feel, could have been better if I could put more of my imagination into the piece. Materials also do the same thing, since it can not replicate or expand on what your vision is. It can only do what you tell it, like a computer. He also talks about uncertainty, which is a big component in art. Most of the time, I am uncertain how to go about a piece, what to use, and the best way to express my idea. He talks about being authentic and don’t plan too far ahead. Sometimes it is good to start a sentence without knowing the ending. I feel I follow this saying often when making artwork, because I want to be true to the moment when the idea came to me and expand on it. I don’t want to plan every detail, because uncertainty is art. Therefore, I related to this chapter’s ideas and agreed more than disagreed.

  8. My biggest fear isn’t really a fear because I already know it will happen, but it is that I will no longer have a motivation to get up everyday and make art. There are just way more important things in life. Sure, art is something nice to do on the side, but the odds of me making tons of money from my art are basically one in a million. And the simple solution would be to work hard to get better but why work hard for a job you don’t enjoy?

    1. It is unfortunate that you do not enjoy making art anymore. My argument is that one CAN make a living by making art – and when you make the art you are passionate about – a ton of money isn’t important. One in a million? Show me the numbers. Your data is not right. I understand the use of exaggeration, but one can make it in the art world and one in a million is a wrong statistic.

  9. My fear of being an artist is that my art will never be as good as I hope it would be, and that other people don’t consider what I do to be art. While I know art should be for yourself, judgment is still a huge part of everyday life and can be scary. Leading into the vision aspect, I think what we envision for our works is typically better in our head/imagination rather than execution because of various reasons. Is anyone truly happy with what they have done? I feel like many people can be disappointed with what they create, but still try to alter and work on their pieces to strive for perfection, but never quite reach it, which is still ok. Materials wise, I tend to use a lot of different things, but really love to use ink. At this point, I really want to experiment with different types of ink, different pens, different nibs (mainly for calligraphy), etc. I tend to stay away from soft pastels and chalk-like materials, but otherwise, I use a large variety of materials. It pretty much depends on the mood I’m in.

  10. My fear of being an artist is when i developing my idea and doing new style of art it always turned out to be unsuccessful. I very scare of that and when I stop making art for a while, and when I come back to art again. I will losing my ability of making art. Another problem of me is when my art turned out unsuccessful, I will give up and never retry it. I want to prove myself to the viewers that I can do any kind of art, but unfortunately it always felt. In addition, I am also have another fear of the attention that I have in my art pieces. I could over working in one piece of art and ignore the other to the last minutes. And it is my biggest issue and I want to fix that issue really bad.

    1. Keep making art and experimenting. I finally feel that I can (at least in the school studio) fake any style – as a demonstration. The making of art and the learning of techniques and tricks takes lot of time… LOTS OF TIME and LOTS of ART MAKING.

  11. I don’t think making art should be seen as nearly as big of a deal as it is. One thing I don’t think people take into account is that your art doesn’t have to be for anyone but yourself. If the goal of your art is to please others above pleasing yourself, what’s the point? Unless you’re getting paid. That’s a little different. But I think the point still stands: The reason art feels so personal is because it is. Art has way more functions than looking nice. It doesn’t even HAVE to look nice in the end if the process is the point. I think art can be therapeutic and fun if the goal isn’t to make a masterpiece, but as soon as you set out with those huge expectations, the fun of it is ruined. In order to adopt that healthier mindset, though, you have to accept that the art that you’re making is for yourself. I really only enjoy art if I’m making it for fun and for myself. I think that’s something we should all try to do more often.

  12. My biggest fear about art is talking to people who are not follow artists. When I bring up that I like art, I don’t like to call myself an artist. This is mainly because I am high school student that has never done anything really ‘professional’. For example, at the beginning of the year in my health class I was drawing in my sketchbook and the teacher asked me if I was an artist, I nervously said, “I guess so” and right away a student fired back with the comment, “have you ever even sold your art, how can you call yourself an artist if you don’t have reward to show for it”. Conversations like these make me doubt who I am as an ‘artist’ and what to call myself (I personally like to say im an ‘art fart’ just cause of the rhyme and it avoids the word artist). I try to keep in mind that there is more to being an artist than selling it or having it hang in a museum.

    1. Fellow artists*

      For vision and execution I think it is kinda obvious that a vision has alot more possibility for ‘perfection’ than in real life because nothing in real life is perfect.

      Also for materials, it is clear that I have become pretty comfortable with watercolors (even though I am still learning alot about them) but since I am still pretty young and inexpirienced with art I don’t think I can really say I am too comfortable or ‘mastered’ any material. With that, any new material would be a great expirience and I don’t think I should be afraid to use a new material even if I do fail at using it.

    2. Alexander Calder used similar ideas in that he never called his work art so he could avoid the pitfalls. Jim Dine says a similar thing about what an artist is… curious thinking – years beyond yourself here.

  13. I guess my biggest fear in art is most likely making mistakes, especially ones that are permanent. The vision is typically better than the execution because the vision can look exactly how you initially wanted it to look while the execution requires specific materials to make the vision come true. But it is not always better. I’ve found in my art that the execution can lead to the creation of something even better that you haven’t thought of in the vision. Materials I am too comfortable with are water colors because I find them very easy to use. Just add water, apply directly to paper, and then make art. Materials I do not like are chalk pastels. They smear too easily, and I tend to drag my hand on the paper when I draw.

  14. My main fear about being an artist is that no one will take my art seriously. Its very scary to think about making something, putting your heart and soul into it, and then somebody says “that’s not ‘real’ art”. It’s even more upsetting when somebody thinks one of your artworks that you love is just a sketch or just a trial run. I think your vision will always be different than the work you produce because when you imagine the picture its related to someone else’s art. The image wasn’t ever your style. And when you try to copy someone else’s style without even understanding that its not yours in the first place, you unknowingly confuse yourself. You set standards subconsciously that you didn’t know were there. Therefore reaching that goal is very difficult and often the product is disappointing. I find that I am very comfortable with the good old pencil. It’s very easy to get rid of mistakes and can make a lot of different textures (I personally like blending). Pen is a material that is very uncomfortable to work with. There’s no erasing you initial marks or your mistakes.

  15. The destination for all of the hard work I put into my art will be for myself and for my career. I plan on continuing art making after high school and in order to do so, I have to realize that uncertainty is part of the process. No one can control the outcome of their artwork and that is something that I need to apply to myself because I struggle between my visions of the perfect execution and what the actual outcome may be.

  16. When I read this chapter, it brings back some terrifying memories. I’d say I have quit over a dozen times with art. When I worked on my projects or drew in my sketchbook; if it wasn’t exceptional I’d give up. Beginning artists have the overwhelmed fear of not being an artist, that their work isn’t good enough compared to other students, so they go down the path of quitting. Thinking, “I will never be as good as…Ect.” I find it rare to see artists quit if something happens outside of the workroom, unless there was a bone broken involved. But, to recap my opinion about this chapter is, don’t quit making art because something in your life is falling apart. Put those feelings on paper and express it.

  17. art and fear part of what is when your options are limited from when the first mark goes on the paper to the last mark that you put down on the paper. the options get less and less the more you do. it is the same in life you can make life chooses or bad or bad life chooses, what you do in life will limited your options.

  18. The greatest fear I have is the fact that all the art I make has to have a story behind it. I really don’t like to have a story behind each piece. I just enjoying making art. This has been a fear since I jumped into AP Art Studio and may push me to the point where I may just stop with making art; It is frustrating. I enjoy the feeling of making a drawing that people look at and say “I can only draw stick people”, this makes me feel confident and encourages me to want to do more but when I am pushed to make art that has no connection to me, such as a piece based of a song, I struggle. I am not one to express my emotions out loud. I am more of a person to make a piece that looks interesting.

  19. One of the most frusturating things to me is the fact that art is something that nobody can ever be considered “the best” at. Everything I do I like to be the best at out of my friends or peers. With art, once you consider yourself the best, is when you stop getting better. You can not let that mentality get to your head because while you are living in your own little world where you are the best artist, the people around you are just getting better and better and closer to what you could almost define as an “unachievable goal”. That is where my fear lyes with art. I can never be the best. I can work for it and get to an exceptional point, but I will never be the best. Contrary, this could be a good thing. It prevents one from becoming cocky, and it keeps us modest. Two very important things.

  20. One of the big fears I have about my art is what others think about it, and by extension, me. Usually my pieces outside of school are abstract and don’t have a lot of depth or symbolism at all. They’re just lines and color I put down because I think they look nice, with practically no intention of ever showing them to more than a few close friends. I don’t want to share them with people because while there is the potential for praise, I’m always a bit nervous that they won’t like the composition I spent ten seconds on or they’ll find out there isn’t a deep meaning and think I have terrible taste or something. Which, as much as I don’t care after I know they think that, I always worry that other people don’t approve of the things I think are pretty cool before I find out for sure. Another thing mentioned in the chapter is control. I usually like to plan things out pretty clearly in my head and in sketches, and then if things don’t turn out how I want, it’s frustrating and exhausting and makes me want to do something that’s not art for a while. Then, being the lazy sloth that I am, I don’t get back to it until forced to and even then it doesn’t always happen. That also ties into why a lot of the time I don’t go back and do revisions if I deem a piece close enough to finished. Because I view it as such I think of the process of making it as done with, and move onto the next. It’s great. Works out well. I’m sure everyone’s thrilled with me about that. Wanting a guaranteed success and worrying about what other people think are probably my biggest art making concerns.

  21. There are many things I am afraid of when being an artist. The main thing is never deaming myself to be good enough. I am not picasso and no not just any one can become an artist but I feel like I have the motivation and aspiration to become an artist, but will that ever be good enough? I think the vision seems more successful because of how our imagination is able to create objects, people, etc. so perfectly that our hands and body some times wont always comply. So far, I think the two materials I am most comfortable is pencil and acrylic because ive worked most with those. But I dont feel like ive met my fullest potential because there are always new things to learn. The materials I have a hard time grasping would most likely be charcoal because I have worked with this medium once before.

  22. This chapter really displays characteristics of an artist. One of those is knowing not to quit. My favorite phase is failing forward, if an artist doesn’t fail they will never know what works and what doesn’t. If an artist never fails they are perfect and that is almost impossible. I learn so much from my fails because when I started I didn’t quite know where to begin but after a bumpy road of troubles of not knowing where to turn in art I failed but got back up and continued with more of an understanding in art than before. Another part of this chapter is art starts young. This really rings true for me because I always remember the story of when I was little and we ran out of construction paper and I started crying and told my mom that she wouldn’t understand because she is not an artist. I was so attached to art even when I was little and didn’t know what I was doing but everyone in art had to start somewhere. The final thing I want to touch on is most likely the hardest for me. That is when you get an idea for an artwork it is not how that artwork is going to turn out. Every time I plan out an artwork I can see the final product in my head and so badly want my artwork to look like that. It never will and getting over that initial image is very hard for me to overcome.
    -Mary Heebsh

  23. “Quitting is fundamentally different from stopping. The latter happens all the time. Quitting happens once. Quitting means not starting again–and art is all about starting again.”
    This quote really resonated with me and the situation I find myself most often when I’m making art. I find myself getting so frustrated with my work that I just don’t want to do it anymore, and I just have to set it aside and put it out of my mind. For a few days I won’t do any art and swear that I won’t go back to that piece and probably won’t make any art again, but within a week I’m back at it again. Art really is all about starting again.
    This really backs up the principle I’ve adopted in the past year or so: If I can’t make anything I’m happy with, it’s okay to take a break from it and focus on other things for a week or two until I’m ready to try again. For other people, that break between work is probably a lot shorter–and in other cases much longer (depends on the kind of art; I’m talking strictly fine art/writing). You can’t force it or you won’t be happy. I guess it would be a different story if I were making art professionally, but since it’s just a hobby for me, I can figure out how my attitudes change and tailor my process to help myself make the best art I can in the least painful way. If I can accept that “stopping and starting again” isn’t a problem and just a natural part of art-making, I’ll spend a lot less time thinking about “quitting.”

  24. My fears and doubts exist in the thought that I may never reach perfection in a piece. I need a sense of fulfillment that perfection has been reached. My starvation for this gratitude often keeps me completing more and more work, yet also pushes me towards unhealthy obsession of perfectionism. This struggle will eventually lead me to an amount of frustration and anger that I may not be able to continue my art. I need to overcome the overwhelming desire to reach perfection, and learn that flaws in pieces create character, and build towards my voice of who I am as an artist. If perfection was needed in a piece of art created by the hands, a photograph would be much more efficient. The flaws in a piece of work build towards the story of the artist, and does not define failure. My fear of art is personal failure to deliver the vision that I have so carefully constructed in my mind.
    The vision that one creates for their art work is always more perfect because we deliver expectations for ourselves that may not be able to be reached. If this sense of unfilled gratitude never existed, good artists would not exist. The constant improvement of oneself is the building blocks of an artist and their work. Bayles tells his reader that “Making art is dangerous and revealing. Making art precipitates self-doubt, stirring waters that lay between what you know you should be, and what you fear you might be” (13). The thought of expressing repressed emotions through my art is terrifying, especially due to the fact that I feel that I will never reach my expectations. This feels as if I will fight an uphill and never-ending battle, but I can’t wait to reach the front line.
    The materials that I use to remain in my comfort zone are painting mediums. I love the feeling of a brushstroke, which is not as prominent as a line of pencil, pen, or another drawing medium. I feel as if paint leaves room for the interpretation of that defined space, rather than constructing permanent, thin boundaries. This eliminates the sense of absolute perfection slightly, leaving my sense of the piece to be almost perfect. Drawing mediums frighten me, maybe because I do not seem to understand how to fill the space and construct the boundaries between the negative and positive space. Because of this paint leaves me much more comfortable.

  25. My biggest fear as an artist is people not liking my work. You think you have an outstanding piece in front of you that you have worked multiple days and nights on. Then, all of a sudden people start commenting on things they don’t like about your work or things you could have done better. I stopped making art throughout middle school, unless it was for art class but I throw it out once I got it back, because the criticism got to me. I debated a lot on whether or not I should take art in high school. I’m glad I did take art because I’m back doing something I love. Artists will always have fears that will make them want to quit making art. Getting over that fear is tough, but once they do they realize they possess much more talent. As for the criticism it will come and go, you just have to brush it off and do something spectacular in your next piece.

  26. I have so many fears about being an artist. I fear that I will pursue art and then wake up one day realizing I’m not serious about it. I fear that I will pursue art and never be as good as the other artists around me or that my art is so bad I won’t sell a single piece.I fear that I will always live in the shadow of my sister who used her artistic abilities to become successful. When I imagine how I want my next piece to turn out, the vision is always better than the actual product because I envision something that I don’t yet have the skill to create. When I create, I have an image in mind of how I want it to turn out but I don’t know how to make my hands create something like it. Sometimes I have the skill to produce something as good or better than I imagined and I love those moments the most in art. I often find myself using paint more than any other material because I love the feel and look of it in the end. I do branch out to other materials but more often than not, paint is the material I choose. The only material I am not at all comfortable with using is charcoal. I have used it multiple times but I don’t like the feel of it or how hard it is to control it.

  27. Fears of being at artist, there are many. Money, this is a huge one. It all seems to come down to it eventually. Money to create art, money to sell it, money to live off of, money to pay for schooling money money money. Feedback, how people view the work, do they like it? Dislike it? Do they want to buy it? “Oh my god why? Its not even that good, Oh wiat, they dont want to buy it. I was really proud of that, they dont like it, Im not good enough. Ill never get anywhere here.” This creates so much pressure and self doubt on us most people done understand or even know it exists. We become so blind to ourselves with emotions that change and morph as chaotic as a whirlwind of debris. Success, if I do go to art school what jobs are available, can I make enough from those careers to buy a house? Pay for kids? Afford what I want? Its a very hard business to get into and do well in. That is a few of my fears regarding art based futures

    1. I hear the fears and still encourage the pursuing of what one wants to do to be happy in life. The art making in life and making a living at it is absolutely plausible. There are a lot of things that go into the making of art that are not related to the making of art… I would LOVE to have a few artists come in and have that conversation with you all.

  28. I enjoy doing a lot of things in my free time, whether it’s hanging out with my friends, listening to music, creating art or playing sports. Recently, I lost the one I love the most. My senior year of football has come to an end. I have been playing football my entire life and I love doing it. Now I probably won’t get to play competitively again… This has opened my eyes to how important time is. I don’t want to let something else I love slip away. My second love is making art. My fear is that if I’m not good enough to continue making art after high school I will lose another thing that I love doing. I want to pursue something with art after high school. I just fear that I am not good enough. This year I am going to test myself and figure out if I have what it takes to be a successful artist. My fear is that I will fail. But I am going to do everything I can to get better so I can pursue my dreams. The judgment from other people doesn’t really bother me so much. Criticism will help me learn from my mistakes. But I do fear that people won’t understand my ideas and rational behind my pieces. I also struggle with finding people who understand art making. Most people will take for granted all the hard work someone puts into the piece of artwork. People assume that it is easy, but it’s not. The piece rarely looks like what you envision it to be. I have learned to accept it. But I use my materials to the best I know how so that I make the best that I can do. I feel like most of the time my materials work the way I want, but some of the time it doesn’t at all. I want to learn how to paint and that will be a struggle. I don’t won’t give up on myself and I will continue to learn from mistakes and get better.

    1. Great thoughts. To think about TIME when one is still 18 is a BIG DEAL. Keep the knowledge of the passing of time in your head – appreciate the time you have and make use of it as you move forward. The GREAT thing is that ART is something you can ALWAYS have…

    1. My only fear about being an artist currently is if the AP judges will like my art. After high school I plan on doing little to no art, so this is my climax. The vision is almost always better than the execution because the mind perceives art differently than what you’re physically capable of doing. I am most comfortable with pencils. Since I really started to excel in art, I have always used pencil, and all of my sketchbooks from my last three and a half years of high school have almost all been in pencil too. I am not afraid to admit that I am afraid to challenge myself with different materials. I am very afraid of paint, strictly because I have never been taught how to use them.

      1. OH NO! No Art AFTER HIGH SCHOOL! Ugh. I am sad now… I see the growth as you have moved into other materials and mediums and ENCOURAGE you to continue to experiment. Let the mistakes happen and be ok with them. Learn as you are demonstrating that in your works now.

  29. I fear that I will not be a successful artist in the real world. I plan on majoring in graphic design and I’m afraid that I will not be good enough and won’t get a job. I think the vision is always better than the execution because the mind is such a beautiful thing that there is no way you could repeat exactly what you saw in your head. I really like the final statement in the passage also because I find my mind often goes crazy with ideas and I often times forget them before I can make them a reality. I feel like I am too comfortable with pencils because I’ve used them the most. I have been afraid of paint but now that I have been using them more I have become more familiar with them. I think the materials that I am most afraid of now are pen and ink because they are so permanent.

    1. Wonderful. I live and breath with the ideas of the mind producing a better product. You are producing works SO FAR out of your comfort zone. I am so glad to see the brave approaches and inventiveness. Experimentation is wonderful. The great party of art is its flexibility and uncertainty. Keep experimenting. Look to find a step between work one and work two… Like in math… Show your work. Show the creative process, what the mind does.

  30. I know that I have “no business” being on this blog, But I love discussion. I love conversation and the exchange of ideas. And as much as I love to hear myself talk…lol 😉 I love it more when something that is said by someone else changes the way I think, or raises a question in my mind that wasn’t there before. Jonnie’s post was refreshingly authentic and unfiltered. It takes guts to say what you’re actually thinking, and it takes fortitude to stand by it once it’s out there. For myself, I actually experience the fear of sharing, not the struggle of starting. I agree that artists tend to struggle with what is in their heads versus what is on the paper. I go through the same thing obviously. But instead I feel as if my mistakes urge the piece to grow a life of it’s own. Yeah, I have a vision in my head of how I want something to look. But in the end, it’s the mistake which causes me to adapt and continue the piece with a new approach. I keep forging on, and every once in awhile, the mistake turns my piece into something that I would of never even considered. Innovation from silly errors pushes me forward as an artist. It expands my perspective. I love the undiscovered. But its isolation I fear. Even though history shows that any thought or emotion you’ve ever had is in no way unique, I still fear being misunderstood. It has been a constant obstacle in my life, whether it’s all ‘in my head’ or concrete. Sometimes I feel like my own friends don’t understand me, and then the very same day, I run into a stranger whose soul bears the same struggle as mine. So to showcase my artwork, and express my actual feelings is terrifying, and leaves me vulnerable and exposed. But in retrospect, the thing that is the most terrifying is also the most therapeutic. That is my struggle.

  31. My fear as an artist is to…well be fearful. As artists we are meant to explore and push ourselves to the extremes. To get reactions out of people, not to be scared of what people think. Thats the whole rational behind art, is to let loose and get carried away. Not to be uptight worrying about how someone will critique your work. Your art is a reflection of who you are, and if you’re afraid to be yourself when it comes to making art, hell you shouldn’t be making art at all.

    1. Right in that you do need to make your own art. That said, it is also important to be open to getting and giving feedback. Research and references, observation and experimentation are essential.

  32. • Artists who continue to do Art have learned how to not quit. Failure and getting frustrated with your work makes you a better artist. There is always a fear that your artwork will fail.
    Never quit and never put your head down. In day to day life you have to keep a focused attitude towards whatever you are doing to succeed. Your goals now can’t always stay the same. You have to be a well-rounded artist. Art can cause us to doubt ourselves because we don’t know what to draw or don’t succeed. If we have a vision and execute we can do great things.

  33. What I fear most about being an artist is the way people will react to my art, whether it be positive or negative. I fear judgement from others that I feel are better than I am at making art. I fear that they won’t understand what I have to bring to the table and won’t understand the meaning behind my art. Sometimes I struggle with what meaning I am trying to get across to the viewers. I make art sometimes without a meaning for it. I make art just to make it sometimes and don’t take the time to think what others will get from looking at my artwork. So I guess my biggest fear when making art is what to DO! What point to bring across and what meaning my art should have. I can draw anything I guess, I just struggle what to make of the anything I can draw… If that makes sense.

  34. My fear about being an artist is someday being “too busy” for art. Art brings me a lot of joy and I can’t imagine life without it. So I guess that my fear isn’t that strong because my love for art is. My vision is always more perfect than my execution. One reason is because some of my visions are just plain out impossible. But when it is, my execution still isn’t perfect. I feel like it won’t be until I have more years of art making under my belt.The material I am most comfortable with is probably pencil. I’ve been using pencil ever since I was little and I have grown accustomed to it. A material that I am not comfortable is paint. For some reason mixing colors and using the right amount is hard for me. But this year I plan on using paint more and experimenting with it to see what techniques are right for me. And by using paint I will be able to broaden my art and I am always wanting to do that.

    1. I look at the “impossible” that you speak of and suggest that you allow the attempts and the failures to be worked through. I am truly impressed with the approaches and fearless approach you have taken thus far. continue to work without the fear of failure and just allow things to work or not work. If it doesn’t work… figure out why and try again! Time is another thing… keep the art that you can work on easily at hand and allow the “other” stuff to be what you have to set aside time for…

    1. Please tell me more. There has to be more thought in you about this chapter. I realize that this is a difficult task, but your reading and thinking about the topics is truly important in the development of your work. You fear Watercolors and pastels, you fear the development of ideas… tell me more!

  35. My main fear that involves art is showing it to others who can be really good themselves. I scare myself into thinking that my art sucks compared to others. I feel that if I show someone other than my close friends and family that ill be laughed at or made fun of or something around that negativity. No one said art would be easy and why should it be. But I know that I shouldn’t let what others think get in the way of me doing what I love. Yet its hard to come out of my shell without being so nervous. I normally don’t care what people think or say about my work but when it involves something so creative I shrink and almost cower.

    In order to create something I need to stop thinking about it and just let it come to me. Quitting is never the option to have. Yes I have had those moments a lot where I wanted to stop and throw away my piece because I didn’t like it but iv come to learn that what I imagine and than what I end up creating is never going to look the same because the imagination is so much bigger and perfect that it doesn’t even exist outside in the real world. Art is a huge challenge. no matter what material is used or what image is placed it’ll always turn out but not the way I want it to be but its ok because I know that now, iv learned not to be disappointed unless I truly don’t like it but that doesn’t give me a right to throw away art and give up. I have come a long way with art and I’m still learning not to drop my piece and walk away from my problem with it.

  36. I struggle with having a fear about making art. I’ve always seen art as just a way to let loose and get an idea out. I’ve never really seen it as fearful. To me, if I try something risky, and it works, GREAT! but if it doesnt, so be it. At this point, I haven’t had to be afraid to make art. With that being said, now looking at my career, I have a reason to be afraid. I want to go into communication design, and make art for the rest of my life. Looking at my future, am I afraid that I won’t make it out there? A little, but I also know its not really time to worry about that yet. But, am I afraid of being a real artist? Not really. In fact, I’m so excited to be able to give myself that title. Right now, I don’t know what my fear is to make art- To me, art has always been a way to run from fears, not something to be fearful of.
    I think the vision is a lot of time more perfect than the execution because as humans, we see the flaws in our work, and not the achievements. When work is made I get a vision in my head that almost looks computer generated, or like I’m actually seeing it. Then I transfer it to paper, and not only the vision I’m seeing gets put onto that paper, but my emotions affect my every move. When I look at other people work, I can’t see their vision, so I just look at whats presented infront of me. An normally what I do see is perfection for that person. But when looking at my own piece, I see the flaws. The visions and execution go hand in hand,
    I would say I am the most comfortable with soft pastel and charcoal. I like being able to blend the materials, and layer them together. I’ve worked in charcoal A LOT, and adding color is something I recently started.I like the dusty texture and how easy it is to blend. I actually like being able to get dirty with the materials, and use it to my advantage.
    Unlike most people, I am the least comfortable with colored pencil and pencil. I like to work big, and that’s really hard to do with those mediums. I also don’t like how clean cut they are. I just feel restricted using them.

  37. My doubts about being an artist mainly focus on the idea that I won’t ever do anything exceptional. The vision is always better than the execution because in each person’s mind exists a world of potential perfection that is too beautiful to be transferred into the harshness of the real world. I don’t feel like I’ve mastered any materials. Even a pencil has endless capabilities, and I’m definitely not fluent in them all. I don’t think I ever will be. No specific material intimidates me, because each one brings out a different style of art from my imagination. For example, if I’m working with something messier, then I imagine a looser final piece.

  38. I have no fear in art or what people think of my art because it IS my art and others cant see it the way I do. Art is a chance to be you and be bold with it. No sense in hiding anything in art. The brain often creates the person’s ideal/ perfect image and because of this it is rarely produced perfectly for this reason; Most artists dont think their work is perfect. The image in the head is. I am pretty comfortable with anything that isnt paint; ink, pencil, pastel ect, but paint is a whole new world for me.

  39. My fears about being an artist…thats a tough question, because I’m generally not afraid. People may tend to think this is a lie, but I’m really not. Considering how weird my art is, it shows that I’m not afraid what others think, I make art to entertain myself, not others. And when others enjoy my work thats great too. The vision is always better than the execution because someone may not have that ability to draw what they are thinking. The materials that I am too comfortable with I would say is pencil. The reason they are too comfortable is because I generally have a pencil in had ALL day at school, and I doodle all over my homework and notes, so I have a lot of time with pencil. I am a little weary of charcoal, due to the fact that its messy and its very bold.

  40. I would say as a fear of being an artist for me is others critiques. I would disagree with matt because when I make art and I am finished and someone see that flaw I will begin to see the same flaw. This is one of my struggles as an artist that I always want to conform to what people want to see. I also fear as an artist that I am to hard on myself and sometimes gets in the way of the art that I am trying to do as an artist. At this point I am most comfortable with clay. I feel I can sit at a potters wheel and make what I imagine even if it take a few try’s. The material I most fear is anything that goes on paper. I fear making 2D art. I feel I can’t get what I see in my mind to what goes on paper. I very much admire artist that make that realistic art piece that pops off the page.

  41. What I fear most about making art is that I will never be viewed as a “real” artist. I struggle a lot with my family over my passion for art because they always have said that art is not a real career choice and that there is no future for me if I do pursue my passion for art. When I was about four or five I told my parents that when I grew up I wanted to be an artist. They told me not to be silly. Even now theyare not supportive of my choice to be pursue being an art teacher. If my own family can’t even stand behind me and say, “Hey, you might have something going for you there.” then how can I espect my peers to take me seriously as an artist? I put my heart and soul into my work and sometimes i still feel like no one will apreciate it. Making art is such a natural thing for me to do though. I feel comfortable when I have a pencil or paintbrush or piece of charcoal in my hand. I go to my own little happy place where i can put my thoughts and emotions on the page. That is what makes my fears and anguish over my art worth it. I make art for myself. Frankly, I have learned not to care what people think of my art or me. My family may not be supportive of my art and that still terrifies me for so many reasons, but its what I love. Art is my life and it always will be. I have never been one to let my fears get in the way of something I love. So to get back to the point of what I was suppose to say in this post, I am afraid I will never be recognized for my work But I feel most comfortable when I am making art.

  42. I would say that my main fear about being an artist would be that when I finally step back and look at my finished work I don’t end up liking it. Not to sound selfish, and while I do enjoy when people find inspiration from my work or recieving criticism to better it, in the end I make art because I love to, not necceserily for others to like it. If everyone told me my artwork was crap but I could step back and like it, I would just keep on liking it. I guess if I made art a career I might have to change that outlook, but It is still how I feel and why I fear my own opinions over everyone else’s.The vision is always better than the execution because it’s impossible to take that idea from your head and translate it perfectly onto paper; it just can’t be done perfectly. Also, I feel that people, or at least those who want to succeed in art, just have the natural inhibiton to not always be completely satisfied with oneself and strive to do better; it’s what keeps them going and challanging themselves. I’m probably too comfortable with pencils; they’re just the normally accepted way to make marks, and they can have their mistakes easily fixed, which is why I’m probably so drawn to them. As far as materials I’m uncomfortable with, after using oil pastels on that last project, I feel like I didn’t accomplish what I wanted to, and I’m actually pretty eager to have round 2 with them and try to kind of redeem myself. I also think I need more experience with all types of paint.

  43. im with jonnie on this one, i have no idea why or what i am afraid of but i also have problems when it comes to sharing my work. we’ve tried to figure this out in class quite a few times but at this point i think we’re just beating a dead horse. we all know what we should be afraid of but i’m not sure that thats the case.
    secondly, the vision will always be better than the execution because in the vision the artwork is flawless and between the two alot of stuff happens. things go wrong, you just have to work around them because theres nothing else you can do.
    lastly, i believe pencils are the easiest medium to work with, because it is easy to redo any mistake you might make. the most difficult medium in my opinion is paint because it is unforgiving and very hard to work with.

    1. I don’t know if we should all know what we are afraid of until it happens. My thoughts for the FEAR part of this chapter might have been more about what is ti about AP that is frightening…

  44. I always hate it when you ask us what our greatest fear in making art is, because in the last 674 times you had us talk about it–even write about it in crayon for 7 minutes in our sketchbooks–I’ve never really felt like I’ve had any fears.

    Yet, I hit a realization before typing my response. If I have no fears, then why was I embarassed to show my interview video to the class? Why do I hate sharing my finished artwork with my siblings? Why am I afraid to sing, yet love singing when I’m alll by myself?

    I don’t really know what I’m afraid of, and It’s certianly not easy to find out….

    …and quite frankly, you can only hammer in a nail so far until you start denting the board.

    I’m having a hard time putting my thoughts into words. A discussion might help to communicate my ideas… :/

    1. And I guess I forgot to adress that second part of the prompt. I’m comfortable with pencils the most, probably because they are ***erasable***. I can make as many mistakes as I want without affecting the final product. What am I afraid to use? Oil pastels recently have become a big fear for me. Why? I think it’s because I haven’t succeeded in the past and have a hard time making successful works. But yet again, I don’t think that’s a good answer to why I’m afraid of it. I think there’s something deeper involved.

    2. I’m really sorry if my “674 times” comment sounds rude, Mr. Korb. It was after I typed it when I realized I couldn’t edit it… 😦

    3. Oh boy… I can only imagine what you must have felt about this week/’s sketchbook assignment. Sorry. 674 times… my count was off, I though I had hit 700 already. : – ). No worries.

      For you it may be the hate rather than the fear… or maybe the hate is disguised as fear…

  45. I can relate to the quote at the beginning of the blog very much. Not even with just art, but with different tasks that I generally have to complete. Sometimes you just need to work on something because it’s bothering you to not do it. My main goal with my artwork is to create pieces that I am proud of. I think I can be my hardest critic at some points. The biggest fear I have is just not producing things of excellent quality. With every new project, more fear develops because I want to make something that can be recognized as successful. In my case, my vision is not more successful than my execution because I do not expect that I will be able to create perfection. I think that most of my finished compositions differ greatly from the image I create in my head because once you start, things don’t go down on the paper like you had planned. Some materials that I am comfortable with are pencil and charcoal. I really enjoy painting, but it is not something I am entirely confident with.

  46. I am afraid of making art that turns out no where near to what I had initially planned. I always want my art to turn out just like it does in my head before I even make a single mark on the page. I fear that if I do end up creating something completely different, then I and/or other people will not like it and it won’t turn out at all. I think the vision is always better than the execution because in your head you execute the drawing flawlessly, but when you actually start drawing you make slight errors in your vision as your drawing progresses, and then your whole vision has changed due to those errors. At this point, I think I’m too comfortable using pencil because I’ve been using it for most of my life. I have always used pencil to do my artwork, unless the project in art class said otherwise. I’m afraid of using charcoal because of it being so messy. I’m afraid of dirtying up spots on the page that I want to keep pure white. I’m afraid to smudge the charcoal on my drawing, especially where I want to keep values and lines as definite as possible.

  47. This chapter portrays the difficulty of keeping the ambition of working on a piece of art and not only stopping when you think you have reached that piece’s full potential. I agree on how “stopping” is something you do when you need a little brake from something; and how “quiting” is done when you decide to never do somethign ever again. Stopping can be exactly what someone may need to start up some piece with their full potential while making that piece have it’s fullest potential. Also, chapter two the facts about how imagination, vision, materials, and every uncertainty change throughtout the process of making a certain piece.-Sometimes from begining to end, a piece can change depending on how the artist, or yourself, excecutes it. Throughout the process of making art, it is important to never completely loose hope in it, and to keep working at it until it reaches it’s own potential.

  48. The thing I most fear about being an artist is the fact that there could be not a single person out there who wants your artwork or likes your style. The vision is always more perfect than the execution because the piece you make is always one step removed from what you imagined, I’m probably too comfortable with my tablet and my drawing programs. Because I play around with it almost every other day, I could be over-looking different ways of using it or missing different techniques i could be using. I’m really afraid of using permanent markers, just because once a mistake is made there’s really no way of fixing it that isn’t entirely noticeable.

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