* Chapter 3 -Fears About Yourself

Audio Version of the Chapters is Here.

“We have met the enemy and the enemy is us.” – POGO

We have met the enemy and he is us.
We have met the enemy and he is us.

First – Perfection. I continually thank people for accepting my humanity, my imperfections. I make mistakes all the time. As a dad, ask my daughter… I make mistakes constantly. As an artist… oh boy… my images are full of resolved mistakes (and some not resolved). Take note of fellow students comments regarding the flaws in your current work, that they are the seeds for the next work. Think about the critiques we have and how the mistakes you saw in your work or the mistakes your classmates saw in the drawings became the lessons learned in the work you have completed (or are working on) since. These imperfections are “valuable, reliable, objective, non-judgemental guides” are are what help make your art… well… your art.

Next – Annihilation. So here is where I am when it comes to my self-annihilation as an artist, as a human being. Over the past number of years I have produced about 1000 artworks. I created at least one a day, every day, for 2 years (a few years ago). I created a habit that led to a  state of self-annihilation. I paused the making of art. Fortunately, I realize now that it was just a pause. While I do have major works that are still waiting be be completed, my smaller minor works have come back as very important and necessary. Students – you are lucky to have 47 minutes, every day of the week, to make art. I dream of the day that I can, once again, lock myself away to the 47 minutes (half hour… whatever) of getting into the art making mode.

What are your thoughts to these two sections. Are you looking at the problems of perfectionism or are you all too concerned about not making art and not being an artist – annihilation? Lets hear what you have to say – FEEDBACK AND COMMENTS – I enjoy the conversations.



55 Replies to “* Chapter 3 -Fears About Yourself”

  1. In my eyes, every piece I have created can be improved but sometimes too much ‘improvement’ is not improvement at all. I’m throwing around the word ‘improvement’ a lot I know. Little touch-ups and recreations exist because perfection is something that is sought for but rarely achieved. I do not think there is true perfection unless you consider something is perfect from your point of view and not the view of others. It’s why people get so touchy about some of their works. In their eyes, it’s perfect and nothing can be done to make it better because in the end, it wouldn’t be perfect anymore. I personally feel like a lot of my works are perfect even when others do not. I think they’re perfect because I am not proud of myself for making them, I am proud because they exist. It hurts when people do not feel the same about my works as I do which makes me not want to make art and to not be an artist. Getting over the idea of people not always liking what I create is like war. You win some and you lose some. That’s why I do not have a lot of my older art with me. They lost the battle but it does not make them any less important in my growth as an artist. The pieces that do win usually hang around for awhile and make me happy to see. I do not think I will be an ‘artist’ forever but that will not stop me from getting a little crafty.

  2. For the past couple of months, the mistakes have taken over my creative side. I can no longer create a fine piece of artwork that I can say, “Wow, I’m impressed.” I simply cannot just say that, for any of the works I have created in the short time frame. My drawings, paintings, and anything that requires materials and paper; have failed me. Or I have failed it. The fear of trying to make quality art has failed me, and it has a long way until it comes back.

  3. In my career as an artist I feel as if I have not developed that sense of a style where one could look at a piece of my work and say “well that looks like something Matt drew/painted”. Due to that, I feel as if I cant really “screw up” because everything is just a new way of making things for me. However that does not mean that I am usually happy with the result even if I know I didn’t “screw anything up” as far as execution. I need to find the character in my artwork and I hope I do because then this could get pretty fun.

  4. Art stopped being “scary” a while ago. I’m not afraid of making mistakes. The only way to make good art is to make bad art first. Art doesn’t have to be perfect. No art really is perfect in the end anyway. I hate the idea that my goal in making art is that it should look nice. That’s not the point for me even if it is for other people. I think having that mindset ignores the fact that art is supposed to be fun. If you let yourself have fun making art, then you lose a lot of that fear.

  5. Fears about myself. I have so many fears about myself. The fear i have is that i dont have the skills that the rest of the class i have. To me my graffiti pieces are a lesser art skill than those who can paint faces and draw the prefect face. I dont think that art is a talent i think its a skill i dont think its a gift. I think back when mozart and Plato they thought it was a gift of the god because so many didnt know how to create and how to express themselves but in this time its just a skill and anyone could make art.

  6. Sometimes I don’t see myself as an artist. I kind of think of myself as someone who can probably draw stuff a little bit better than other people that I know who can manage to draw stick figures and have no hope in themselves as artists. One of my biggest struggles I have in making art is not giving myself enough time to work on my pieces because they do typically take way longer to complete than I think it should. Sometimes I make art and have no idea what I’m doing or why I’m making it, and it frustrates me in a way because the end result is so unpredictable. In most of my work, I do strive for perfection. Sometimes if I don’t think a line is sharp enough, I’ll go back over it to make it as crisp and smooth as possible, and it can be a daunting and time-consuming task.

  7. The major fear that I have about myself is everything has to be perfect. I always want my artwork turned out perfectly as I expected. And because of that, I’m too nervous to trying new technique and new style of art. I scary that if I using a new material or a new technique, my artwork will be fail and turned out different with what I have expected. I limited myself to a curtain kind of arts, but not expand the skill that I have. Any way, I think this chapter is my chapter. By reading it, I found out that this chapter was talk about me. ^.^

  8. Usually during the school year the fear of annihilation isn’t a problem because of how many art classes I’m in. Over breaks and summer I make a lot less art, but still some. Perfectionism is a minor fear because I’m willing to accept that my work will have flaws and I know what to change when I’m doing my next piece. Mostly what I worry about is being a “true artist”. I see everyone else’s beautiful portraits and hear the deep meaning and I worry that my work doesn’t need the same level of skill to produce or isn’t thoughtful enough.

  9. “Art is human; error is human; ergo, art is error” (29).
    Throughout my artistic career, I have always been infatuated with making a piece perfect the first time around. However, not until this year did I realize the beauty of creating lots of works and experimenting, then deciding what works best and what pieces are of the best quality. I began to love my art and practices rather than despising another moment with the piece. I also began to love mistakes, for I can go and create another piece fixing and resolving those mistakes to discover what works best. My perfectionism causes me a lot of anxiety and stress when creating works, but now also pushes me to move forward and find better resolutions when I become upset and dissatisfied with a piece.

  10. I have come to accept that my art will never be perfect, I don’t think that is too challenging of an idea to get past since literally nothing is absolutly perfect, especially when dealing with something as subjective as art. What I do stuggle with is always finding too many mistakes. Wheather it is overworking a material or poor color choice, there is always at least one mistake that stands out too much and makes me dislike my work. As a growing artist I try to remember that I am still learning alot. With each work I do I get closer to fixing old problems and creating new ones. I guess that is the fun part about any activity, you’re always finding and conquering new obsticals to get closer to the impossible “perfection”.

    1. Also, for annihilation, since I am in the art room 90 minutes a day and always have at least one project in progress, I don’t usually worry about not making art. I could be more motivated duing AP class and more focused but thats a work in progress.

  11. I am not as concerned with perfection as I am with not being a “real” artist. I will look at other classmates and famous artists and think, “Well, I stink.” I say it out loud too! I just fear I am not good enough. I compare myself to others, which leaves me discouraged. He talks about pretending. How you look at others and try out what they do because it works for them. Then, you often feel like pretending to make art. However, he mentions you can’t pretend because you are still making art. I relate to this. When I was younger, I copied and tried out styles of other artists then just creating from the heart. I started growing out of it because I thought I was pretending and not a “real” artist. Though in reality, I was just restricting myself from creating art that meant something to me. Talent is another factor that plays into effect. Since most people were kids, they learned talent is a gift given to you, and you should use your talent to its full ability. The book mentions the deeper truth to this. He talks about how someone relies on a talent with out developing it. They peak, but then fade away. As a kid, I thought you had your talent, and you would be automatically amazing. I have the talent, but I have to develop it. I can’t just rely on it solely without improving it. Sometimes, the idea that you are given a talent that makes you an expert automatically makes others feel not like a “real” artist. I would be lying if I said I haven’t felt this way before, but I realize art involves more than just talent. It involves development and growth. The author talks about perfection as well. I have to say, I never felt the need to make my art perfect the first time. However, I don’t give up on what I started though it is a failed attempt. I know art takes time and lots of mistakes after mistakes to learn how to get better. Knowing this, I still like to believe I can just sit down for hours making the perfect piece the first time with no mistakes. Perfection, for me, is simply an illusion we all want to believe is not only real, but achievable. I can’t reach perfect, but I will try to get as close as possible to it. I have expectations that often drift into fantasies, like the author mentions. I expect a lot out of myself, and the artwork I create. However, the author says the answers lie in the pieces before the next one. Your own artwork is your guide. I agreed with this chapter for I experience these fears often.

  12. I am a perfectionist when it comes to art. I typically measure my artwork and make sure everything is completely proportional. Sometimes I also pause in the middle of making artwork and think over exactly what I can do to make my artwork perfect, and how I can avoid all possible mistakes. That is an easy way for no art to get created by me. Besides not making art because of perfectionist fears, I don’t think problems with annihilation in artmaking apply to me.

  13. My greatest fear about myself is that after High School, I won’t have time to make art anymore and that my current skills will slowly diminish over time. Although my plan of architecture would still use some of my artistic perfectionism and attention to detail, I fear that I would loose what I worked on for more than 6 years. I plan on doing an occasional portrait here and there, I’m not sure yet if I will have the free time.

  14. I have had issues with perfectionism but definitely not to a large extent. The only reason I have had to deal with it is in my AP concentration. The insides of the circles in my project are supposed to be photo-realistic. The realistic aspect is what really gets me. I am not a camera. I can’t possibly recreate a human perfectly (no matter how much I wish I could). Usually, I work the picture to a point where I believe It’s good enough.

    I have never really had an issue with the idea of annihilation. Of course, I have hit multiple spots in life where I make little to no art at all. I have only ever truly panicked over this once. It was once where for months on end I couldn’t make anything. I was never in the mood to make art and when I did I was never happy. I would always stop in the beginning before seeing where it would take me. I was scared that I would never want to make art again. Obviously, I got passed that. Since then I have understood that If i want to eventually go back t making art then It will come back.

  15. The biggest struggle I have with art is finding a reason to make it and trying to figure out what it is exactly that I should be drawing. A fear I have also happens to be not thinking of myself as a real artist, leading me to undervalue my work and to believe that no one will ever take my work seriously. Also, I set high expectations for myself and strive for perfection in all of my art pieces which causes me to take more time than I really need to complete a project.

  16. Perfection is what I want to create when I make art. I focus on every single detail and then once I fell like I have them all, I add more and more but also take away some to make the piece my own instead of a drawing that looks like a photograph. I grow bored of simply having to make things “represent” other things, I want to see everything. Although I do not think that any of my pieces have hit the point of perfection I still move on.

    In the process of making an artwork, there is only one time I can recall that I hit a point of no return. This is a very important to happen to everyone in my opinion because I have learned a lot about this stage; when your mistakes overcome your successes. This is a fear of mine and I try to embrace it to learn to grow and continue to grow.

  17. One of the biggest “fears about myself” as far as making art is that search for reason. I have been able to produce art that executionally (that is not a word) I am happy with however I feel as if I am a very expressive person and I am not able to convey my ideas as well as I would like to. I think that the fear factor in that is about going on and on and not being able to make a point that others are going to understand (this ties into the chapter “the outside world”).

    Pain can be considered weakness leaving the body. In my eyes, fear is just another form of pain. Therefore, to overcome fears, you need to embrace them, pursue them, and practice them. I believe that confidence shows and that fearlessness can have a huge effect on others perception of you. This is a never ending journey to achieve this sense of fearlessness, seems to be a common trend in art.

  18. we think that we are our true enemy but it is mind saying that we should fear yourself. only you can fight the dark with in you and the your deepest darkest fear about yourself. fear is just in part of life.

  19. Perfectionism is a personal problem I have always faced during my life. This concept not only affects me as an artist, but as a student, daughter, employee, and other statuses that I obtain. I remain caught on the problem that a specific task needs to be completed to a certain standard, which is almost impossible to reach. This standard is the beginning of a guaranteed failure. In my artwork, I am obsessed with adjusting and fixing the minor details, rather than looking at the overall success of the piece. If I could adjust to accept that almost all of my work will not be perfect, than I could very well be able to create more work, to be able to create more mistakes. In the chapter, the authors discuss that to not make work is to not make mistakes, which are essential for learning and adapting the artistic process. Likewise, the authors state that “To demand perfection is to deny your ordinary (and universal) humanity, as though you would be better off without it. Yet this humanity is the ultimate source of your work; your perfectionism denies you the very thing you need to get your work done” (Bayles and Orland). This idea sparked realization that I do not need everything to be perfect, although that is my unconscious desire. Imperfections aid in discovery of who we are as artists, and how we can improve. Constant perfection would eventually become mundane.

  20. One of the things I’ve been working on doing is not categorizing my art as either “practice” or “real art.” What is “real art,” anyway? Disregarding my artistic failures or just regarding them as “practice” doesn’t really let me assess the problems with them and simply allows me to push it to the side and try something different. It’s a bit of a self-defense mechanism, where I prevent myself and others from judging my art–and therefore me as a person–because it’s not the “real deal;” it’s just practice.
    The truth is, I have to accept that not all my pieces are going to turn out perfectly and that it doesn’t mean I’m any less of an artist because of them. All art is “real art;” some of it is just more successful than the rest, and the standard for success is largely subjective. Sometimes success = technical ability, and sometimes success = learning something from the process.
    The more art I make, the more I find myself understanding that I don’t really mind if the end product isn’t perfect. I have to put in the time for my success in the latter category to show itself in the form of success in the former.

  21. The first part of this chapter I would like to talk about is pretending. As an artist begins or at least when I began I felt like I was pretending to be an artist. That starts with not believing in your work. When I started and even now, I know that my work has gotten a lot better but sometimes I feel like I don’t know what I am doing. That makes me second guess my work and make me think that my work means nothing. Then I think what makes an artist, an artist is someone who doesn’t give up and you don’t ever really know what your doing but it is something you love to do and truly care about. Another part of this chapter touches on the term talent. I don’t like this word at all. Sure at the beginning some people have a head start and do better at first but sometimes, not all the time, those people realize it is too easy for them and stop trying. Then you look where I started, I couldn’t draw people with hands because I didn’t know how to do that and I finger blended. That was freshmen year, now since I’ve had the time to put in my 10,000 hours and learn about art I have gotten so much better that the freshmen girl and the senior girl are like two different people. So even though I took longer and had to try harder I still have made it to the place where the so called “talented” people started. Next is perfection, you will never be perfect and when you face that it is so much better. The ways to be your best is to shoot for perfection and end up at excellent and you have done your job right in my book. Another section is annihilation. Every artist has that time where you don’t know what to do next and you feel like it is over. This can last for a long period of time or just a day. This happens for me a lot when we change the muse that we are working with. I feel like I don’t know what to do, I don’t know how to start, and what if I don’t get my artwork done and what if it isn’t good. Touching on that don’t be afraid to fail forward. What you learn now can help you on your next pieces. Also if your scared of what people are going to think of your artwork, everybody is scared, you are all in the same boat. Then there is the “magic.” The thought that artists contain something amazing that helps them make art that nobody else has. That is sort of true, once an artist experiences all of the different forms of art and finds their groove in art they have found their magic. However, anyone with the right experience and time can develop their own magic because it is different for everyone. The final part is expectations and it says in there that your last work is the key to your next work. As an artist makes art they learn what they have done wrong and how to fix it. Also they learn for the next piece and can always be moving forward.
    -Mary Heebsh

  22. The last concept the author talks about in this chapter is expectations, which I can relate to a lot. I have an amazing idea I believe I can do but once I start sketching it out I realize I can’t. I feel that many artist, exceptionally me, set our expectations to high because we want to show people that we can actually do something instead of staying within our comfort zone. As for annihilation, I love making art, but I’m not attached to it as most people. Next year I will be in college, one thing I’m going to miss the most is having a classroom where I can come in, sit down and making art for 47 minutes.

  23. I enjoyed that this chapter comments on talent because talent isnt some thing you’re actually born with. You can be born with desires and aspirations but not talents so therefore, those skills have to be built up to succeed. My take on perfection is that at this point in my art career, I’ve grown to realize that all of my art is not going to be perfect but that shouldnt mean I should give up. On top of that, in my opinion, perfection does not exist but bettering yourself does. On the part of annihilation, I dont feel like I am completely attached to art making as I am with theater but If i were to stop making art, whether with my voice and whole body or just my hands, I would most certainly feel empty. Overall, I am probably most likely worried about annihilation because I realize perfection doesnt exist but spite that, I need to keep making art especially for me.

  24. I agree so much with this chapter “Fears About Yourself”. Everything I fear and didn’t even realize I was afraid of was discussed. I love the beginning discussion of how an artist can feel like they are a fake or pretending. I feel that a lot often when I see people who are more dedicated and passionate about what they do than I. I was also very intrigued by the discussion of talent because it’s mentioned that one isn’t talented but simply skilled due to hard practice. My favorite line in this section of the chapter was “Talent may get someone off the starting blocks faster, but without a sense of direction or a goal to strive for, it won’t count for much.”It is such a true and to the point quote.Expectations was the final concept in the chapter and one of the main ones I can relate to. The fear of my work not turning out the way I imagined is one of my biggest fears in art. I always create this idea of how I want a piece to turn out and if it isn’t looking that way I want to quit.I struggle with setting the bar high enough to push myself but low enough that it is something I’m capable of with my skill set.

  25. There is one debilitate fear and that fear is about yourself. While reading this chapter I can emotionally connect with it. The main purpose of this chapter is the main ideas mostly, people in general prevent you from doing your best, then soon you begin to doubt your own artistic credentials. And, then the fear of you not being a real artist. While I stopped to think about this, I truly felt the relation. I can remember all the torment I went through in middle school when I began my art. Sometimes I would pretend to make art, like it is quoted in the chapter of, “Fears about Yourself.” Usually young artists become self-conscious about their work because others tend to watch obsessively about their every move. Sadly, I hate the feeling, it makes you not want to work as hard; or to give your full on effort. Therefore this chapter says a lot and it’s, so relatable that it’s scary.

    1. Morgan — you are 2 chapters ahead. I appreciate you doing the chapter you are assigned, but we are working through the book together from chapter 1 (and then chapter 2, and then chapter 3, etc…) TONIGHT you need to finish Chapter 1 (and I REALLY want you to listen more carefully to the assignments).

  26. I dont fear making art or not making it, and I dont fret a ton over perfection. I really have issue with producing work I dont like though. I can produce works that I tried hard one but only keep . Ill throw the rest away because I dont like them. I dont worry about perfection because I know I wont achieve it. I never have in any works. I tend to worry about a fresh style, I get bored easily in art so I cant use the same media for too long, or work the same subject matter. I am a creature of change, and progress. Ill take things Ive learned from medias like spray paint and apply it somehow to crayons. Making art is like a river and I am the outlet into the bay. I just let whatever flow and adapt to it eventually

    1. I really enjoy the passions to pursue the multiple directions that one is headed in. I ALSO encourage the ideas of developing the artist’s voice. This is where your passions and commitment to the making of art is the key to your success. I see great things happening i the current work you are making and I hope to see the changes also. Those changes need to be a part of the DEVELOPMENT of the process though, not huge jumps in the making – keep the thread in all the works so the audience can see that development (and the AP Readers too).

  27. I do not fear not making art although I am always so concerned about making it perfect. I feel sometimes you have to fail or make mistakes to become a great artist. Striving for perfection is something I have always done my whole life. I used to hate hearing feedback about my artwork, and now I absolutely can’t wait to hear someone speak about my pieces. I am constantly self conscious and criticizing myself as I move forward. I fear people don’t like what I am doing, and I get nervous. I feel I create my best artwork when I’m alone and at once. Typically, that is the only way to feel pride in my work. I hate when people watch the art making process, I’d rather jut have them see the final piece then criticize me. However, in the end, I appreciate all comments because no matter what they say, I feel I can grow stronger from it.

    1. Ah the days of NOT WANTING HONEST FEEDBACK and then the demanding it! This is a HUGE LEARNING opportunity! Being watched as I make art… that is SO MUCH fun. When the audience who does NOT have any idea about the making of art watches someone who does… I love the conversation and the feedback. I also like to educate the audience in the process.

  28. I don’t fear to be imperfect, I embrace it. I am okay with failing and learning from my mistakes because those mistakes will shape ma and make me better. I have made a lot of mistakes in my life, and I continue to get better and not let the past bring me down. I learn and get better. I used to think that I need to make my art perfect and precise, I stuck to small pieces of paper and only used pencil. I slowly broke away from the belief that I need to be perfect and I started to experiment. It is a little ironic because now I am focused on abstraction. I find relationships in facial features and the face. Instead of making it look perfect I simplify shapes and carry line through the piece. I have come so far from last year and I can’t wait to see where I go next. Although I want the piece to be “perfect”, I am aware that I will make mistakes. I will fail, but I will work through it and get better.
    Sometimes I find it difficult to do artwork at home because there are so many distractions and other things to do. I don’t have an isle and I don’t have a good place of my own to make art. I work through this and I try my best to make time. I am worried that I won’t always have the time to make art, like I do now. It is hard to balance family, working out, sports, and, school work along with art making. I am ready to step it up and I am going to make the most of the time I have so I won’t regret it later.

    1. Imperfection is such a human thing. It is good to see that in oneself. The lessons learned from your past are what shape you now. Continue to reflect, but continue to move forward. The NEW artworks you are creating are STUNNING and strong. Keep the focus! Snag a bit of basement – away from EVERYTHING ELSE – stake claims to a space of your own… you have the support at home!

  29. I always try to take the feedback I get from critiques into my next piece. Others sometimes see what I do not see and they open my eyes to new ideas and mistakes that I did not see. I strive for perfection but do not achieve it. I am happy that I do not achieve perfection because my imperfections are sometimes what makes art great. Mistakes can also give me ideas on how to create other works. I also like the problem solving part of making art. Mistakes make me think more about the composition and different aspects of the piece. I need to focus more on being an artist. Sometimes I get stuck thinking that I need to get pieces done and forget about being an artist and do not think as creatively. I just need to slow down and plan more when I notice that I am just making art to get it done.

    1. GREAT COMMENTS BUT… sometimes we DO need to make art just to get it done. As an artist, the making of art is part of the process. Even if there is not a huge meaning behind the work, the making is just as important. Continue to MAKE ART to MAKE MORE ART and learn from the MAKING of the art. Great advances on the works you have going – the NEW stuff stopped an old AP kid in their tracks!

  30. Perfection. Guess what? It doesn’t exist. Lets face it we all want our art to be perfect, but it never will be. When making art I come to a self realization that it’ll never be perfect, but I continue to work and work until I am happy with what I have done. But I think the slightest imperfections is what makes a piece truly beautiful. Those imperfections reflect you, and what you are capable of doing.

  31. We all strive for perfection. I feel like we make art to express our feelings, and outlook on the specific subject of the piece. Everyone is afraid to make mistakes. It’s part of being imperfect human beings. We want things to look one way, but we make mistakes and then learn from them. The fear of making mistakes will always be there. But, if you to mistakes and make them our own or even use them to your advantage to get better in the end it is good. I make mistakes all the time. But, to get better at mark making, you have to be confident and not hold back. The mistakes in a piece I think show character of the person creating the artwork. It can make or break a piece, but I think that there are benefits of failing so you can learn and improve the next time through.

  32. On perfect art: I don’t believe in anything perfect, not in the sense that the word has taken on. To me, perfection can only be achieved through a complimentary series of imperfections. Because of my personal definition of perfection, I do believe that art can be perfect.

    I suppose that annihilation is a concern of mine, because sometimes I forget to make art. There’s a lot of aspects of life that I enjoy investing in and sometimes I get carried away with other things and neglect art making. When I do have enough momentum to finish art, it’s one of the most satisfying activities, ever.

  33. Art can never be perfect. Everyone can make the slightest mistake on a piece that they think is great. I usually end up making a mistake on my pieces by making a bad mark or accidentally making something the wrong color. We are all human, no one can be perfect when it comes to art. But you can get better by looking at your past work for a reference. And you only can get better by practicing.

  34. These two sections were based around one thing in particular: Quantity over quality! This statement in my opinion is completely accurate. For example, last year, two of the art classes I was enrolled in were Advanced Drawing and an Independent Study. The artwork I produced in these two classes were Extremely different from one another because I developed as an artist through those 9 months of school. At the beginning of Advanced Drawing, I was a tad bit more precise than I later became with my artwork. I was obsessed with the perfection of my artwork, until one of our last projects in AD, which was our vine charcoal figure drawings. In these drawings, we would have a set time in which we would draw the figure in the middle of the class. After that set amount of time, we were told to erase the entire drawing and then start again. As the days of class went by, I found that I really enjoyed this project a lot because I began drawing the figure over and over, quicker each time, I found my figure was getting to be more in proportion, and in fact, perfect. At that moment, I realized, that in order to reach perfection, I had first produce a quantity of work.
    Second semester had come along and I had started my Independent Study, but I was struggling with ideas. Once I finally started to get going and became motivated, I was producing large amounts of work. And each time, they became even more successful than the last time. As I kept going, I did not reach perfection. And even to this day in AP Studio Art, I have not reached perfection, but the thing is, I never will. I will always be striving to reach perfection. And to do that, quantity is the key.

  35. I agree that art cannot be perfect. I think the little imperfections in art is what make it great. Sometimes if I make a mistake or things don’t turn out the way I wanted them to on a piece, it can makes it better. Also like the chapter said, if we don’t make mistakes, we can never grow as an artist. This also ties into annihilation. Making many works can help you by fixing your mistakes in each one. When I start on a new work, I always look back on the last one and see what I can improve on. I think making a piece a week will really help me because I usually over analyze on my work, just like the potters working on the perfection, and it can be a really bad thing.

  36. Right, when I read the opening to the chapter I thought that was a perfect analogy to how fear in art goes. I see it in myself a lot, especially when I am working on a project for class. I over-think it and mess something up and stress about that for the rest of the piece. However when I am drawing all over my homework or just doing something for fun I have no fear because I have no expectations and im not worried about a grade. In either scenario mistakes are made but I guess the mistakes in the pieces that aren’t for a grade are easier to deal with because you are willing to take more chances and beyond that; to just work past it. I always end up unhappy with my graded works because of these kinds of things. Though I guess its an issue with my own state of mind. Though after I have contemplated this i believe the key to this is having fun. Regardless of grade or no.

    1. If one could not get grades and only get comments and critiques, the work may get better and better. Although, because three grades are broken into four potions, the execution versus composition and character… This allows for some quality reflection on your part. I hope that you are able to continue to work forward and look back on the work you complete and decide hoe to improve the next work as you move forward.

  37. I would say I relate the most with the perfection and expectation parts of this chapter. The perfection part I guess would have to do with always seeing perfection in others work, but seeing every single little stinkin mistake in mine. I’ve never found a piece to be truly “perfect” or even well done, because I always see the bad. I went through the process to make the art work, so I know my failures, all the viewer sees is the end result. Lkewise, when looking at others works, I always see so much more perfection in theres than I do in my own. I often wonder if this is true for them when they look at mine, or if its just how my brain works.. Whatever the case, perfection is something I struggle with. I can honestly say I’ve never reached the annihilation factor, and didn’t really relate with that part of the book at all. I use the world around me and my expieriences as my inspiration, so I guess, as long as the world keeps changing and I keep enjoying it- I won’t self anihliate myself. Right now, I see all of these “fears” present. But I don’t really think of them as a bad thing…without fear, why would you keep moving forward?

    1. I hope that your classmates / the world of bloggers respond to your thoughts. As someone who has made a lot of artwork, I look not at the flaws of each work, but rather at the next work in the chamber. I really enjoy your thinking Cat.

  38. I related the most to the whole idea of fear towards expectation. The author presents a very simple solution to leading one’s self into failure over false expectations: Look backward, not forward into the artmaking process–meaning, don’t center your artwork over dreams of success and fame; instead center artwork over, well, your artwork! When it comes to creating the next big project, reflect on past mistakes, and work to improve them! Find your comfort zone and then completely ignore it! Try something new! if it doesn’t work, who cares!! That’s the only way you grow as an artist. If the only things you work for are dreams of success, then you will force yourself to work from your comfort zone to avoid mistakes. If you only work from your comfort zone, you will never improve, you will never get to where you want to go, and you will never see success. You will be living a life of fear–a fear of failure!!!! Don’t live a life of failure, trash your expectations! When it comes to creating art, live in the moment, and be the absolute best you can be. You can only produce your best work when you cease creating art through fear of failure!

    That’s my interpretation of the chapter.

  39. I would agree with everyone with that the only way to make your art to perfection is by completely failing. This is the way as an artist that you can get to the point of making great art. Though this is my biggest fear as an artist is to fail but in the end their is always something that I learn form the thing I failed at. I am comfortable using clay because once you make a failure in a pot you can just start over and make another pot and hide what you just messed up. This is why I fear making 2D art cause the starts over is a whole new begging and sometime you will always see what it is that you failed at. What I fear most as an artist is the fact that I am not making enough artist. Annihilation is the hardest thing as an artist for me.

  40. I think mistakes are a general part of art. You can’t have a great piece without mistakes. Its just not possible. I also think that those “imperfections” is what makes art, well art. I think when an artwork conveys itself as too perfect, I just simply don’t want to look at it. The simple imperfections is what makes art beautiful and unique. But with those mistakes, you learn. Learn how to make your art full of more beauty and to make it more appealing to the eye.

  41. Chapter three takes a deeper look into insecurities that an artist may have within themselves and within their own art. I agreed to when the author said that “talent may get someone off the starting blocks faster, but without a sense of direction or a goal to strive for, it won’t count for much.” This makes sense because if a given person is born with a talent, that talent wont grow unless that person works to make it grow and eventually reach its full potential. The author also states that, “even at best talent remains a constant, and those who rely upon that gift alone, without developing further, peak quickly and soon fade to obscurity.” Again, one may have to work and work so that they can grow as an artist and become the best they can become. We work on art to improve it, and improve ourselves as artists. “Artists can only get better by sharpening their skills or by acquiring new ones; they get better by learning to work, and by learning from their work.” I also strongly agree to the fact that “perfection is a flawed concept”, and that it does take imperfection to make perfection. Within every artists works of art, their imperfections are their goals and guidelines to becoming a better artist and stretching their talent to reach its full potential.

  42. I think mistakes are an enormous part of making art. Without them, we can’t learn from making art to make the next piece better than the last. Mistakes show us what we need to improve on and how we can make our art even better. Mistakes do seem unfortunate and unwanted when I notice that I make them, but they always help me figure out what to do better on my next piece. The “annihilation” aspect of the chapter is definitely something I am afraid of as an artist. I think that I have enough ideas to stray away from annihilation, and I can avoid it by just simply using those ideas to do so. Although, I think there is a time in all of our lives when schedules are too complex and there isn’t enough time in the day to make art. I think that I look at the problems of perfectionism the most. I like my work to look as close as it can and as good as it can whenever I’m working. It seems that I always want my work to look exeactly like it does in my head and that I always lead myself to believe that I can, but it is purely impossible to do it anyways.

  43. I think the most important aspect of mistakes is that they can be learned from. While they can ruin a potentially good piece of art, it is important to keep in mind that, in the long run, it is much better to take a chance and then crash and burn, rather than never taking the chance at all. I can honestly say some of my favorite pieces of my own artwork I hated after initially completing, and then decided to take one or two elements and drastically change them, and I came to really enjoy them. As far as perfectionism goes, while I always have that perfect idea of an artwork in my head, I do accept that it will never look as good on paper. Honestly, the thought of getting burnt out on making art, or “annihilation” as the book calls it, is kind of scary to me. I like to think that I have tons of great ideas, but with the upcoming amount of projects I need to make, one of my fears is that I will run out of ideas that I truely enjoy, and thus out of art to make. But if that becomes a problem, I’ll deal with it when I get there, and maybe that will push me to look for new inspiration, which is never a bad thing.

  44. I think this chapter was exactly right, about the ‘fear families’ or whatever. The things I worry about most, art-related wise, is fear about myself and fear of other people judging my work. Perfectionism falls in there, too. You want your art to be perfect or really good, but fearing you’re not good enough will ruin that. It’s hard to not worry about what someone might think of your art. But if you let someone’s opinion of your art effect your ability to produce pieces, then you’re not really making art for yourself anymore. I think a big part of making art isn’t just so others can enjoy it- but so you can enjoy it and be proud of yourself as well.

    1. That is great Mel. While I am going to encourage you to make art for yourself, there is still the learning that you will be experiencing, but the learning will happen through the huge amount of work you’ll be producing.

      Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE DROID

  45. One major problem i’ve had in life, not even just in art, is trying to be perfect. Perfectionism can really put a lot of stress on you though. The main problem with my artwork and trying to reach perfection is that I am trying to create a piece that others will find successful. However, I have learned that the work only has to be successful to me,because if I am not confident in it, the work is meaningless.I need to love and have meaning behind my work before anyone else will like it, and that’s how everyone should look at the process of creating art. I agree with what Mr.Korb wrote, in that mistakes are what makes your art yours. Every mark is unique to your piece. I know that my art is not perfect, but I can recognize most successes and failures and I still enjoying making it. In regards to annihilation, I’m pretty sure i’ll start feeling that in a couple months. Since we’ve started our concentrations and will make over 24 pieces, I already know that i’ll reach a point where I just won’t know what to make anymore.But for now, I’m not sick of art at all!(:

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