While this introduction is a very short entry into the book, it says an awful lot about what is going to be coming up in, not only the book Art and Fear, but also what you, as an AP studio art student (or artist in general), may have already experienced during the course of making art and will, no doubt, face the rest of your life as an artist.
“Chapter 1 – The Nature of the Problem” Seraphina Zweifel, Computer Illustration, 2017. “I decided to make my piece about Chapter 1: The Nature of the Problem, because I related to it the most. The chapter talked about artists can be repetitive, forget why they make art, and see the deeper meaning others fail to see in art. I really wanted to focus on these points in my piece. On the right side of the image, I drew a portrait of my brother in one of the styles I like to create graphic art in. This shows my repetitiveness in the sense that I like to stick to certain styles, which is not necessarily bad unless you don’t explore your options. On the left side, I created an outline/sketch of my brother to show the process of creating art as well as losing the will to continue. Many artists have unfinished pieces simply because they give up on the piece, like the book discusses. In addition, I drew a cloud like shape with a person drawing inside. Again, I show the process of drawing through the sketchy figure. It is hard to tell, but the little person wrote on his paper “art” in three different colors. I wanted to show how some people do not “see” a piece of artwork. They don’t see the meaning, the work, or struggles. They see simply what is in front of them. That is why I hid the word “art” in my piece. In addition, my brother has the colors in his left eye symbolizing him seeing the meaning and struggle. This piece means a lot to me, because it sends a message within a message that an artist will “see” and relate to.” – Seraphina Zweifel
“Chapter 2 – Art and Fear” India Lindemann, Pen on Paper, 2017. “In my piece, I aimed to portray the two main messages that I took away from the chapter: that art should be made frequently, and that the subject matter of that art is less important than the fact that the art itself is being made. Quality oftentimes occurs as a result of quantity. To relay this message, I repeated the word “anything” in an overlapping fashion, where “anything” represents the subject matter and the overlap represents the quantity.” – India Lindemann
“Chapter 3 – Fears About Yourself” Maggie Miatech, Watercolor and Colored Pencil on Paper, 2017. My piece is based on the chapter “Fears About Yourself.” The radial pattern is based on a spider web, since for many people, spiders are terrifying. The stronger structural lines being red and coming from one point is meant show how the fear comes from within. One point the chapter discussed was that many artists feel like they need something special to make art, but that something is different for everyone. The differing colors in all the sections of smaller strands show how artist’s work has its own feel. – Maggie Miatech
“Chapter 3 – Fears About Yourself” Molly Manthei, Watercolor on Paper, 2017. ” In this chapter, one quote that stuck with me was, “the depth of your need to make things establishes the level of risk in not making them” (33). Since I had trouble deciding what to make to represent this chapter, I chose to face the fear of not making art and work though my problem of not knowing what to make. I did this by choosing to make a more relaxed project by just focusing on learning process rather than the having the outcome speak a message for the chapter. I did this by working through my fear of not making art and just painting a portrait of my sister in a art style that makes me happy.” – Molly Manthi
“Chapter 5 – Finding Yourself” Brayden Kolstad, Pencil on Paper, 2017. “My chapter was “Finding My Work” and I instantly knew what to do. When I started to grow and develop my own style of art was when I started to do Realistic Graphite Portraits. I enjoyed it so much that I did several of them and didn’t want to stop, there was a point when I wanted to get into hyper-realism but realized that I needed to grow more before I could achieve that goal. The last time I did a graphite portrait was back in 2015 for my grandparents. It was a massive piece measuring at 18″ x 24″. When I started making portraits they were small and fit into a 8.5″ x 11″ piece of paper which is why I decided to go back to where I started and see how much I have grown to develop my own work.” Brayden Kolstad
Chapter 4 – “Fears About Others” Jennifer Le, Watercolor on Paper, 2017. “The main idea behind my work is the water line. Space above the water line represents all of my artwork that I had done in the past. My artwork is always based on the traditional (realism) style and approach to art. I always create with the materials that I am confident with (such as watercolor or colored pencil). Below the waterline represents the new world of art that I am scared to face. I have a fear that if my artworks pass the line and go to the new world of art, they will fail and unsuccessful.” – Jennifer Le.
“Chapter 6 – The Outside World” Miah Nielsen, Acrylic on Paper, 2017. “The well-defined world we inherit doesn’t quite fit each one of us, individually” (69). “The piece I created centered around defying the social construct of assimilation. Through lots of initial pieces in experimentation with color, decalcomania, and texture, I reached a final piece incorporating all of my ideas. In the focus on my pressed arm and hand, the colors are strictly in the oranges and reds, whereas the background recedes with different variations of blue. Likewise, the hand prints in the background belong to a plethora of different people to represent society. Art & Fear by Ted Orland and David Bayles includes ideas in chapter 6 that an artist faces fear and depression when comparing their art to their competition, but yet it creates a sense of raw energy. My interpretation of “raw energy” would be through the bright reds and oranges. Likewise, the competition can be seen as others work, or society’s idea of what art should be. Altogether, I feel as if my piece accurately portrays both my interpretation of the chapter and social commentary of societal constructs.” Miah Nielsen
“Chapter 7 – The Academic World” Dakota Galkowski, Watercolor and Marker on Paper, 2017. “Initially, nothing really stood out to me from the chapter. But, with some inspiration from my brother, I decided to made my artwork based on the statement in the chapter that university art programs are often too impersonal to the art student. I then decided to draw something personal to me and practice skills that I wanted to learn. I drew a dragon because I think that dragons are cool, and then practiced my coloring skills. I used color scheme, and tried to incorporate gradients, which I think could have turned out better. I added stars to fill up some of the empty space.” – Dakota Galkowski
“Chapter 8 – Conceptual Worlds” Emily Garcia, Pencil on Paper, 2017. “My piece was meant to get into the idea of doubt. My chapter talk about how when you doubt yourself all you’re doing is stalling. You could be moving forward and learning, but instead you are sitting there and thinking about what you can’t do. The artwork I created was supposed to show somebody ignoring the doubters the naysayers. They’re looking up because they aren’t paying attention to anything around them. They’re dreaming and thinking of what they can do.” – Emily Garcia
“Chapter 8 – Conceptual Worlds” Morgan Kass, Colored Pencil and Watercolor on Paper, 2017.
“Chapter 9 – The Human Voice” Matt Gauthier, Charcoal on Paper, 2017. “The Human Voice CH. 9 “One of the quotes that really stood out to me in this chapter was “you have to see that the universe is not formless and dark throughout, but awaits simply the revealing light of your own mind”. I turned my interpretation of this quote into a charcoal drawing of the well known entrepreneur, Steve Jobs. The geometric mark making that surrounds his left side represents that space where I am now as an artist and that negative space is where I strive to be, and where he has gotten (the revealing light). Steve Jobs found that revealing light and because of that, a lot of people have cell phones, mp3 players, and laptops. This quote is really inspirational to me, being someone who has not developed their own style yet as much as I would’ve hoped to. That revealing light is where everyone is trying to get to. Like being lost in a cave and looking for the little beam of light, which would lead one to their escape.” – Matt Gauthier
“Chapter 9 – The Human Voice” Cambree Ney, Charcoal and Oil Pastel on Paper, 2017. “The idea behind my self-portrait was to express the multiple ideas expressed throughout my chapter titled, “The Human Voice”. Some words that stuck with me were about finding your own voice and how, as an artist, you have to make art that you care about. If the topic or subject is irrelevant to what matters to you as a person, then your art will not be cared about. Through this piece, I wanted to experiment with a self-portrait since I have never really done that before and to draw attention to the mouth since the chapter was all about finding our voices as artists.” – Cambree Ney
You have been challenged this year and maybe realized that “good art gets made all the time” and is not something that only gets made when you feel the inspiration by a muse or the lightning bolt shot down to you by some greater “ART” power than yourself. You have all experienced difficulties like “What type of materials should I use?”, “What will make this a better composition?”, “Why can’t I make art that looks like so-and-so’s?”, and “What in the world am I suppose to do for a concentration?” These types of questions (and a MILLION other questions) are ones that all people face and are forced to deal with. It is also important to understand that these are questions that face all people, not just artists.
Lastly, this book, and the comments and questions you will all raise, might just help you to discover or rediscover what it is to find “your own voice” in your art. As an artist, I make art that is specifically mine. “Oh look, that’s a Frank Korb original! I wish I could be as clever and talented, not to mention handsome and witty as he is.” While it is flattering to have students make artwork that is similar to mine, it is also boring for that student to make art that is similar to mine.
So… here we go… onward to Art and Fear – Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking.
Audio Version of the Chapters is Here.