Art and Fear: Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking


David Bayles and Ted Orland

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This is a book about motivation. The authors point out that although art is well studied at universities virtually nobody with an art degree becomes a professional artist. The reasons for this are the same that most photographers give up pursuing it seriously.

  1. Talent is essential,
  2. Why bother shooting something when someone else has done it better.
  3. Nobody really cares about your work or why do it.
  4. You are unlikely to be financially successful.
  5. Your work doesn’t receive good reviews or moderators don’t pick your image so it must not be good.
  6. You’ve reached your goal of being shown in a gallery so why continue.

These are just a smattering of doubts that creep into every photographers life and it’s important to know that you’re not the only one. And it’s important to work your way out of this debilitating state of mind.

The book is concise (134 pages), direct, and well written. It makes it’s points and there is no repetition. It’s been my observation that experienced photographers know of this book and value it. It’s the beginners, who could benefit the most from it, that are less aware of it.

I recommend this small book. It has a purpose and I am not aware of any other that addresses this subject.


Wonderful recommendation, Igor. Thank you for posting this.

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