Book Review: Art & Fear
"Whoa there, bud," I can hear ya'll say. "I come here to look at pretty pictures of sweet, fatty fillings in butter crusts. There's no 'art' here, and I definitely don't want to read about fear."
But this, and every other food blog, is a creative project. Writing, photography, and the pies themselves. There are days I'm driving down the interstate, to or from work, and I freak out "What the hell am I doing? The photography sucks. My writing sucks. Who the hell do I think I am to warrant doing this project?"
And that's what David Bayles and Ted Orland cover. That feeling of being an imposter. The hyper-critical eye every person turns on their creations. The paralyzing fear of showing your work to others. Thank god it's entertaining and funny. They defuse the fear and paralysis. They make a simple argument for Doing Your Work. "Do your work because no one else will."
After reading Art & Fear, I faced up to the fear of rejection holding me back. I didn't share my work with anyone because I felt people wouldn't like it. But by never sharing, I was dooming my work to be discovered by children or grand-children after my death. I started the tongue-firmly-in-cheek Don't be Another Vivian Maier Project. I culled ten years of photos, picked the ones I liked, and everyday, till they were posted, I posted two to instagram. The first week was nerve wracking, but two each day couldn't hurt. Did I become instagram famous? Nope. I gained all of about 30 followers. What I learned from the exercise was that my work has an audience, albeit small, and I can share and, even if there's no love, it's not the end of the world.
So I'm doing my work. Baking my pies, taking my shots, writing my words. At the end of the year, my only serious goal is to better at baking pies. The photo and word skills can tag along.