- David Bayles & Ted Orland, Art & Fear
|Take the plunge!|
When people ask me what I do I say I am an artist or a painter. And that is indeed what I do. But sometimes I'm not sure my work is of the caliber that people imagine should go along with the title. I have this nightmarish thought that all these people that Paul and I know will come to the show and be let down by my work. They'll say "Oh very nice" to my face in that same tone of voice an adult uses with a small child, and then they'll whisper "She said she was an artist" to each other, shaking their heads sadly at my delusion as they walk away from my piece.
On my strong days, I can accept that not everyone will like what I do. I can accept that I should make art first and foremost because I am driven to do it. And I also can see how very far I've come with my work over the decades, and I am proud of that. I just have yet to master putting my work on public display and not caring what people think.
I certainly know that these feelings and conflicts are not unique to me. Anyone whose work is seen or heard by the public deals with this in one form or another. I suppose that I shouldn't let it bother me that I have doubts. (Perhaps, in some strange way, these doubts should be proof to me that I am an artist!) I share them here in the hopes that someone else reading this will feel reassured that they are not alone in this process either.
And come Friday, I will stand next to my work and try to greet all the visitors with confidence. Who knows, I may be too busy worrying about my crooked teeth or whether my outfit makes me look fat to care about their reactions to my painting (but that could be a whole separate post...).
Do you have any favorite quotes dealing with art and fear? Do you have any stories about art and fear from your life? Please share them with us in the comments. I'd love to hear about them!