My current read – and highly recommended for all creatives – is a book entitled: Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking.
The book explores how art gets made, and why it doesn’t get made. It’s a small book, but not a quick read. I find myself pausing, nodding my head, agreeing and acknowledging similar thoughts and feelings.
It’s said that making art can feel dangerous and revealing, and it is! All sorts of fears and self-doubts arise, and they can be crippling enough to prevent a person from ever getting started. In my work as an expressive arts facilitator, I constantly stress that we are ALL creative and artists – yet the title itself is fraught with definitions and expectations that are difficult to shake off.
Yes, there are those who have natural talent; gifted, real prodigies who are able to create magnificently beautiful things in whatever they touch or do. However, most of us have to work at it, practice and nurture our art through bursts of fertile periods and dry spells.
On the question of talent, the author states that:
“Artists get better by sharpening their skills or by acquiring new ones; they get better by learning to work, and by learning from their work… when you ask, “Then why doesn’t it come easily for me?”, the answer is probably, “Because making art is hard!” What you end up caring about is what you do, not whether the doing came hard or easy. Talent is a snare and a delusion. In the end, practical questions about talent come down to these: Who cares? Who would know? and What difference would it make? And the practical answers are: Nobody, Nobody, and None.”
There was a time I called myself a Creative Art-ISH – a term borrowed from a children’s book. Without any formal art training, my skills are self-taught and have developed over the years. Training or talent aside, daily art making, good habits and practice are essential.
Getting started, keeping going, getting started again
…in art and in life,
it seems to me,
this is the essential rhythm.