Saturday, March 24, 2007

Art & Fear

So I have laid aside the book I have been reading, Animating Culture. It is a bit too academic, but I will finish it eventually. I think it was actually written as a textbook so the academic part is understandable. That's not why I put it down for now though. I got as a gift this week a book I have been wanting for about a year. It is called "Art & Fear". I read an interview with Glen Keane, a disney animator whom I admire greatly in the field of art. Glen had suggested that every artist should read this book, and I am already starting to understand why.

Here are a couple of excerpts:

"Operating Manual For Not Quitting...

A. Make friends with others who make art, and share your in-progress work with each other frequently.

B. Learn to think of [A], rather than the Museum of Modern Art, as the destination of your work. (Look at it this way: If all goes well, MOMA will eventually come to you.)"

"Art is a high calling - fears are coincidental. Coincidental, sneaky and disruptive, we might add, disguising themselves variously as laziness, resistance to deadlines, irritation with materials or surroundings, distraction over the achievement of others - indeed as anything that keeps you from giving your work your best shot. What separates artists from ex-artists is that those who challenge their fears, continue; those who don't quit."

And then this great excerpt about vision...

"After a few months' practice, David (Bayles) lamented to his teacher, "But I can hear the music so much better in my head than I can get out of my fingers." To which the Master replied, "What makes you think that ever changes?" That's why they're called Masters....Lesson for the day: vision is always ahead of execution - and it should be."

It is all great stuff, which I think applies to other realms of expertise, such as missions, home-making, leadership, etc.....

I look forward to finishing it, but don't want to for fear of it being the end of the material. I guess if it is that good, I can just read it once more.
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