Ages ago I posted about the Pottery Parable, which is something that I should probably have tattooed on my forearm where I can constantly see it. The type would have to be really tiny though. Anyway, I was mentioning it again recently and figured I should check out where it actually came from. Turns out it is from a book called Art & Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland. Bought the book and read half of it last night and I’m pretty sure that everyone inclined to make art of any kind ought to read this. I never underline anything, in any book, and I wound up having to grab a pencil and mark passages of this one. A few:
“The sane human being is satisfied that the best he/she can do at any given moment is the best he/she can do at any given moment. That belief, if widely embraced, would make this book unnecessary, false, or both. Such sanity, is, unfortunately, rare. Making art provides uncomfortably accurate feedback about the gap that inevitably exists between what you intended to do and what you did.” (emphasis mine.)
“The function of the overwhelming majority of your artwork is simply to teach you how to make the small fraction of your artwork that soars.”
“A finished piece is, in effect, a test of correspondence between imagination and execution. And perhaps surprisingly, the more common obstacle to achieving that is not undisciplined execution, but undisciplined imagination.” (emphasis mine)
“Most artists don’t daydream about making great art – they daydream about having made great art.”
It costs $9 at Amazon. Buy it! Or get it from your library! Do it!