“Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking” by David Bayles and Ted Orland

This isn’t the book I went to Barnes & Noble to buy.

I visited the store after the rush of Thanksgiving break to use a couple coupons Barnes & Noble tempted me with so I could buy Kassia St. Clair’s The Secret Lives of Color. I’d always wanted a book specifically about color and because the cover of St. Clair’s book appealed to me, I decided to get it. But while searching for that book, I found Art & Fear.

Art & Fear is a book I’ve often seen on lists recommending books to writers and artists. I recall making a mental note to read it back in college, but promptly forgot about it as soon as the note was made. However, that memory came back to me when I saw the book sitting on the shelf. I was pulled toward it. I had no intention of purchasing any additional book to St. Clair’s, yet I found myself leaving the store with Art & Fear in my bag.

I immediately began to read it.

That doesn’t happen often. Usually a book would languish on my shelves for a couple months before I get to them, but it was hard to ignore Art & Fear. I felt a need to read it, and as I read, I realized it was a book I should have read long ago. Art & Fear is a necessary read for all artists and creators no matter what their field or medium or skill or expertise. All levels of artists and creators can benefit from reading this book.

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