“Art work is ordinary work, but it takes courage to embrace that work.”
That is a quote from the book “Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking,” by two artists: David Bayles and Ted Orland. They also point out, “Artists become veteran artists only by making peace not just with themselves, but with a huge range of issues.”
Actor and teacher Jeffrey Tambor describes how fear can impact presence and creativity in performances and auditions, and how to shift the experience of fear.
He notes, “We are all fear-based creatures. And fear can be the great killer. It kills your original impulses, your creativity, and it kills desire. Rather than deny fear, we have to find new ways of dealing with it. We actually have to dance with it, so to speak.”
From my Inner Actor site post Jeffrey Tambor on using fear.
Fear is a simple label for a variety of experiences from mild discomfort to terror, and its more intense forms like anxiety can be limiting or destructive.
But fear is an experience we all have at times, even artists and other people who are acknowledged and accomplished.
Psychologist Robert Maurer notes, “You publish your first novel, does that make fear go away? No. So your skill at being able to nourish yourself and give yourself permission to make mistakes and learn from them is your single greatest attribute as an artist and as a human being.”
He also declares, “Fear is good. We view fear as a disease. It’s not a disease.”
From my article Developing creativity: Fear is not a disease.
Mistakes and Messes
In his online class How to Create Fearlessly, psychologist and creativity coach Eric Maisel provides strategies to help people create more freely and effectively.
One of ‘The Top 10 Big Ideas’ of the class:
“All day long we’re supposed to get things right: pay our bills, pick up our kids, and so on. It is very hard to move from this everyday mindset to a creative mindset where huge mistakes and messes are permitted and even welcomed.
“You may understand in your mind that the creative process comes with mistakes and messes but you must accept this truth in your body!”
In this excerpt video clip, Maisel talks about that idea, and about shifting our mindset.
[Ignore “Suggested Clips”; click “See More” to view original video.]
He describes a strategy which he details in his book “Ten Zen Seconds: Twelve Incantations for Purpose, Power and Calm.”
You can also read more about the calming technique in my interview with him: Ten Zen Seconds for Purpose, Power and Calm.