Art and Fear

Oct 24, 2021 at 05:30 am by Barbara Din

Art and Fear

If you read some of my articles before, it’s no secret that I enjoy trying to understand the human psyche through the artist’s lens. This time, I’m taking a look at fear.

Fear is a strong, very primal feeling, and a crucial one. Without it, no being would be able to survive the many dangers that living in this planet entails. But for us humans it can take new forms, as the complexities of our brains and lives give it more spaces to reside in.

I’m not focusing on the basic and obvious fear of dying or getting physically hurt, but instead on its more complex shapes. Because illustrating these may be more challenging.

The Artist’s Fear

The most common fear for artists is not being good enough, I think. If unattended, it can become a big monster and lead to a state of paralysis. Have you ever tried to depict that fear? How would you go about it? If you’re in one of those states, staring at a white canvas, you can use that feeling to inspire you. Sounds like a fractal: someone staring at a white canvas trying to paint someone staring at a white canvas. But no, I don’t think being literal is the answer (although who am I to say?)

Fear of Losing Someone

We all go through this one. Depending on how insecure we are, we have it either once in a while, or very often. This is one that can lead you to despair and sometimes even to push farther away the one you’re desperately trying not to lose. This one, I imagine, may be illustrated more often than not in a representational way. But what if you try taking an abstract approach? How would you abstract that feeling?

Fear of the Unknown

Without a doubt, this is one that lurks and acts without us knowing (mostly). Be it cause we’re not sure what the future holds for us, or because we fear things we don’t understand (or know), this is one that -like it or not- is present in all of us. And in terms of art, it’s very interesting. How do you represent something you don’t know? Or better yet, the fear of it?

I think these are some thought-provoking starters. There are endless fears you can explore, I’m sure you’ll come up with your own and use them as inspiration to make some art.

If you enjoy articles like this one, here are some more:

Art and Insomnia

Night Owls and Art

How Euphoria inspires art

Obsession: Is It Good for Art?

Thanatos And Eros as Forces of Creative Energy

When It's Impossible to Concentrate

Is it OK to take a break from art?

How to get IN your comfort zone

Not for You or Not Enough?



Barbara Din is a visual artist, graphic designer, painter, interior designer, crafter, musician and writer living in Argentina.

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