Episode 6 : Fear in Art


Stream of Coffeeness, Musician, Writer

Musician  00:06

Hey Everybody. Welcome to stream of Coffeeness. I’m the Musician. Today, we might talk about fear as it relates to art, but probably a lot of other things I think it will touch on fear of…  Who knows what? Public speaking is one of the biggest fears possible.

Writer  00:10

I’m the Writer. Yeah.

Musician  00:32

Maybe even people fear public speaking more than death, which is wild to think. But it’s statistically happens when you look at the facts and they’ll say, “What’s your biggest fear?” And they say public speaking, even before so many other things.

Writer  00:47

Yeah, fear is a big one in life too. What do you do? Do you conquer it? Or do you make friends with it? What do you do with it?

Musician  00:57

That all sounds good. The fear is either a big driving force for some people in their art or in their life. But some people say the opposite of fear is love. So if your art was driven by fear, or driven by love, but as this amazing art? If you did it every day, like, with love, everyday art. but if you did it with fear, afraid that your inspiration would dry up or afraid that your art wasn’t progressing well enough, and you had to keep going. And you do it out of like, sort of chasing something with fear. In the end, if the art is beautiful, does it matter?

Writer  01:37

How you got there?

Musician  01:38

How you got there.

Writer  01:39


Musician  01:40

With love or with fear? Or a great mix of both?

Writer  01:44

Yeah? Or is it a discovery of your relationship with both of those qualities inside yourself? Or, you know, the all the different things that connect with both of those, all the different qualities of ourselves and our emotions and our thoughts, and our experiences and our lives, and how it can become an exploration and actually even really healing to do art. And either move more into love, or move through fears. Like I used to do a lot of abstract painting a long time ago. And I actually don’t really do that much anymore. But I loved all the places it took me as I would just move the paintbrush on the canvas, I just felt myself in my own mind moving, moving to and just whatever would come up. I just found it this beautiful exploration even though a lot of times it was really hard to actually. I felt like there was purging things as I was creating.

Musician  02:54

So like you said about what do you do with fear? Do you love it or whatever? Maybe there’s just a movement. Movement. Like how would people say scared stiff? Like, you’re so scared, you couldn’t move? But then maybe the movement is the love.

Writer  03:12

Mm. Yeah, a way to, a way to love.

Musician  03:20

And like you said about abstract. If it’s abstract and you’re not trying to make it look like anything, you’re just moving the paint. And in that freedom, there can be so much movement, that it actually…

Writer  03:32

It’s almost like it’s this exertion or determination, or persistence of something deeper inside yourself. Kind of like…

Musician  03:42

A purging.

Writer  03:43

Yeah, like, a strength of our will, as we’re making art to just move forward and rebel and be like, fuck this, I’m not staying here. I don’t want to be stagnant. I need to create a move forward. And a lot of you know, that really, really is powerful. And it’s just one way of doing it. And I, I know there’s so many ways in life to do that same thing.

Musician  04:12

Who cares if it’s : I love doing art. So I do it every day or I’m afraid if I ever stop, I’ll never start again?

Writer  04:21

Yeah, it’s hard to start again, once you take a break sometimes.

Musician  04:26

But who would care? As long as you’re moving forward.

Writer  04:31

Yeah, even one tiny, tiny step forward. I mean, that it can be really heroic. Someone else might look at it and be like, okay, whatever. Like it’s so small. But then inside yourself you’re like, no, I did something heroic.

Musician  04:50

True. True. There again, like the public speaking is like, you know, maybe you just had to get up in front of everyone and just say one word. And you were so afraid that it was even hard to just stammer out that one word.

Writer  05:05

Even one word.

Musician  05:07

Versus people that just get up and it’s like, everything just spills out there. So they’re supposed to say the one word. And next thing, you know, they’re like, reciting Dickens telling you their whole life story, everything spills out with love.

Writer  05:24

With love.

Musician  05:25

No fear.

Writer  05:27

With fear. As we’re creating art, there’s more of a constriction versus something that, you know, where you can be a channel, to of creation, where you let go inside yourself and really allow whatever is there in the well of your inspiration to really grab it, you know, kind of like this eccentric way of becoming inspired how sometimes it’s really random, like, you won’t even know where a thought or an idea comes from. But in order to be receptive in that space, there needs to be a certain amount of letting go. I find personally, but I don’t know how it is for other people.

Musician  06:14

Yeah, fearlessness, I think I think then that touches is one of the most important qualities of fear. Fear does have the danger of some limits and limitations, whereas Love has no limit. It’s absolutely free, and fearless. And so…

Writer  06:33

That’s delicious.

Musician  06:34

That’s maybe where the fear could be a great thing to move forward. But at the point where you’re moving forward with enough movement, and without fear, then you would you would be in the realm of pure love and limitless inspiration and just in touching a part of yourself.

Writer  06:55

The infinity feeling.

Musician  06:57

Yeah, like fractalized.

Writer  06:59


Musician  07:00

Or every, every movement forward every step, all you can see is this the infinite next steps you could take like, where people have like 20 projects in their desk and can’t decide which one to work on, because they’re all so amazing. I just have to do that painting and this piece of music and make these brownies. And…

Writer  07:22

That gives me, when you, as soon as you said fractalized. You know you can see this sort of Avenue and like in front of you like that goes forever fractalized. And in that space, isn’t there a sort of belief, a lack of fear. And moving more towards love gives this really strong belief.

Musician  07:46

Well I think that gets into, there’s a great book called Art and Fear. In it, they talk about fear of yourself, like internal fears versus fear of others, and how the world is perceiving your art. And so like your own insecurities, and your own fears, versus the actual fear of will people respond well to my art? Therein, there’s an ego that has a belief that everyone loves your art, especially if you’re, you know, well received by the public and everybody’s all into it. And, you know, read jumps on your game, you could have this belief, but that doesn’t even come from within yourself that comes from this outside.

Writer  08:30

You mean like outside successes? How it..?

Musician  08:34

Even someone that just doesn’t believe in themselves, they don’t, they don’t have that. Inside, they’re still stricken by fear. And inside, they might not be at peace with the process and everything might be sort of them using this external support. And external…

Writer  08:54

To lift them up?

Musician  08:55

Yeah, to some people might move past fear outside of themselves. Comedians are self deprecating, and they they usually are really they don’t think they’re funny, or they don’t think that their stuff is that great, but you know, so they’re always like down on themselves. There’s a lot of self deprecating comedians are really hard on themselves. But the audience will receive it so well, that they’ll keep moving forward and keep moving on. And that’s what it’s all about. That’s one of those strange art forms. That requires interaction like you need an audience. You can’t just sit in a room and tell jokes and hey, I’m a comedian, and it’s art. Like Myq Kaplan, had said in his days, like, you know, if a tree falls in the forest and doesn’t make a sound really happen if a comedian tells a joke in a room and no one laughs Is that still is that still art? He says no, it’s not comedy. It’s tragedy.

Writer  09:50


Musician  09:53

But you know if nobody laughs at your joke, is it still a joke? Is it still art or does it need to be received by the public, by the masses. And that’s where we’re talking about the internal versus the external with the fears to validate yourself as an artist and to validate your art. Do you need that love and lack of fear and inspiration within yourself?

Writer  10:15

Or that observation of it in order to make it valid and true?

Musician  10:20

Yeah. Like, if you had no audience, would you still write books? Would you still paint? Would you still keep going? Some artists? Yes, but some No. Like, they’d give up them saying no one cares, and they wouldn’t do it.

Writer  10:33

That’s so true.

Musician  10:35

Comedians definitely would stop. Enough times in front of a crowd and no one laughs I think they would stop.

Writer  10:42

And probably there’s different driving forces for the person that says, No, I won’t create, because no one’s gonna care, versus someone that is going to create anyway, you know, like..

Musician  10:59

Too many. Prolific.

Writer  11:01

Yeah, yeah. You just do it, because that’s who you are. And that’s what you want for yourself and your life. And it’s just part of your expression of being in this world and being alive. And living.

Musician  11:15

And built into that is, is a fearlessness.

Writer  11:20

Yes. It’s all connected in all of that. Not just when you’re doing the art, but in any moment, and throughout the day. It’s almost like art, we get to practice that fearlessness becomes a practice.

Musician  11:38

And touching a place within yourself that is that is like we said limitless and and inspired and..

Writer  11:46

Then we can bring it. Bring it right now when we cheers, you know.

Stream of Coffeeness  11:53


Writer  12:04

Fearless sip!

Musician  12:07

The art of coffee. I move forward like no one. Like no one knows. Just careless. Infinite coffee in my mouth.

Writer  12:20

Sounds really good.

Musician  12:23

Reckless, careless coffee pouring down my throat. There’s the title Stream of Coffeeness. So in this book, Art and Fear,  who are the authors?

Writer  12:38

The authors are David Bales and Ted Orland.

Musician  12:42

Pick it up. It’s awesome. They talk about a rower out on a boat and rowing. And there’s an obstacle a rock in the way even though it’s not that big. But it’s in the way and there’s two clear paths, one on the left and one on the right they zig and zag and they go back and forth trying to avoid this rock and crashed right into it. And that would be fear. Moving forward with so much fear. All you see is the rock and that’s what you end up crashing into is your fear versus seeing the clear path taking it and moving forward. And even people say when you’re skiing. If all you’re thinking is oh my god I don’t want to hit a tree. Don’t hit a tree. Don’t hit a tree don’t hit a tree, you hit a tree. And the successful ski enthusiast would see just clear paths keeps there’s there’s clean snows. Go there. Go to the clean snow. Go to the clean stone, you know, just clear path clear path. Keep going. Keep going. Fearless. Don’t you feel like you sometimes manifest like you’re like, don’t drop. Oh my god don’t drop. Oh, and then it drops? Yeah, almost like you.

Writer  12:42


Musician  12:44

Talking about it. And you told you invited life to drop the cake.

Writer  14:01

It reminds me of like a cat when a cat jumps to something really high. And I swear I can see their wheels turning or something in them where they’re envisioning. They’re already up there. Their paws have landed. They are there and all they do right the moment before they jump. It’s just *pow* let go into that stream of movement. And then they’re there.

Musician  14:29

That’s true. I love that feeling when I visualize something and then I’m able to actualize it. Like where I really wanted something to turn out a certain way. A piece of art or say I’m cooking or making music or whatever it is I visualized in my mind okay, I want it to be like this. And then as I as I push through when it comes out just the way I envisioned it. I get excited. I feel like that cat must feel. Like I’m there, I’m gonna land. I’m gonna land with all fours. Perfect. Landing, like nailed the landing.

Writer  15:05

And you know it in that moment.

Musician  15:07

Nailed it.

Writer  15:07

Yeah, you know, it’s gonna happen.

Musician  15:11

It’s all happening.

Writer  15:18

I love when it happens.

Musician  15:20

So if the person is completely fearless, they don’t need a crowd, they don’t need inspiration, they need nothing, but whatever their artists tools are and go and move forward. But other people dealing with external fears. Maybe that’s then what some of like the collaborative projects are, or you know, like colab, like, like an art community, trying to get into communities art, something like Burning Man trying to create these safe spaces to be free and express yourself. To remove the fear of of expression, artistic expression.

Writer  16:00

Radical expression.

Musician  16:02

And trying to get out there like and really,

Writer  16:05

And be really accepting of all kinds of expressions. That’s actually a long time ago, when I connected with that community, the Burning Man community. That is my turns out, it’s all my tribe. It’s like, there’s just such a welcoming a really comfortable, welcoming, inviting. Be, however you are in any moment. What is the wabi sabi, the art of imperfection, just be your imperfect self, bring whatever, on any day. You know, a lot of times we’re just flowing through life, it’s up and down. So on one day, you feel one way, another day another way, and I just love that acceptance when people are really accepting.

Musician  16:55

Yeah, I feel the same way. And so I guess the goal would be to create that within yourself. To have such a free when you say like, nobody cares what you think, where you don’t judge yourself and you you’re not stopping yourself from Oh, I wonder if I said this, what people would think? Oh, I wonder if I painted something, if people would get down with it. If it was?

Writer  17:22

To burn that critical part. And just like, be spontaneous, and just do it. If it comes to your mind, just do it.

Musician  17:32

Maybe even almost be excited for criticism. people not liking it, not to say that you’re doing it to get a reaction, but almost being like, okay, the art I’m making is provoking. It’s thought provoking. It’s it’s tantalizing. It’s something that..

Writer  17:49

Maybe even not understood by another person. But that’s all right.

Musician  17:53

Creates controversy.

Writer  17:54

Yeah. Or conversations, maybe that need to happen or not need but you know, just are desiring to happen.

Musician  18:02

And could expand other artists too could, there could be so many other people that are afraid to venture into that realm of the art that once you break the ground, and you say, Okay, I’m the person that you know, paints this whatever controversial or misunderstood, or whatever it was, you wonder what would people think if I said that or what people think if I did that, if you just did it anyway, fearlessly. And then other people felt like it was okay. And we know anyway, I know that Lenny Bruce, radically changed the world of comedy. And just questioned if there was even as a such thing as a dirty word while he was getting arrested for using obscenities in his comedy. Nowadays, people just cuss whenever they want and their comedy and they don’t go to jail. He went to jail. And he actually suffered for his art and he didn’t care what people thought he was fearless to say, this is real life. This is these are words this is comedy. This is happening. And people sort of take it for granted. But he broke the ground and people don’t know that, you know, took somebody unafraid to start the movement and then now they get to live off that freedom to almost joke about anything.

Writer  19:19

Cheers to him.

Musician  19:21

Cheers to Lenny Bruce. Even in his anger with the government and the police and everything has the quote, “If you take away the word fuck that. You can’t say fuck the government.” So he’s like, they’re protecting themselves and don’t let them hide behind laws and rules and..

Writer  19:49


Musician  19:49

For whatever criticism of their art. The art of arresting people.

Writer  19:53

Yeah, we need to have the freedom for our own opinion. And to say it. Don’t just think it and feel it. Say it.

Musician  20:03

When comedians are tactful, when people are tactful, not just doing things just to do them or just to get a rise out of people. If you are going to use obscenities or poor taste and humor at least make it funny. Bill Cosby has an an old special where he goes for over an hour and it’s so clean. It’s squeaky clean. It’s like kid friendly, the whole thing like wow, he didn’t cuss once. He tells one joke where he actually uses a cuss word, but it’s really funny. So it’s like maybe almost even funnier, that he hadn’t even cussed the entire time. So maybe there’s some lessons in restraint, you know?

Writer  20:43


Musician  20:44

Or maybe fear even. Go ahead,

Writer  20:47

We might have to, like, delete that part of the podcast, because cuz he’s gross. He’s so gross. And I don’t want to like, market, anything he does.

Musician  21:04

Okay? When you see Pill Cosby don’t take the blue pill. Make sure you take the right pill.

Writer  21:13


Musician  21:14

If you ever encounter.

Writer  21:15

And don’t take anything Bill Cosby gives you.

Musician  21:18

He was renamed Pill Cosby. He’ll get you in the wrong matrix.

Writer  21:25

I speaking of fear, he brings up a little fear in me.

Musician  21:32

But let’s not censor.

Writer  21:34

Yeah, our expression is our expression. And…

Musician  21:38

I think there’s another good point of like that safe environment. Once there’s some censorship, you start stumbling over. If there’s a word you can’t say or a topic, you can’t. Next thing you know, you’re walking on eggshells, and you almost can’t express yourself clearly. Because you have these, those sorts of rocks that pop up in your mind, don’t hit that don’t hit that, where’s the clear space to go? And when there’s less clear, clear traffic in your brain, you just shut down and just stop in the middle of a thought, like, how can I even say this?

Writer  22:08

Actually, that’s a really great point. And how that can come up in art, because then it creates like, yeah, that quality of our mind. That is like what you’re saying, Should I do this? Should I do that? Or, you know, Pill Cosby coming up? It’s like, yes, say, say the thing that came into your mind. And we can let it all be. And what’s beautiful is we both gave our expression about it. We definitely don’t want to compartmentalize our thoughts and our feelings, because that actually creates a jagged art experience when we censor ourselves or think it needs to be a certain way. No, we let it all be and just see what comes up. And yeah, we’ll just deal with the things that come up.

Musician  23:00

Right, like thinking okay, you know, I want to do this piece. It’s gonna be a canvas. I’m gonna paint it all black. Done. But then that fear of can I do that? Like, can I just paint a canvas all black and put it on the wall? And the Beatles White Album was controversial. Can you put out an album cover that has nothing on it? But the argument was there is something on it. A completely white…

Writer  23:28


Musician  23:30

Label. It’s a completely white cover. And you know, they were the first person nobody had had just nothing on a cover, just the Beatles. Yeah, just the words the Beatles and white cover and that’s the whole thing.

Writer  23:42

Were they even on the cover? Like a picture of them or ?

Musician  23:46


Writer  23:46


Musician  23:46

Nothing. So in the in the movie Spinal Tap, they joke about that because they accidentally press the album. And the cover is just black and when it’s when it’s released, and they’re all excited about releasing it. It was supposed to be this picture of a woman on her knees in leather with a with a dog collar around her neck sniffing a glove. And Walmart and whoever and Sears and all these people had found it so offensive. They’re like, you can’t release that. So they just made a Black Album with a black, just solid black. And the band was so upset but then they started rationalizing it like Oh, it’s so black. Like could it be any more black? No, like how much more Black could could it get? None more black? And like it’s so black that it’s beautiful like leather and you can see yourself in it. They started rationalizing it was cool. It was okay. But it was a joke about the Beatles White album how the Beatles was just white and Spinal Tap was all black. It’s all just a joke inside of a joke. But you know if you if you start fearing, can I put out this all black? Can I do this? Yeah, can I just put a frame on a wall and call it art? Yes,

Writer  24:54


Musician  24:54

You can do it fearlessly.

Writer  24:56

You can.

Musician  24:56

But with some fear you would start to judge yourself as well as the community would judge you. You know, can you do that? Is that acceptable is that even art? And with fearlessness, it’s all it’s all good. It’s all artistic expression and move forward. Like that.

Writer  25:13

And there’s this beauty to being yourself and being fearlessly yourself and unapologetic. And I mean, it is just as much for your, for the people that you’re giving your art to. As for yourself.

Musician  25:29

As we’ve been watching a show, The Choe Show, David Choe, and he has these people, great celebrities, he is almost interviewing, but they go into some deep subjects. But meanwhile, they’re doing some painting and some clay and some art, very abstract. And people ask like, oh, wait, can I do this? And he goes, Yeah, it’s free. You can do whatever you want. It’s just don’t try and make something just create. Just create with, with no limit, create without bounds.

Writer  25:58

That show’s so good.  I really like that show. It’s called The Choe Show.

Musician  26:00

Pretty wild. C H O E

Writer  26:06

I can write it down. Yeah.

Musician  26:08

C H O E Choe. And so yeah, I mean, even the fact that you have to ask is a fear that the asking: Can I do this? is the fear and with with that safe space, whether it’s granted you by someone else or yourself once this is yes, that’s okay. Do it like freely express yourself, then you can touch a different place that doesn’t make your art better or worse, but it’s touching a different place inside of you with with no bounds, no limits, no rocks to crash into No. No trees to hit No.

Writer  26:46

So beautifully said. I love that. Yeah. Maybe there’ll be something to crash into eventually. But at least you explored that space that you touched on yourself even a little bit to get the needle, the needle moving.

Musician  27:07

But those crashes are edges. And like Hunter Thompson said, You won’t find the edges until you actually go over them or crash into them or you can’t really find the edge until you break through it somehow.

Writer  27:20

Use it all as information. This gathering of information that you can investigate, do surgeries on get to know get to know how you choose to move through it. not want anyone told you not what society tells you. Be your own way. Feel your rhythm and create with your rhythm.

Musician  27:48

Maybe even some of the goal of art is not so much how people will perceive it and how much it’ll affect other people. Although art obviously does affect other people and, and connects community together. There’s maybe the bigger goal of just connecting within yourself and finding yourself and that’s maybe our purpose or certain people maybe what you wouldn’t think that everybody’s purpose is to create art. But if it’s not to create art, I think it’s at least to find a connection within yourself and get to know yourself so well. There is no fear there’s no boundary, there’s just love loving yourself.

Writer  28:40

Yeah, and then going out and about to share it. That same love that you find in yourself with the people around you.

Musician  28:48

So there’s your homework assignment. Find a way to love yourself, purely and infinitely. Connect with yourself and then and then spread it around. Cheers to loving yourselves spread it around in the universe. No fear.

Writer  29:05 We love you. Cheers.

Stream of Coffeeness is a podcast that covers a wide range of topics including art, nature, love, music, spirituality, life, the universe, and everything in between. Hosted by The Writer and The Musician, both coffee enthusiasts, each episode features insightful discussions and thought-provoking conversations on various subjects, always with a cup of coffee in hand. Tune in to Stream of Coffeeness to explore different aspects of life and discover new perspectives, all while enjoying the comfort of a warm cup of coffee.