Don't Be Afraid

As the daughter of an artist, I’ve always known that the creative process is, well, a process. Dad worked from home, so that meant no friends over after school and I knew if I happened to wake up at 1am he’d still be standing at his easel. Every summer we’d traipse around the Midwest in a full sized van filled with his work and a canvas tent and spend our weekends at street fairs while he offered his paintings to people who would, hopefully, appreciate the art and not just want something to match the couch. During the formative years of my youth I was surrounded by artists and art-lovers, and my first job was even filling frames at a gallery, so I’m pretty comfortable with the behind-the-scenes world of art, from origination to completion to its release to the public.

Despite, or maybe because of, that immersion, I’m fascinated by what goes on behind the scenes. Most people don’t have that kind of childhood, though, and for many the Artist and the Creative Process are bewildering and maybe a little intimidating, whether the art is on canvas or made of wood or something that’s edible. How does a chef decide to pair those particular flavors? How does the sculptor see a graceful curve in a block of stone? How does a musician match lyrics to melody, or vice versa?

Elysabeth Alfano is bringing the mysterious world of creation to the public with Fear No Art, airing on WTTW at 4:30pm on Sunday. This will be the last screening until September, so set your watch or your DVR and be sure to catch her behind-the-scenes interviews with blues and folk musician Nicholas
changes things up with fashion designer Lauren Lein (,
and enjoys the MOTO madness with chefs Homaro Cantu and Ben






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