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Once, a question like “How do I become an artist?” Was simple to answer: you did not “become” an artist; either you were or you weren’t. Either you were someone who would starve for your art because you couldn’t help it, or you were, well, normal. Things are different now. Art is a multi-billion dollar industry around the world, and most of everyone who works in it is accredited in one way or another. Art schools are pouring out wave after wave of MFA graduates, all of whom have to make a living. Although their chances of success are long, many have student loans to repay, so the pressure to gain recognition can be intense. This is where a practical guide to succeeding as an artist can come in handy. With advice on everything from starting a studio to running a gallery, these books offer tips for being professional in an increasingly professional art world. (Price and availability in effect at time of publication.)
1. Jerry Saltz, How to be an artist
Jerry Saltz, new York The magazine’s art critic, began an article for the April 18, 2017, issue with a confession: “It hurts me to say it, but I’m a failed artist.” It’s a hard truth to swallow for anyone with creative ambitions. Saltz has the consolation of winning a Pulitzer Prize for the essay; Yet his wish to spare star-eyed seekers from the artistic greatness of his own vile fate pretty much drove this book. Saltz, a self-proclaimed populist whose work is as much performance art as he writes, urges readers to “take this leap of faith” against “external messages and internal fears.” It exalts the exhilarating experience of viewing art and, more concretely, encourages artists to work “in the first two hours of the day” before “the pesky demons of everyday life” start to demand their attention. Filled with wise advice, Saltz’s book is a heartfelt cry for self-actualization.
Purchase: How to Become an Artist $ 19.49 (New) on Amazon
2. Magnus Resch, How to become a successful artist
Ignoring questions such as artistic inspiration or the fight against doubts, Magnus Resch’s book goes straight to the craft of an artist. An expert in art management and marketing, Resch teaches art economics at Yale and has also taught at Columbia and Sotheby’s Institute, a private affiliate of the auction house offering art history lessons. art and career development. He is also an entrepreneur who has developed various art market applications and databases for collectors and curators. How to become a successful artist is an outgrowth of its eponymous online master class. It deals with topics such as How to find a gallery representation? How to write an artist declaration? How should I price my works? What’s the best Instagram strategy? Supported by interviews with luminaries in the art world, Resch’s book offers practical advice to remind readers that there is much more to being an artist than just making art.
Purchase: How to Become a Successful Artist $ 26.57 (New) on Amazon
3. Heather Darcy Bhandari and Jonathan Melber, Art / Work: everything you need to know (and do) to pursue your artistic career
Originally published in 2009 and co-authored by a former gallery owner (Heather Darcy Bhandari) and a former arts lawyer (Jonathan Melber), Masterpieces has been recently updated to reflect the impact of social media on the art world. The book explores business and legal issues related to the industry, and while it is primarily aimed at artists of all skill levels, it is also useful for gallery owners, art groups, and art consultants. Finding a dealer is one of the major concerns covered by the book, but it also notes that artists fundamentally remain their own agent, manager, and promoter, even with gallery representation. Without it, they are totally alone. As a result, Bhandari and Melber go into great detail with tips for filing taxes and claiming deductions, controlling inventory and issuing invoices, as well as details of what artists need to know about signing consignment forms or filing. request for copyright protection. Anecdotes from artists and professionals from the art world enrich this complete bible.
Purchase: Art / Work $ 17.29 (new) on Amazon
4. Lisa Congdon, Art, Inc .: The Essential Guide to Building Your Artist’s Career
Author Lisa Congdon (artist and illustrator) begins Art, Inc. with a basic premise: to be a successful artist today, you must first proclaim “I am an artist” – to others, of course, but more importantly, to yourself. In other words, you need to remove the barriers to creativity in your own thinking before tackling the most important barriers to a creative career. The main way to achieve this is to change your mindset from that of a starving artist (“Suffering for my art makes it better”; “Good art sells itself”) to that of a successful artist ( “Living off my art is doing something that I love.”) The rest of the book offers practical advice on how to create a supportive environment for your work, market it and promote it yourself, and find other ways to make money as an artist through social media and other means.
Purchase: Art Inc. $ 13.36 (new) on Amazon
5. Gilda Williams, How to write about contemporary art
What does a book on art writing do on this list? Well, writing about art convincingly is a useful skill for any artist. For example, there will not always be a curator to explain your work; Sometimes you’ll have to do it yourself, whether it’s writing a press release for your show or making an artist statement. (The book covers both in detail.) Using source texts from 64 authors, Williams walks you step-by-step through the peculiarities of artistic writing, offering tips on how to organize your thoughts. on the page, the tone to use and how the two vary from one category (academic articles, say) to another (blogging). Taken together, Williams’ tips help you become a better writer and avoid embarrassing no-no’s like jargon and sloppy structure.
Purchase: How to Write About Contemporary Art $ 20.91 (new) on Amazon