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The Artist's Survival Guide: How to Make a Living Doing What You Love

The Artist's Survival Guide: How to Make a Living Doing What You Love

Best book for artists, hands down, June 27, 2009
By  Steven Giovinco "Photographer" (New York)

Without doubt, this is one of the best books for artists available. I've read most career guides for people in the creative fields, and Jackie. Battenfield's is easily the best. I love this book, and highly recommend it.

It is clear, thorough, and covers all aspects of the business of art. What I found most appealing was how the author would mention a specific action and then discuss how she felt about doing it herself. Making actions can be emotionally unnerving, especially when showing work to dealers for example, or just deciding to make a living from your own artwork, and Jackie reassuringly discusses her feelings as well as how she got over her doubt and anxiety.

Another major reason why I love this book is its clarity. It starts, as it should, with determining what your goals are, how to define them, and how to make them happen. She gives simple steps to help define your vision for your life, and then breaks them into easier chunks. She also stresses planning and making lists, which I personally think is fantastic (organizing my day and week has not only made me much more productive but has also reduced much of my anxiety I had over all the projects I have to accomplish).

The book then goes through what tools are needed, such as artist statement, CV, etc., and how to send work out and to whom. Jackie also discusses specific details, such has how to contact gallery directors and how to connect with fellow artists--which is one of the best sources for getting shows.

It is a joy to read The Artist's Guide, and I can not recommend this book enough. Even though I have been in the art world for years, it has already changed how I work and I plan on following through on many of Jackie's suggestions. Do yourself a favor and read this--I think it's that good. 

Using a “tough love approach” to pursuing a career in the visual arts, Jackie Battenfield expands on her highly successful classes and workshops to provide a comprehensive guide for both emerging and mid-career artists.

Providing real-life examples, illustrations, and step-by-step exercises, Battenfield offers readily applicable advice on all aspects of the job. Along with tips on planning and assessment, she presents strategies for self-management, including marketing, online promotion, building professional relationships, grant writing, and portfolio development.

Each chapter ends with an insightful “Reality Check” interview, featuring advice and useful information from high-profile artists and professionals.

The result is an inspiring, experiential guide brimming with field-tested techniques that readers can easily apply to their own career. (amazon.com)



  • Paperback:
    320 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press (November 10, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306816520
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306816529