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Showing 1-6 of 6 reviews(2 star). Show all reviews
on May 7, 2007
This is one of those books with exciting chapter headings like 'the mysterious world of grants' that you expect will de-mystify the process- but basically it is train station schedule telling you about different trains you can board to reach a destination (this book contains no destinations)... what I mean by that is this book is basically a reading list of a million other books. The information that is in this book is very minimal, everytime you think she is about to tell you something valuable she says "to learn more read this book or visit this website". She doesn't provide the information from those books in hers. For a 300 page book, the only meat it provided in and of itself was a soapbox for the author to dog the whole gallery system and encourage artists to sell their own work. Which is lovely but I felt like I wasted time reading her big book when I should have been reading the other books that actually have the information I am looking for in them.

If I was this author and had read all of those books myself, I think I would have written a more comprehensive one-stop guide for the artist to save them some time and energy- but maybe her book was sort of a collaborative effort where she gained something from mentioning these other books as opposed to learning from them. That is really what it felt like- a bound collection of buisness cards.

If you really want to do a lot of reading- this book is certainly a reading list, but I would bypass it and go straight to some other books.

If you DO want to bypass the gallery system and make money off your art on your own, I recommend Brian Marshall White's book 'Breaking into the Art World'. You can read it in one night and use all the info, apply it, start earning some money from your artwork. He not only provides a useful biz plan for the artist, he also includes the numbers of all his sources for printing, packaging, credit card set-up... it is the only book you would need to start making and selling prints of your work.
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on July 2, 2003
I was disappointed in this book. Lots of "resources" listed, but the nuts and bolts boil down to the old "how to" cliches, like Get organized! A computer can help you do this! Many gallery owners are meanies! Far less than what I was looking for.
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on August 28, 2009
This book isn't for people who just want to create art and make a modest living; instead, this book is for the ladder-climbers who want to work within the system, always currying favor with those in a "position to help an artist's career" with the eventual goal of becoming rich and famous. But to me, that is selling your soul.

In this book you will find an impressive list of resources for just about anything an artist needs to know. It describes how the whole art world turns, horror stories and all. The author reveals gallery accounting tricks and explains how to work around them so you don't get fleeced; she presents tips on how to win grants, how to protect your artwork from being stolen, and how to save money while still promoting your work to authority figures in the art world--with style. She writes about the law, and presents some statistics that will prepare the self-promoting artist for the levels of rejection that will soon be forthcoming.

But she writes almost nothing about the vast power of marketing one's art on the internet. Even though this was written before Etsy, it wasn't before Ebay! I found nothing about directly approaching the public. There is nothing here about uniting with other artists to help each other survive financially; it's all about making it in the traditional art world.

Some of the reason for this may be the author's attitude. For instance, in a chapter advising the artist how to approach the gallery, she warns against showing one's work to a "subordinate." Obviously, only the gallery owner has the authority to make decisions, but then she follows that decent advice with this sentence:

"Subordinates are capable of giving compliments, but your ego is in sad shape if you need to hang on to the opinion of each and every staff member who happens to be hanging out at the gallery." p. 172

To me, the belief that only the art-educated can recognize good art is arrogant and condescending. (And the author says this after exposing the fact that most gallery owners don't have any art background at all!) If you create esoteric work that is only for the one or two highly-educated rich people who can both understand and afford it, then perhaps you will like this book. But if your art is for the richly varied people of the world--who aren't really stupid, by the way--then get creative and find a way to get it to them and still make a living. That's what I thought this book would do, but it didn't.
22 comments12 of 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 3, 2009
I couldn't do more than flip though this book. I was expecting some kind of structure or list or types of things to start doing to help me better my situation. All it really is is a bunch of random stories all mashed together about what artists think they have to do and how it's all a myth. Don't think you have to do this, and don't sell out, don't prostitute yourself for shows. (yes it actually goes into detail about that) After a lot of flipping around looking for some type of structure to the comments, I got nothing out of it. There was a chapter about bad advice, and all it was doing was giving examples of bad advice, but offered nothing to contradict that bad advice. As if the good advice was implied. If you were looking to get a good career book get I'd Rather Be in the Studio by Alyson B. Stanfeild. She gives you a lot of actions, and helpful tools and encouragement to help get your work out there. And the book is structured, easy to read, and easy to find the information that's most useful to you at the time.
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on May 12, 2008
Book is good for painters who want to deal mostly through galleries. Not good for other artists or photographers and not good for artists who want to avoid the gallery manipulations.
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on March 8, 2012
I bought this book due to all the positive reviews but did not find it very helpful. It doesn't explore many ways of selling work outside of galleries. It's also limited to the US; I wish it explored other markets. There is indeed useful info, but there's a lot of digging around to do to find it.
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