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The Artist's Guide: How to Make a Living Doing What You Love Paperback – June 9, 2009


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The Artist's Guide: How to Make a Living Doing What You Love + ART/WORK: Everything You Need to Know (and Do) As You Pursue Your Art Career + How to Survive and Prosper as an Artist: Selling Yourself Without Selling Your Soul
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; 1 edition (June 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306816520
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306816529
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,175 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Booklist, 6/1/09
“A readable, realistic, and practical field guide to professional success in the visual arts…A wealth of reproduced art and profiles of artists complete this inspiring, useful, and, given the rise in do-it-yourself careers, timely resource.”

Joanne Mattera, ArtBlog: Marketing Mondays, 6/15/09
“This book explains the art world and offers clear and useful steps to setting goals and achieving them--information that until recently most artists never learned in art school…This is one well-timed and well-written book.”

NEWSgrist.com, 6/18/09
“It is an experiential guide brimming with field-tested techniques that readers can apply to their own practice. With equal parts of practicality, warmth, good humor, and insight, Battenfield demystifies the path artists travel towards a flourishing career.” 

Peggy Payne, Peggy Payne’s Boldness Blog, 6/16/09
“[Jackie Battenfield] knows what she's writing about.”

The Expat Blog, 6/18/09
“Offers clear and useful steps to setting goals and achieving them.”

MyArtSpace Blog, 6/22/09
“Highly recommended…an excellent resource for visual artists at any stage of their career…This book should be on every artists desk!!”

MyArtSpace blog
“Highly Recommended…an excellent resource for visual artists at any stage of their career…This book should be on every artist’s desk!!”

Marketing Mondays blog
“This book explains the art world and offers clear and useful steps to setting goals and achieving them—information that until recently most artists never learned in art school…This in one well-timed and well-written book.”

NewsGrist
“It’s an experimental guide brimming with field-tested techniques that readers can apply to their own practice. With equal parts of practicality, warmth, good humor, and insight, Battenfield demystifies the path artists travel towards a flourishing career.”

Peggy Payne’s blog
“[Jackie Battenfield] knows what she’s writing about.”

“Offers clear and useful steps to setting goals and achieving them.”

Artist’s magazine, November issue
“Useful step-by-step exercises and helps you assess your career goals, with sage advice from working artists and realistic strategies for tackling what may seem to be insurmountable tasks.”

About the Author

Jackie Battenfield’s work is represented in over a thousand collections worldwide. She teaches a course in professional development in the visual arts at Columbia University.

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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It's the most empowering book I have ever read.
Amy Abattoir
It is a joy to read The Artist's Guide, and I can not recommend this book enough.
Steven Giovinco
Thank you Jackie Battenfield for writting this book.
maria humphreys photography

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Steven Giovinco on June 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
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.
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100 of 107 people found the following review helpful By Spunky Brophy on February 21, 2010
Format: Paperback
Written for the aspiring fine artist, this guide focuses heavily on marketing and getting into galleries.

It contains helpful information, but falls far short on the promise of the title.

Nowhere in this book will you find information on how to "make a living doing what you love" as an artist.

The author's personal experience in running a gallery enables her to give authentic examples of dealing with the world of galleries and her expertise, making for an easy read.

However, confusion sets in when the author jumps from how to obtain fundraising and grants and working jobs to support your art, to a new section on hiring assistants, accountants and attorneys. There is a huge hole in between, and you're left asking "how do you make the huge jump from relying on grants and non-art jobs to needing assistants and accountants?"

You can't "Make a Living Doing what You Love" off of grants and donations,etc.

It misses the mark on how to generate income. Where does the money come from? This is the real question that artists want answered.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By artprof on June 19, 2009
Format: Paperback
Jackie Battenfield knows about developing a career as an artist not only from her own art practice, but also from years of working with emerging artists. I bought the book as a resource for my art students, and it addresses issues that students will face just starting out; but I have also found it to be full of insight and suggestions for those of us who are past the first years of our careers and who now struggle to stay sane while continuing to make art despite the isolation, rejections, and financial difficulties that a commitment to art entails. Battenfield assumes a level of intelligence and seriousness of purpose in this book, yet her writing is conversational and easy to understand. Her enthusiasm and optimism will inspire and motivate the reader.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By W. K. Perschke on October 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
I opened this book in the studio for the first time when I was working on a budget for a project bid, and looking over a supplied example (chapter 7) immediately gave me new ideas of line items I had not considered. They were things I was doing but not charging for, and since I got the gig, it literally made me money. Now the impressive thing about this is I have been working for a while now as a full time artist, and the budget I was looking at in the book is actually from a friend here in New York, but there were still new things to learn. This is a small example of why this book is a cut above what else passes for professional career guidance for artists, because most can't help you beyond a year or two after school - they just don't go that deep. This book provides not only the kind of nitty-gritty details artists need in the moment, but an overarching support plan for how you can still be a working artist in ten years or twenty or thirty. Make no mistake you need help to get there, and this book covers both the internal and external practice that can make that possible. The book approaches this not through thin bullet point advice, but honest and revealing discussion about the habits that need to be practiced over a lifetime.

Having once taught Professional Practices to BFA students I read every book out there on this topic, and I wish this had been around then. There are other books that do some basic things well, or approach it from a theoretical direction, but a book that could speak to both recent graduates and working professionals has never existed until now. Beware of anything not actually written by an artist who has walked the walk and supported a family with their art work.
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