- File Size: 1523 KB
- Print Length: 231 pages
- Publication Date: March 27, 2013
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00C2HP60I
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,612,467 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
ARTISTE Kindle Edition
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What makes this book a must-read are the amazing set of experiences Mr. Folsom has had (from The Mayor, to DB and Mr. Blood, to Robert Rauschenberg and Walter Hopps) , and the beautiful writing.
Some passages in this book are so gorgeous I emailed quotes to myself to re-read without having to flip through the e-reader. But it's all superb.
Highly, highly recommended
Fred Folsom's 'Artiste: How-Not-To-Guide For Creative People' does for nascent, budding, struggling, burned out or interested in a second opinion creatives what Michelangelo did to a really big hunk a' rock which became one of the most awe inspiring, dignified, powerful and just plain beautiful sculptures in the world.
'Artiste' provides the most practical, necessary and extremely useful suggestions, tips, insights, hind sights and just plain good, common sense which can make a life in the arts doable if not successful.
These are clearly laid out and humbly-yet-unequivocally easy to follow tips-of-the-trade by someone in the trenches; a working artist who is still doing the work as well as working the art world,and generously sharing experience which has landed him exhibitions in the finest galleries in the nation.
Included is commentary on what a life in the arts really is, not what it should be or might be based on 'Be An Artist!' mail order programs. 'Artiste' is based on Fred's experience with art teachers, with art aficionados and collectors, art dealers, gallery owners, etc. The stories aren't always pretty but they are all informative and moving and something many of us can relate to, particularly the parts about battling with and overcoming substance abuse, financial hardship in good times and bad, and what to do when the muse or inspiration strikes one day and packs up and leaves the next.
The humanity in the portraiture of Fred's work inspires, comforts and reassures me the way no other living artist's work does and none comes as close, for me, to my beloved Rembrandt's self-portraits.
For the sake of full disclosure, let it be known Fred Folsom has been a great and loyal friend, inspiration and mentor of mine for a long time and did much to inspire and inform my 30-plus years as a writer.
The foundation for this long run in the writing world was a rotten childhood which made me want to understand how things can get so screwed up and find a way to re-create, to restore some of the natural goodness and beauty of this life. My way started with drawing, progressed to classical music and transmutated itself into writing. The goal and commitment were always the same. Only the medium changed.
Many of the tools and strategies which enabled me to do this are laid out, without artifice or pretension, in 'Artiste.' An overflowing pallet of practical how-to in terms of making art is included but, more importantly for me, so are the basic survival skills and meditations on what being an 'artist' means and how maintaining a life as an artist might be achieved.
Fred never taught me how to become an artist. When I told him I am virtually unemployable and asked how I could make a living writing he said "You gotta' start paying your bills." That was news to me. 'The world expects me to write and pay my bills?!' What 'Artiste' will do for you and what Fred did for me was suggest-not order, demand or threaten-how to deal with life's little inconveniences, like bill paying, while you are painting, drawing, writing, singing about or otherwise attempting to describe what this life is. According to your artistic perspective. Anyone can teach you how to draw, how to paint, how to write, how to sing and dance with the best of them if you have whatever that mysterious thing is the best of them have. Artiste says a lot about how artists live. Individually. Not collectively or according to any arts program or prescription for immortality via the Internet.
Artiste is primarily a book by a visual artist for visual artists. But it is also a book for every creative spirit who needs some empirical, tried and true wisdom and experience about how to deal with people, with business people, with people in the arts who can make you happy and rich or sick and miserable, with paint and painters, with ups and downs, with creative wizards and stupid clowns, with the vicissitudes of life which can be more intense and life altering and certainly more common in the life of an artist than the life of an orthodontist or software engineer.
Fred attempted screenwriting prior to painting and, coincidently, or not, I wrote and sold a screenplay about Antonio Vivaldi which is slated for production next year, edited by Tariq Anwar the editor of 'The King's Speech' and stars Max Irons, Alfred Molina, Jacqueline Bisset, Neve Campbell and several other great actors. When I met Fred, I was battling a nine year controlled substance addiction in the mean streets of Washington, D.C., 'working' as a courier in a stolen vehicle which I drove into a wall of the Federal Reserve Building-where did all those armed secret service people come from??!!-could barely write my name and gave a new and cosmically tainted meaning to my designation in the USA, 'resident alien.'
This all started to turn around slowly but definitely soon after I met the author of this book. With 'outside' help, with faith and courage and more than a modicum of hard work and talent and putting into practice the practices and principles in 'Artiste.' When I removed everything, physically, emotionally , spiritually, which was preventing me from committing my life to my work. When I removed everything that is not Fred.
Jeffrey M. Freedman