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How to Survive and Prosper as an Artist: Selling Yourself Without Selling Your Soul Paperback – June 9, 2009
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"Provides the best overview of political and other aspects of the art world that I have ever come across. . . It is a bible that every artist should have." --Shannon Wilkinson, president, Cultural Communications, New York
"This book should be required reading for every exhibiting artist." --Ellen Rixford, Graphic News
"This self-help career book is the pick of the litter." --Donna Marxer, Artists' News
"Michels is filled with energy and ideas. . . Her experience is the reader's bonus." --American Artist
About the Author
Caroll Michels is a successful sculptor whose artwork has been exhibited in museums worldwide, and she has worked as a career coach on behalf of thousands of artists since 1978. She lives in Sarasota, Florida.
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When I have a rough day as a self-employed artist, or just need a fresh perspective on my life, I pick up this book, read a few pages and I'm off again, freshly inspired and ready for action.
Does it all apply? Of course not, but there's an excellent breadth of information and I always gain benefit from the time spent reading it.
I wonder if I'll ever manage to finish the book? The fact that I haven't, and yet can look back and see how very far I've come in my career as an artist speaks to this and the other reference books I've found written to take the mystique out of being an artist and actually making a living through creative expression.
When you visit Michel's personal business site ([...]), you will conveniently find other ways to part with your money. She sells contact mailing lists, and promotes her own consulting services.
I do not personally know anyone who has consulted with her. For $125. per hour, you could try. I would hope she could offer at least several artists who are highly successful in actually selling their work, especially **after** consulting with her.
I am college professor in painting. Here is what I would like to see on Ms. Michel's future seventh edition. I hope you are reading this, Ms. Michels. You owe it to your readers to improve this book.
1. Less fluff. Less chattering. Much of what Michels preaches is simply common sense, and somewhat insulting. Most of her storytelling about all of her past clients could be compressed into a short little book. Better yet, a 20 page pamphlet.
2. A different layout to the book. If you are going to offer a 100 page chunk, and call it an Appendix, then please, for heaven's sake, provide the PAGE references, throughout your book. You continually encourage the reader to search the index for a subject title, yet you provide no actual page numbers. This is beyond frustrating, it's poorly designed, and it's lazy on your part, Ms. Michels. Most importantly, it is counterproductive.
3. Here's a thought. Make the Appendix stand as the CORE of the book. With a thick, sturdy, ring coil so the book could lay FLAT. Charge $10. for it. Hey, you could even throw in an optional CD of the Appendix, and charge an extra $5.
4. If you are going to continue to mention your work as an "artist", Ms. Michels, then please provide some links, web site, etc. I can not locate your ARTwork on the web, and if you do have it posted somewhere, please respond here to my post, and point the way to it. You need to back up your credibility with a web site of your ART.
5. I realize you speak at colleges and organized groups, around the country. This is probably a better fit for what you do. It's interactive. You are put on the spot to answer spontaneous questions. As to your writing skills, I am afraid that you need a good editor.
Fellow readers and artists: after all of this, you may wonder what I would more highly recommend, re: a business approach to art:
"The Artist's Guide: How to Make a Living Doing What You Love" by Jackie Battenfield. Practical advice from an expert. I have never met Ms. Battenfield, but I hope to one day. Her points are solid, and are not filled with fluff. Like Ms. Michels, Ms. Battenfield is not naive, and she is saavy. Having said that, Battenfield strikes me as less bitter and cynical, when compared to Ms. Michels. Here's the link to the Battenfield book. [...]
Summary: Save your money, but more importantly save your precious reading time. Go directly to Michel's artist help site, [...]
Take initiative, and make active use of her online resources. Believe in yourself, and in your work. Work like there was no tomorrow. Do not take rejection to heart. Persistence counts.