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Making It in the Art World: New Approaches to Galleries, Shows, and Raising Money 1st Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 93 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1581158687
ISBN-10: 1581158688
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  • Making It in the Art World: New Approaches to Galleries, Shows, and Raising Money
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"The global art world of the 21st century is increasingly complex, and
hard-hearted.  Tens of thousands of art school graduates and
self-educated artists enter the scene every year, and in their own way,
each wants to make a living from their work, while pursuing a
meaningful career. The prospects for success are slim, yet the flow
of new talent continues unabated.

In a remarkably useful guidebook for artists trying to find their
way, the artist Brainard Carey has spelled out in a clear and concise
manner, a series of strategies and techniques that, taken as a whole,
are the equivalent of that elusive course in real-world preparedness
that most art schools gloss over or simply ignore.  In addition to
his thoughtful and thorough approach to the subject, Carey's candor
and complete lack of cynicism and posturing makes this book a
must-read for any emerging artist."
-David Ross, 
Writer, curator. Formerly, director, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Boston Institute of Contemporary Art

About the Author

Brainard Carey was born in Manhattan, New York, and grew up in Yonkers. After attending undergraduate art school at SUNY Purchase, he moved to Rhode Island and opened a gallery and began publishing a literary magazine. Carey then moved back to New York City, where he met Delia Bajo, and cofounded Praxis, which was invited to be in the Whitney Biennial in 2002 and to be in a solo show there in 2007, as well as other venues around the world. Carey also has a mentoring/ educational business that helps artists to write grants, exhibit, and advance their careers. He splits his time between New York City and a studio in New Haven, Connecticut, where he has a radio show on Yale radio WYBC called The Art World Demystified.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Allworth Press; 1 edition (November 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581158688
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581158687
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #180,344 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Brainard Carey's "Art Mentor" emails were the most encouraging, relevant and practical art advice I have ever received. He is an invaluable resource when it comes to thinking beyond the canvas or the conventional. It is because of his ideas and perspective (be courageous, simply ask, develop relationships and community) that I launched a non-profit arts collective specifically targeting an ignored demographic. A year later we boast a small membership of 30 to 50 national and international dynamic females over the age of 40, we have a growing social media following and we have a familiar name within our Los Angeles arts community.

I don't think I would have had the courage, or downright audacity to what I am doing (and rather successfully) had I not had access to Brainard Carey. I believe his ideas and advice are some of the best and I wholeheartedly recommend this book to any artist at any level of their career. It truly is a must have for you library.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book with great anticipation for specific business insights into the art industry. I was hoping to get practical advice that would help me understand what needs to be considered and tackled to make a career shift to art. I got neither.

For context, I've got 20 years of business operations experience in high tech, but am looking to turn my weekend art hobby into a second career of sorts. Mentioning this b/c my perspective might be different than others reading this book without much hands-on business experience, i.e. what struck me as common sense might not be the case for others.

For example, the author assumes you don't have any basic writing skills, spending an inordinate amount of time talking through how to create bios. I agree, that's an important consideration, but it doesn't warrant the better part of an entire chapter. There's also a lot of time spent on discussing how to network within the art industry. Again, another worthy topic, but the details were far too basic. For example, there's a lot of discussion about how to convince a curator to take 15 minutes to have coffee with you, but very little time spent reviewing other industry specific networking opportunities. Another example of "light" information was the time spent suggesting you chat with your local art gallery owners about possible representation. Another instance of common sense stuff that focused more on the "what" and not enough on the "how".

This book struck me as very basic and lacked much punch. If you're looking for very broad strokes, and/or are fresh out of school, I can understand a higher rating for the content. But if you're looking for a real business savvy perspective, continue your search.
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Format: Paperback
Brainard Carey is that rarity in the art world: someone who knows how to sell himself without selling out. The key is Carey's imagination, perseverance, and genuine enthusiasm, which shine through this book. He offers the encouragement AND the practical advice that will help you move yourself and your art to wider exposure and real success. Unlike many other artists, he's not embarrassed about the concept of making money--in fact, artists are the ones who SHOULD be making the money! But there's no question that public and financial success requires you to put yourself out there, over and over. Artists MUST learn how to market themselves well--it has become part of the job of being an artist. And this is where Carey shines. It's not just what he says but how he says it; he's a great model for marketing yourself while BEING yourself. Although I'm a musician, not a visual artist, after a friend recommended this book I was inspired to launch a Kickstarter.com campaign to make an album--and I raised over $6,000! Carey's words helped get me off my rear. I recommend this book to artists of ALL types.
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By Regina on December 16, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There is actionable advice buried in here. These ideas and advice will be new to you if you've been institutionalized for the past 30 years or living the hermit's life in a cave somewhere. For the rest of artists who are trying hard to figure out how to make it in today's world, well seen that-done that-planning that-tried it- already in the works.

There's some sales 101 for dummies turned around for artists - how to make a pitch without making a hard sell. I supposed it could be useful to have that spelled out when you emerge blinking from decades spent eating roots in the hermit's cave.

The advice and suggestions are sort like one of those "get rich surfing the internet" courses. If everyone could do it, we'd all be millionaires and then the secret would be out and nobody could use it ever again. These are wonderful ideas if you're one of the first to try them, but if you're the thousandth artist to escape the studio/asylum - probably not so much.

Pros:
easy to read
light style
really basic common sense stuff for people who have trouble with that

Cons:
Information density is similar to a blog article from a marketer learning about the importance of "content"
the breathless style can make it hard to really drill down on actionable items
hard to apply if you're not in a similar situation
hard to apply in today's economy
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