Monday, June 22, 2009

Book Review: Jackie Battenfield's The Artist's Guide - How to Make a Living Doing What You Love

I was recently asked to review Jackie Battenfield's new book, The Artist's Guide - How to Make a Living Doing What You Love. It was such an excellent book that instead of reviewing it, I ended up reading the whole darn thing. Highly recommended, the following is a repost of my review at ArtLOOK:

Jackie Battenfield's new book, The Artist's Guide - How To Make a Living Doing What You Love, is an excellent resource for visual artists at any stage of their career. Battenfield writes in a professional and yet easy manner and provides invaluable information, inspiration and resources on making a successful career in the art world.

Battenfield's words do more than just dictate the "how to" and "why for" of the business end of art. She speaks from the heart and addresses such topics as knowing when you are ready to circulate your art (the difference between nurturing your artistic soul and preparing for business), how to take charge of your professional life, your marketing kit, creating your own opportunities, Introducing your work, building relationships and maintaining your practice.

This former gallery director, artist and teacher has supported herself for over 20 years through sales of her art. She and her husband (also an artist) have successfully paid the bills, purchased life insurance, funded their pension plans, took vacations and put their son through college. Jackie attributes this success to diligent planning and pursuing opportunities. She freely shares this wealth of experience and knowledge with her readers.

Inspiring quotes and advice from dozens of art world professionals are sprinkled throughout the pages providing a "reality check" for the reader. Real life examples and step by step exercises will teach you how to self promote, network, build relationships, broaden your funding resources and explore a wide range of exhibition, commission and sales opportunities beyond the walls of the traditional commercial gallery.

I highly recommend this book as someone who works on a daily basis with artists and as a graphic designer seeking opportunities for myself. Battenfield's advice was helpful and smart. The biggest praise I can give is that in reviewing the book I found a new resource which helped me help a client submit to a call for entry in NYC. This book should be on every artists desk!!

Jackie Battenfield is represented in galleries throughout the United States and in over a thousand collections worldwide. She teaches professional practices at Columbia University and for the Creative Capital Foundation. Please visit her website at where you will find information on purchasing the book, interviews, events and speaking engagements.

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