7 Great Texts To Launch Your Art Career

7 Great Texts To Launch Your Art Career

And all artists looking to advance their career.
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Let's face it, every summer of your school career you think to yourself "this is the year I better myself, I have all of this free time - I'm going to hit the books" ... And maybe you did - or if you're anything like me, you might have started four new books but only finished one. Back to school reading may sound overwhelming, but if you are a burgeoning artist it might just be the perfect refresher to energize yourself about pursuing a fine art career. As an artist, grad student, and art instructor, these are the top seven texts I recommend to those who hope to build a career in the arts.

Build your art career with these texts:

1. "The Artist's Guide: How To Make A Living Doing What You Love" by Jackie Battenfield


Jackie Battenfield teaches professional practices in the graduate program at Columbia University and for the Creative Capital Foundation. The inspiration for her book came from the common issue where too many talented visual artists feel lost or frustrated professionally because they lack fundamental business skills and the confidence to promote themselves and manage their career. This Guide provides artists with the information, tools, and techniques for developing and sustaining a professional life. It introduces valuable tactics – from planning and assessment to time management and negotiation – which are seldom offered to visual artists in ways that are relevant to their practice.

"My main inspiration was to provide a guide that artists can turn to for advice and mentoring. As a self-employed artist, (painter) for nearly thirty years I have made a living from my studio practice. In my daily life, I encounter the same issues that confront most artists: how to manage my personal life, to create new work, financially support myself, protect, and promote my art. I love my life and feel fortunate to have found a way to make it feasible. Since 1992, I have offered classes and workshops around the down-to-earth issues of building a career and help other artists develop their own sustainable, lifelong art practice."

2. "Art/Work: Everything You Need to Know (and Do) As You Pursue Your Art Career" by Heather Darcy Bhandari and Jonathan Melber

If you only read one book on building your art career - this is the one I recommend above all! "Everything you need to know (and do) as you pursue your art career." - This is text book is just that, the most comprehensive guide of its kind. It offers helpful advice to artists of every level from art school grads, mid-career artists, professional artists and other creative professionals. This book is the perfect tool to guide artists through the competitive art world and find success in their practice. Heather Darcy Bhandari, a gallery director, and Johnathan Melber, an arts lawyer, walk you through the important business end of being an artist so that you can essentially "act as your own manager and agent." From business basics like inventory and expense sheets to preparing invoices; taking legal precautions like copyright and drafting consignment forms or utilizing social media as a promotional tool - this is the perfect handbook to tackle each important career decision, large or small. Perhaps one of the most unique assets to this text is the combined interviews of nearly one hundred curators, dealers and other arts professionals in cities across the country, offering valuable insights about what they expect from and look for in artists. "The book is full of their interesting anecdotes and advice." Following the advice in this book could easily be the key to success. (Seriously, buy it TODAY.)

3. "Management of Art Galleries" by Magnus Resch

This book offers excellent insight into the art market by analyzing today's leading art galleries. If you are interested exploring careers in the gallery scene, this is a must-read. The author Magnus Resch lectures in cultural entrepreneurship at the University of St Gallen, Switzerland. He studied economics at Harvard University and the London School of Economics. Resch has valuable experience as a former gallery owner and as the founder of the art-collector database, Larry's List, in addition to doctoral studies focused on the art market. Management of Art Galleries is a unique analysis of the global art market today. Resch offers examples and case studies from leading galleries around the world giving great insight into the art scene today.

4. "The Artist's Guide To Grant Writing" by Gigi Rosenberg

Gigi Rosenberg found success in winning grants to support her own writing, in doing so, she discovered that most artists and writers find grant writing and fundraising daunting, and often times less successful. Her desire to teach other artists how to raise money led to her popular workshops, which she’s taught from Seattle to Chicago to New York. These workshops led to The Artist's Guide To Grant Writing. Rosenberg covers every aspect of writing a winning grant application including how to research funding, build a team of support, overcome psychological roadblocks, fundraise strategically, and follow up with funders.

5. "Invitation To The Party: Building Bridges to the Arts, Culture, and Community" by Donna Walker-Kuhne

Invitation To The Party by Donna Walker-Kuhne offers strategies on building community and culture through the arts, including tips on how to:

  • initiate genuine relationships
  • demonstrate the value of the arts
  • respond to communities on their terms
  • engage in open dialogue
  • build partnerships with community leaders
  • empower community ownership of the arts
  • remain open to feedback
  • remain alert to unexpected opportunities
  • identify and create the right point of entry for each audience member
  • commit to sustaining a long-term process
  • be gracious hosts

This book is an asset to navigating your way through the art community and learning the tools to becoming a prominent member of the scene.

6. "How to Sell Art to Interior Designers" by Barney Davey and Dick Harrison

For visual artists, learning how to sell work in the design market can lead to a successful living as an artist, or they can use the design market as a way to create a secondary source of income. Authors, Dick Harrison and Barney Davey, have extensive backgrounds in selling art, working with designers, gallery experience and advising fine artists on how to make more money and be more profitable. This text is jam-packed with useful information, ideas, and advice that any artist can use to become more successful, particularly by selling their work to interior design professionals.

7. "Art Inc.: The Essential Guide fr Building Your Career as an Artist" by Lisa Congdon

This book differs from others on my recommended reading list by focusing on various art professions open to the visual artist outside of the fine art world. In this practical guide, professional artist Lisa Congdon reveals the many ways you can earn a living by making art through illustration, licensing, fine art sales, print sales, teaching, and beyond.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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A Playlist From The iPod Of A Middle Schooler In 2007

I will always love you, Akon.
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Something happened today that I never thought in a million years would happen. I opened up a drawer at my parents' house and I found my pink, 4th generation iPod Nano. I had not seen this thing since I graduated from the 8th grade, and the headphones have not left my ears since I pulled it out of that drawer. It's funny to me how music can take you back. You listen to a song and suddenly you're wearing a pair of gauchos, sitting on the bleachers in a gym somewhere, avoiding boys at all cost at your seventh grade dance. So if you were around in 2007 and feel like reminiscing, here is a playlist straight from the iPod of a middle schooler in 2007.

1. "Bad Day" — Daniel Powter

2. "Hips Don't Lie" — Shakira ft. Wyclef Jean

SEE ALSO: 23 Iconic Disney Channel Moments We Will Never Forget

3. "Unwritten" — Natasha Bedingfield

4. "Run It!" — Chris Brown

5. "Girlfriend" — Avril Lavigne

6. "Move Along" — All-American Rejects

7. "Fergalicious" — Fergie

8. "Every Time We Touch" — Cascada

9. "Ms. New Booty" — Bubba Sparxxx

10. "Chain Hang Low" — Jibbs

11. "Smack That" — Akon ft. Eminem

12. "Waiting on the World to Change" — John Mayer

13. "Stupid Girls" — Pink

14. "Irreplaceable" — Beyonce

15. "Umbrella" — Rihanna ft. Jay-Z

16. "Don't Matter" — Akon

17. "Party Like A Rockstar" — Shop Boyz

18. "This Is Why I'm Hot" — Mims

19. "Beautiful Girls" — Sean Kingston

20. "Bartender" — T-Pain

21. "Pop, Lock and Drop It" — Huey

22. "Wait For You" — Elliot Yamin

23. "Lips Of An Angel" — Hinder

24. "Face Down" — Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

25. "Chasing Cars" — Snow Patrol

26. "No One" — Alicia Keys

27. "Cyclone" — Baby Bash ft. T-Pain

28. "Crank That" — Soulja Boy

29. "Kiss Kiss" — Chris Brown

SEE ALSO: 20 Of The Best 2000's Tunes We Still Know Every Word To

30. "Lip Gloss" — Lil' Mama

Cover Image Credit: http://nd01.jxs.cz/368/634/c6501cc7f9_18850334_o2.jpg

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My AP Environmental Science Class' Cookie Mining Experiment Shows Why Capitalism Is Destroying The Planet

Who cares about the environment with profits this high?

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With the AP exams in May approaching quickly, my AP Environmental Science class has wasted no time in jumping right into labs. To demonstrate the damage to the environment done by strip mining, we were instructed to remove the chocolate chips from cookies.

The experiment in itself was rather simple. We profited from fully or partially extracted chips ($8 for a full piece and $4 for a partial) and lost from buying tools, using time and area and incurring fines.

This might seem simplistic, but it showcased the nature of disastrous fossil fuel companies.

We were fined a $1 per minute we spent mining. It cost $4 per tool we bought (either tweezers or paper clips) and 50 cents for every square centimeter of cookie we mined.

Despite the seemingly overbearing charges compared to the sole way to profit, it was actually really easy to profit.

If we found even a partial chocolate chip per minute, that's $3 profit or utilization elsewhere. Tools were an investment that could be made up each with a partial chip, and clearly we were able to find much, much more than just one partial chip per tool.

Perhaps the most disproportionally easiest thing to get around were the fines. We were liable to be fined for habitat destruction, dangerous mining conditions with faulty tools, clutter, mess and noise level. No one in the class got fined for noise level nor faulty tools, but we got hit with habitat destruction and clutter, both of which added up to a mere $6.

We managed to avoid higher fines by deceiving our teacher by pushing together the broken cookie landscapes and swiping away the majority of our mess before being examined for fining purposes. This was amidst all of our cookies being broken into at least three portions.

After finding many, many chips, despite the costs of mining, we profited over $100. We earned a Franklin for destroying our sugary environment.

We weren't even the worst group.

It was kind of funny the situations other groups simulated to their cookies. We were meant to represent strip mining, but one group decided to represent mountaintop removal. Mountaintop removal is where companies go to extract resources from the tops of mountains via explosions to literally blow the tops off. This group did this by literally pulverizing their cookies to bits and pieces with their fists.

They incurred the maximum fine of $45. They didn't profit $100, however.

They profited over $500 dollars.

In the context of our environmental science class, these situations were anywhere from funny to satisfying. In the context of the real world, however, the consequences are devastating our environment.

Without even mentioning the current trajectory we're on approaching a near irreversible global temperature increase even if we took drastic measures this moment, mining and fracking is literally destroying ecosystems.



We think of earthquakes as creating mass amounts of sudden movement and unholy deep trenches as they fracture our crust. With dangerous mining habits, we do this ourselves.

Bigger companies not even related to mining end up destroying the planet and even hundreds of thousands of lives. ExxonMobil, BP? Still thriving in business after serial oil spills over the course of their operation. Purdue Pharma, the company who has misled the medical community for decades about the effects of OxyContin and its potential for abuse, is still running and ruining multitudes more lives every single day.

Did these companies receive fines? Yes.

But their business model is too profitable to make the fines have just about any effect upon their operation.

In our cookie mining simulation, we found that completely obliterating the landscape was much more profitable than being careful and walking on eggshells around the laws. Large, too-big-to-fail companies have held the future of our planet in their greedy paws and have likewise pulverized our environment, soon enough to be unable to return from.

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