It's been a few years, but I've created a new list of artists' guides. This list is expanded, with ten references covering marketing, living, financing, retreating; and protecting your physical health and your creative soul. As always, be sure to check for the latest editions of any reference book. New editions appear all the time--some several years after the first publication. This list is merely a guide, and includes my descriptions. I hope you find it to be helpful. If you have any of the books that appear on my lists, or if you know of any other helpful references, feel free to discuss them in our message boards.
Rudd, Eric. The Art World Dream: Alternative Strategies for Working Artists. 2001. 240 pp., paperback.
You can have your art and eat, too! This is a book of good advice from an experienced artist. Rudd is a well-known sculptor and mixed media artist; and for ten years directed the Contemporary Artists Center, a not-for-profit artists' studio residency and exhibition facility in Massachussetts. He tells you how he got where he is, and how you too can manage your life so that you can live your dreams as an artist.
Rudd, Eric. The Art Studio/Loft Manual: For Ambitious Artists and Creators. 2001. 244 pp.
Another helpful resource from Eric Rudd. Here he offers practical tips on getting and financing work space. You'll learn Real Estate and legal issues and how to manage them, how to find money to pay for your space, how to fix up your space on the cheap, and more. You'll get 40 photographs and illustrations to help guide you. If you're up for the practical challenges involved, you'll thank Mr. Rudd for this guide.
Michels, Caroll. How to Survive and Prosper As an Artist: Selling Yourself Without Selling Your Soul. 2001. 369 pp.
Starting to feel jaded? Fear "selling out?" Good Gravy! This art stuff is serious business. But don't despair. A career coach and art advocate has written a book to guide you through the process of making a living by doing what you love--while keeping your tired soul intact. Take a breath and read this author's practical advice and listings of Web sites, grants, accounting services (for struggling artists), art colonies, going corporate (or not), housing, and much more. Michels has a reputation for knowing what she speaks, as she has over thirty years experience in the art racket.
Smith, Constance. Art Marketing 101: A Handbook for the Fine Artist, 2nd Edition. 2000.
As the title suggests, this book is all about marketing your work. Even the purest of the purists wants to do that, right? You'll get tips for keeping your customers, alternative ways to sell your art, and advice about preparing a marketing plan. The book will also give you portfolio advice, tips on contacting galleries, and some legal advice. It's an affordable way to get a lot of necessary information in one source.
Alliance of Artists' Communities, Kunitz, Stanley (Introduction), Snell Tricia, ed. Artist's Communities: A Directory of Residencies in the United States That Offer Time and Space for Creativity. 2000. 244 pp.
If you've ever considered making time at an artists' community, this book is for you. It's an updated and expanded version of a well-known reference, covering more than 80 places for artists to retreat, work, connect, and learn. You'll get comprehensive information covering admission fees and deadlines, meals, terms and lengths of residency, the forms of art each residency serves, and a list of well-known artists who have stayed at each residency. Yes, you can relax and still create.
Jordan, Fred A. and Smith, Keith. Bookbinding for Book Artists. 1998. 432 pp.
According to all sources, this book is an invaluable reference for anyone interested in the art of bookbinding. Easy, practical steps are given, along with terminology.
Janecek, Lenore. Health Insurance: A Guide for Artists, Consultants, Entrepreneurs, and Other Self-Employed. 1993. 223 pp., paperback.
Who ever said you had to neglect your health for your art? This book is chock full of advice from a top insurance professional on how to choose (read: affordable) health insurance and what kind of insurance you need and why. It offers helpful checklists, worksheets, and comparison charts. Get this book and leave the "death for my art" stuff to history.
Oxenhorn, Douglas. Money for Visual Artists, 2nd Edition. 1993. 317 pp., paperback.
As this book claims, it is a comprehesive resource guide, with information on how to get money, emergency and technical assistance, application procedures and deadlines for awards, and where to find artists' colonies.
Gullong, Jane. Money for International Exchange in the Arts. American Council for the Arts. 1992. 200 pp.
This book will help you identify funding for scholarships and fellowships on an International level.
Villani, John. The 100 Best Small Art Towns in America: Discover Creative Communities, Fresh Air, and Affordable Living. 1998. 256 pp.
Small towns have artistic merit, too. Well, some do, according to this author. If you live or ever find yourself in a small town, check this book to see if it's an "art" town. If you plan to visit a small, quiet place to relax, but still want to get your art fix, this book will help you find the right mix. Want to move to a small community, but don't want to give up the liveliness of the arts? Get this book. It lists the top 100 best places (according to the author) for small towns with a flair for art. The author's criteria for the best include location, available cultural activities, the economic impact of the arts on each town, an active local arts agency, galleries, art festivals, and the opinion of artists within each community. Canadians, take heart: there is a bonus section for you, too.