Becoming an artist is very unlike becoming, say, a financial analyst. There are different rules (and there are some rules), and different paths, and just a whole lot of different things that the artist is expected to handle--often without any experience. Learn how to act as your own agents and managers! Synthesizing the opinions of nearly 100 people (from gallerists to curators, to lawyers and artists), learn the basics of setting up a studio (in your home or elsewhere), copyrights, resale, submissions, showing your work, agreements, shipping, and much more. Thoroughly practical in its scope, you'll learn all the tips no one ever told you! Many quotes are interspersed that offer unique perspectives on the art world. 290 pages, indexed, softcover.
Find Out What They Didn't Teach You in Art School
The most comprehensive guide of its kind, Art/Work gives artists of every level the tools they need to make it in an art world so competitive one dealer likens it to "The Sopranos, except nobody gets killed." Whether you're an art school grad looking for a gallery, a mid-career artist managing a busy studio, or someone just thinking about becoming a professional artist, this indispensable resource will help you build your career and protect yourself along the way.
Unlike other creative professionals, visual artists don't have agents or managers. You have to do it all yourself, at least until you find gallery representation -- and even then, there are important business and legal issues you need to understand to stay in control of your career and ensure you're being treated fairly. Heather Darcy Bhandari, a gallery director, and Jonathan Melber, an arts lawyer, walk you through these issues so that you can essentially act as your own manager and agent. They show you, for example, how to tackle business basics such as tracking inventory and preparing invoices; how to take legal precautions like registering a copyright and drafting consignment forms; how to use promotional tools like websites and business cards; and how to approach career decisions such as choosing the right venue to show your work.
In addition to drawing on their own experiences, Bhandari and Melber interviewed nearly one hundred curators, dealers, and other arts professionals, in cities across the country, about what they expect from and look for in artists. The authors also talked to a host of artists about their careers and the lessons they've learned navigating the art world. The book is full of their entertaining anecdotes and candid advice.
No matter what kind of artist you are -- or want to be -- this book will help you. Art/Work covers everything you need to know to succeed, saving you from having to learn it all the hard way -- and letting you spend more time making art.
Heather Darcy Bhandari spent the last fifteen years as a director at Mixed Greens gallery in New York City, where she curated over one hundred exhibitions while managing a roster of nearly two dozen artists. Currently, she is an adjunct lecturer at Brown University and a consultant to several arts institutions, including The Artist Project/LA, the domain extension .ART, and The Artist Pension Trust. Heather is on the board of directors of visual arts at Art Omi, the board of Art F City, and serves as an advisory board member to Trestle Gallery in Brooklyn. She is a member of the College Art Association and the film committee of ArtTable. She was on the board of NURTUREart for nearly a decade. Heather received a BA from Brown University and an MFA from Pennsylvania State University. Before joining Mixed Greens, she worked at contemporary galleries Sonnabend and Lehmann Maupin, both in New York City.
Jonathan Melber began his career as an arts-and-entertainment lawyer in New York, representing artists, galleries, collectors, and a host of creative individuals and companies. He eventually left his legal practice to join the art e-commerce startup 20x200 as director of business development, later moving to LA to run content acquisition business affairs at Hulu. Today he is VP of content commercialization at Turner, where he handles monetization strategy and digital sales for TNT, tbs, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, truTV, and CNN. Jonathan graduated from Brown University with a degree in philosophy and received his JD from New York University School of Law, where he was an editor of the Law Review.
"This book is a godsend...it should be required reading in fine arts curricula." -- Santa Fe New Mexican
"I'll bet this powerful little paperback finds a permanent home on the list of best business books for artists.... The contract, invoice and inventory templates alone are worth the cover price." -- The Artist's Magazine
"Together [the authors] make for a powerful combo, offering both extensive knowledge of the gallery system and the ins and outs of art law, for some well-founded tips on how to succeed in the art world...it's the perfect gift for anyone working in a creative field." -- CoolHunting.com
"This book is filled with the kind of nuts-and-bolts business advice every artist needs to read." -- ArtBistro.com
"Bhandari and Melber, both Brown University graduates, have drawn on their own experiences and interviews with 100 curators, dealers, and other arts professionals to offer advice on everything from preparing artwork for shipping to coping with rejection." -- Boston Globe
"Emerging curators, along with established curators who work with living artists, would do well to read it, as would art dealers and workers at nonprofit spaces or organizations.... One unique aspect of the book is the quotes in the margin -- from high-profile artists and well-known professionals who've been around the block. Shamim Momin from the Whitney Museum and Peter Eleey of the Walker Art Center talk about how they meet new artists and visit their studios, and Seattle gallerist James Harris underscores the importance artists' websites have when he looks for new work to show." -- College Art Association News
"...even those who have no interest in the art world may find Art/Work of use. Their instructions on how to pack objects for example, are so thorough, only the most dexterously challenged will find difficulty executing them. What's more, should this book reach the majority of working artists today, the quality of gallery staff life would improve by a level of magnitude..." -- Paddy Johnson for The L Magazine
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