Title: The Artist’s Guide: How to Make a Living Doing What You Love
Author: Jackie Battenfield
Published: Da Capo Press, 2009
Genre: Nonfiction (Art, Business)
Rating: ★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis

Using a “tough love approach” to pursuing a career in the visual arts, Jackie Battenfield expands on her highly successful classes and workshops to provide a comprehensive guide for both emerging and mid-career artists.Providing real-life examples, illustrations, and step-by-step exercises, Battenfield offers readily applicable advice on all aspects of the job. Along with tips on planning and assessment, she presents strategies for self-management, including marketing, online promotion, building professional relationships, grant writing, and portfolio development.

Each chapter ends with an insightful “Reality Check” interview, featuring advice and useful information from high-profile artists and professionals.

The result is an inspiring, experiential guide brimming with field-tested techniques that readers can easily apply to their own career.


Basically, this book is full of advice for how artists—painters, sculptors, etc, primarily—can make a living from their art. This ranges from everything from planning and time management to performance and sales. It’s a wide range of topics covered concisely and with many exercises to try and help you get the most out of what each chapter is covering. And I’m a writer, but this book was suggested in one of our modules. Indeed, a lot of the information is applicable to other freelance professions like writing, even though it is targeted more specifically at the professions I mentioned above.

I will say that a lot of what’s covered isn’t going to be helpful if you already know a lot about business and freelancing, especially if you’ve been doing it for a while. The book says that it’s helpful to more people than just beginners but personally? I would recommend it most to beginners and/or people who don’t yet know all that much about the subject.

It gets a three-star “I liked it” from me because it just so happens that I’ve already learned about the topics that Battenfield covers, and she claimed it would be helpful to people who already had, and it kind of … wasn’t. If you think you’ll find it useful, I definitely recommend that you go check it out.

I know you guys voted for The Hunger Games to be the next review, but that’s going to be the next Sunday Review, and I could get this review out quickly. Thanks for reading!


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