Book Review | “The Artist’s Guide: How to Make a Living Doing What You Love” by Jackie Battenfield

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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.


Review

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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Book Review | “This Movie Will Require Dinosaurs” by C. W. Neill

Title: This Movie Will Require Dinosaurs
Author: C. W. Neill
Published: TarcherPerigee, July 2014
Genre: Nonfiction, On Writing, Comedy
Rating: ★★★

Amazon | Goodreads

Goodreads Synopsis

Writing is hard. Millions of people have attempted to write a screenplay, and most of them have failed to finish it. Curt Neill should know: he’s one of them. One day, while trying to get something down on paper, he wrote the following:

INT. I DON’T KNOW, AN APARTMENT?

CURT sits on the couch or whatever. Maybe he’s standing, it doesn’t matter.

Neill laughed, enjoyed the jab at all the technicalities that come with writing a screenplay, and realized he had the spark for a great blog. Thus, Untitled Screenplays was born.

Gathering the most popular entries from the well-loved blog as well as material never before published, This Movie Will Require Dinosaurs is a collection of the most ridiculous, bizarre, and humorous starts at screenplays Curt has created. Featuring random doodles and scribbled notes that reflect the intricacies of the creation process as well as a spectrum of over-the-top unfinished scripts, this book will not only appeal to potential screenwriters, but also anyone who loves movies or just a laugh.

With This Movie Will Require Dinosaurs, C.W. Neill provides a unique and rare glimpse into the psyche and creative process of a struggling screenwriter. From the most basic of introductory scenes, to gigantic blockbuster action films, C.W.’s imagination spans across all genres and emotions. And he’s never even made it to page 2.

“Wow, this book is good. Best I’ve ever read.” – Steven Spielberg’s neighbor’s plumber

“C.W.’s style is unmistakably hilarious!” – John Hollywood

“I still can’t believe he actually wrote all these!” – My buddy Randy

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