Toiling away in obscurity? Sitting on a pile of painterly dynamite and wondering what to do first, and then next? Wary of the limelight, with its leeches, rip-offs, temptations, mirages and such? Well, Allworth Press has released the third edition of The Business of Being An Artist
, 300-plus pages of advice (with bibliography, appendix of contacts and addresses, $19.95) by Daniel Grant
, contributing editor of American Artist magazine, which just might spell relief. From the opening chapter, “How to Get an Exhibition and Sell Art,” to the last, “The Search for Grants and Gifts,” Grant dispenses level-headed, reality-rooted suggestions that should help art-world neophytes deflate a host of unreal balloons and avoid any number of disillusioning dead-ends. Of course, you’d think that a lot of this know-how would get transmitted in art school, but, as Grant writes in chapter seven (“From School to the Working World”), “Many of the real world problems of pursuing a career as an artist would be better known to young artists if more art schools offered what are frequently called ‘survival courses.’” Among a host of other relevant topics, Grant touches on “toxic substances in arts and crafts materials,” “copyright and trademark protection,” “handling criticism” and (a loaded booby trap) “the benefits and pitfalls of censorship and controversy.” Here’s a book that’s sure to piss some art professionals off and assist a lot of less experienced others.
George Tysh is the Metro Times arts editor. E-mail him at [email protected]