I don't Read very often. It is a habit that I'm trying to get back at. Not because I don't like to read mind you, but because its something that doesn't really come easy to me. Its usually takes a lifetime and a half for me to get through a book. And when I do read I very rarely, if ever, write a book review (Writing isn't really something I'm comfortable with either.).
I had to break the pattern with this one though. To quote the back of the book "This is the book with all the practical information about how to actually make a career in the arts that you never learn in art school." And man alive did it deliver! I'm an artist, like many, whose career has been a series of trial and errors and, my GOD, the errors!
When I got out of college I had no idea what to do, where to go, or what I was doing. I remember asking for help at my university, some guidance to help illuminate my path.... I didn't get it. It was apparently something I had to figure out on my own. Many years and many painful realizations later, I was at an impasse. I could move on, try to live comfortably knowing that I gave up my truest love or keep fighting for it. I chose the latter (I must be a masochist). I bought "The Complete Smartist Guide" expecting the same regurgitated inspirational mumbo jumbo you usually get from self help books. I couldn't have been more wrong. One look at the table of contents and I knew this book was going to be read and reread and dissected. Upon reading the book I started putting the advice into practice and immediately began to notice a change. Mind you, from the outside these changes were imperceptible. But in my studio, there was a level of professionalism that was palpable. I was no longer lost! I found a book and a community within it that was holding my hand and showing me the way! The "secrets" of the art world no longer felt like secrets but more like problems with solutions. This book spelled out the problems so it was easier to find the solution that worked best for you.
"The Complete Smartist Guide" will not miraculously do the work for you, but it definitely bridged a gap between my art practice and my art business. It covers EVERYTHING. Not in vagaries like "write a resume, have an artist statement, build a website." but it breaks things down into "this is what galleries want to see, this is what is supposed to be in your artist statement, don't waste your time doing such and such." At the end of every section there is a TAKE ACTION checklist that summarizes the thinks you need to do. After that its up to you. Its all in your hands. This is the type of thing I wish they would have taught me in art school and I am glad that Ekaterina Popova and Alicia Puig are teaching me now.
If you are an artist unsure of where to go or you need help being pointed in the right direction, this book is a MUST in your creative library. Now go forth, and make good art!
Hello! This space is where my mental and verbal diarhea will come out. It may be art related, inspirational, or just random . But it will definitely give you an idea of how my head works!