Last week I had the opportunity to attend a talk by Jackie Battenfield, artist and author of the informative book The Artist's Guide, How to Make a Living Doing What You Love. She shared many of the practical tips outlined in the book, along with a few new ones like: Her rules of Three (Take three steps to advance your career every day. Talk to three new people before leaving a gallery opening.) My favorite part of the lecture though was her closing line:
"I'm here to tell you that I'm a BIG NOBODY ARTIST. I have never had my picture on the cover of Art in America, but I am successfully leading a life that I love."
Sometimes I think the idea of artist as 'Art Star' or 'Starving Artist' can hinder us from setting practical goals (financial and otherwise) and leading successful professional careers. It doesn't have to be all or nothing though. We can be the tortoise chugging determinedly toward the finish line, calmly passing the inflated egos on the side of the road, resting prematurely on their laurels.
I highly recommend this book for its practical tips on reorganizing yourself as a professional whose profession happens to be art-making.