Accelerating on the Curves: The Artist’s Roadmap to Success

Katherine T. Carter & Associates, a public relations and marketing firm, promotes artists and shepherds them through the process of getting exhibitions and press coverage, articulating their artistic visions, and ultimately advancing their careers. The firm’s recent publication, Accelerating on the Curves: The Artist’s Roadmap to Success, aims to provide artists with art-business tools and concrete career plans.

The structure of the first section of the book, written by Carter, mirrors her framework for an artist’s career path: three stages of development describe an artist’s career level, visibility, and goals. She sounds some notes in common with other art business advice—“When you decided to become an artist…you did not take a vow of poverty”—but intriguingly, the defining factor in Carter’s discussion is geography. The “Stage One” chapters review local, county, and statewide development; “Stage Two” covers regional development; and “Stage Three” has advice on national career development. While this is not necessarily the way that all careers progress, Carter makes a good argument for focusing on, and attaining, incremental goals—her structure encourages artists to build on their accomplishments systematically. Very practically, she encourages artists to lay career foundations and make appropriately timed efforts.

The second section of Accelerating on the Curves is a brief compilation of sample documents for reference when writing pitch letters, press releases, résumés, biographies, and artist statements. The third section, a collection of essays by Carter’s associates—critics, curators, and gallerists—explores a wider variety of themes: Commitment, Defining Success, Navigating the Art World, and Tools. These varied voices and viewpoints are a highlight, providing insightful anecdotes in addition to sound advice. The book ends with a useful, but not comprehensive, listing of further resources. Accelerating on the Curves is pricey at $95—there are other books that provide similar motivational and career advice for a fraction of the cost—but it takes a welcome, pragmatic approach to career development.

— Elizabeth Lynch

Book Information:
Accelerating on the Curves: The Artist’s Roadmap to Success
By Katharine T. Carter & Associates
Paperback, $95. 363 pages.

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