I’d Rather Be in the Studio! The Artist’s No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion

Alyson Stanfield’s I’d Rather Be in the Studio! The Artist’s No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion is an art-business workshop in book format, featuring a strict but kind instructor who anticipates and quickly discredits any complaints. Stanfield writes that she chose the book’s title because “I hear that excuse more than any other from artists who are not promoting their work consistently.” The book is structured around artists’ common excuses, from “There aren’t enough hours in the day to do it all” to “I don’t want to bother people.” Stanfield, whose background in art museums provided the foundation for her art-consultation business, refutes these arguments, providing concrete “actions” in the form of individual chapters that respond to a given excuse.

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Legal Guide for the Visual Artist

“Artists should never feel intimidated, helpless, or victimized” by legal or business issues, Tad Crawford writes in Legal Guide for the Visual Artist. The book “seeks to introduce artists to the legal issues of both art in commerce and artists’ rights. It deals with each of the sequence of issues that begin as soon as the artist contemplates creating a work of art, including copyright, contracts of all types, taxes, estate planning, and public support for artists.”

Each of the book’s 28 chapters covers one of these topics (or a facet of one of them—there are, for example, four chapters addressing tax laws and issues). Crawford includes copies of common forms and tips for filling them out, histories of how laws and regulations evolved, and tips for dodging common pitfalls. He believes that “the artist’s increased awareness of the general legal issues…will aid in avoiding risks and gaining benefits that might otherwise pass unnoticed.”

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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.

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Fine Art and High Finance: Expert Advice on the Economics of Ownership

Fine Art and High Finance: Expert Advice on the Economics of Ownership, a compilation of articles related to art and economics, explores the world of fine and decorative arts from the perspective of an investor. Clare McAndrew, the book’s editor as well as a contributor, is an economist and investment analyst with a history of working in art-related finance. Her introduction outlines her interest in the field and what she sees as its growing relevance: “Over the last decade…art has sparked the interest of the mainstream financial community as an investment class,” McAndrew describes, in part because of the tumult in other financial sectors. She does acknowledge that “there is essentially no such thing as ‘the art market.’” Just “a conglomeration of…independently moving and unique submarkets that are defined by artists and genres and often behave in significantly different ways.”

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