“How to survive and prosper as an artist”

June 10, 2009

It all depends where your treasure is.

It all depends where your treasure is.

“How to survive and prosper as an artist”…that kind of brings a slight smile to my face at the moment.  The word “prosper” seems strangely out of place, though the “survive” is quite apt!  But I ‘m not moaning.  I am very grateful to be able to channel my creative energy.  It’s been many years in coming. 

I feel a bit pathetic saying  “I have waited twenty one years to do what I am doing now”.  It begs the question, ” Well, what was stopping you before?” Surely if you really want to do something you just do it.  True.  But, it has to be said, it’s a hell of a lot harder when you can just about survive…when you can’t buy fruit flavoured yogurt,  (even the economy one!) because it’s too expensive, and have to look, enviously, at someone elses.  And resist the temptation to pinch it!   I have had quite a few years like that, in the distant past. 

Thankfully, in the distant past.  I am happy to say I am now enjoying my fruit yogurts very much.  Not, however, because of my amazing financial success.  People are not paying thousands of pounds for my right toe nail in a tin.  Or my toilet.  Or my toilet paper. Or my…    No, we won’t go there.  You know what I mean.

“How to Survive and Prosper as an Artist” is actually the title of a very useful book written by Caroll Michels.  It’s pretty old, and dated 1992.  But that doesn’t make it less useful to me.  It’s packed with good advice, especially for an artist like me who did not do my degree in Art, and therefore did not learn anything about marketing and the business side of art.  Well, come to think of it, I am not sure if they teach that to people studying Art at degree level anyway.  So maybe I didn’t miss out too much!  (Note: just found out that a new version of the book is published this year, so there’s no need to try and track down an old and dusty one, as I did!)

As I am busy preparing for my first Solo Exhibition I guess I am going to have to think about publicity and all of that side of things.  It will be a good experience, and the book by Caroll Michels had loads of great ideas and advice in it.  But it takes so much time up!  I have got to get my fabric printed and my photographic prints mounted.  I even have a painting I need to finish.  AAAAhhhh!    That’s only half of it.  The other half is the house, children and husband!


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