The most comprehensive guide of its kind, Art/Work gives artists of every level the tools they need to make it in an art world so competitive one dealer likens it to “The Sopranos, except nobody gets killed.” Whether you’re an art school grad looking for a gallery, a mid-career artist managing a busy studio, or someone just thinking about becoming a professional artist, this indispensable resource will help you build your career and protect yourself along the way.
Unlike other creative professionals, visual artists don’t have agents or managers. You have to do it all yourself, at least until you find gallery representation — and even then, there are important business and legal issues you need to understand to stay in control of your career and ensure you’re being treated fairly. Heather Darcy Bhandari, a gallery director, and Jonathan Melber, an arts lawyer, walk you through these issues so that you can essentially act as your own manager and agent. They show you, for example, how to tackle business basics such as tracking inventory and preparing invoices; how to take legal precautions like registering a copyright and drafting consignment forms; how to use promotional tools like websites and business cards; and how to approach career decisions such as choosing the right venue to show your work.
In addition to drawing on their own experiences, Bhandari and Melber interviewed nearly one hundred curators, dealers, and other arts professionals, in cities across the country, about what they expect from and look for in artists. The authors also talked to a host of artists about their careers and the lessons they’ve learned navigating the art world. The book is full of their entertaining anecdotes and candid advice.
No matter what kind of artist you are — or want to be — this book will help you. Art/Work covers everything you need to know to succeed, saving you from having to learn it all the hard way — and letting you spend more time making art.