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Self-help books for artists

Smith art books at home

There's a number of things I like to do besides making art, and one of them is reading. So I thought I'd take a minute here and make out a list of some helpful art books.

I'll start with Sarah Thornton's book, Seven Days in the Art World where she looks at the sub cultures that make up the contemporary art world. A very interesting read for those of us who simply cawn't make to Venice this year dahling.

How to Survive and Prosper as an Artist: How to Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul by Caroll Michels. The title is pretty self explanatory, and I found it helpful when I decided to go professional. My copy is the third edition, printed in 1992 so it's just a teeny weeny bit outdated. You should probably look for a later edition.

Two excellent books by gallery owner, Jason Horejs: Starving to Successful and How to Sell Art. Both books are about how to get your foot in the door of galleries. What works and what doesn't. How to be prepared when you approach a gallery.

A couple of books by writer and artist Austin Kleon, Steal Like An Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative and Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered . These are almost self-help books for creative people. I like the way he breaks through a lot of the can't-do-that notions we carry around with us and shows you how it's ok to go ahead and do those things. A couple of really easy books to read and there's gems all through them.

And last, Concerning the Spiritual in Art by Wassily Kandinsky. If the previous two books were an easy read this one is like slogging your way through melting tundra. Some profound thoughts on abstract art by the man who became the inspiration for generations of pure abstract artists.

There's a few “thinking” books for you to read. Later on, I'll tell you of some of my favorite “how-to” books.

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