Successful Artist’s Career Guide: Summer Giveaway!

SACG cover large?







 is offering a summer giveaway of The Successful Artist’s Career Guide: Finding Your Way in the Business of Art (enter by midnight, Tuesday July 16, details at the end of this post). This book is filled with interviews with artists who tell of their varied and surprising paths to their own successful careers as artists. There’s an artist blacksmith, illustrators, a graphic novelist, a moku hanga printmaker, painters, a muralist, a graphic designer, a costume painter, and more. There is advice about plotting your course towards an art career, including worksheets that help you figure out where you want to live and what you want to do with your art skills. To give you a feel for the book, which is beautifully designed by Clare Finney (another successful artist), let’s flip through:



















This is the beginning of the interview with April Vollmer, the Moku Hanga artist, and one of two her lovely pieces.


















This is one of the many worksheet pages–there’s Writing a Business Plan, What Do You Care About?, Are You An Art Business?, Who Are You and What Do You Like to Do?, and more self-reflective Q and As.


















This is a page with advice from costume painter Virginia Clow, with a few examples of her fantastically detailed and time-saving stencils.

river of ideas


















A page with fun ways to keep the conduit to your infinite river-of-ideas flowing–the book isn’t JUST about business! It’s about finding out about yourself, and then making a sensible, business plan on which to build your life as an artist.















Interesting Art Jobs: I tried to list as many as I could think of and then researched to find more. There are so many ways to make a living as an artist! Maybe there are some ways you had not thought of!

























An inspiring interview with artist-blacksmith Michael Bendele appears in the book–isn’t this an amazing chair? All made of iron and heat. Michael works all the time, doing ironwork and copper repousse.















The back cover–those eely things are just that–eels–a bigger picture is inside the book in the interview with artist Annie Sessler who is a successful gyotaku artist (makes prints of fish) with her business East End Fish Prints.

What are your plans? Tell me here in the comments a step you are taking to get your art career going, and I will enter you in a drawing to win a copy of The Successful Artist’s Career Guide. I will pick two winners. ENTER BY MIDNIGHT ON TUESDAY JULY 16TH. I WILL DO THE DRAWING AND POST THE TWO WINNERS ON JULY 17TH. Good luck!


Successful Artist’s Career Guide: Summer Giveaway! — 14 Comments

  1. I’ve done different kinds of artwork all my life, but I’ve only recently been trying to make a career out of it. I am what my mother used to say a ‘jack of many trades, master of none’, so I am pursuing different media to see which one/s will fill my wallet. I’ve mainly been focusing on crocheting, mostly jewelry which is listed on my etsy shop, though I have been having trouble getting noticed there. Recently, I crocheted a blanket for a pattern book my friend is publishing and I’m hoping that will bring a little more traffic to my site. However, I have also taken a commission to illustrate the cards for a new card game. I’m hoping this will help me build my resume and expand my marketable skills. Funds are tight, as I am building my business while taking care of my grandpa full time, because unfortunately his insurance doesn’t pay a stipend for home care. I would love to get my hands on this book, it looks like an amazing resource. Thanks so much for offering this giveaway! 🙂 Bess

    • Bess,
      Thanks for leaving a reply–you are entered to win! What about creating a blog where you show patterns for making the earrings, a crocheted blanket, crocheted friendship bracelets–stuff for tweens and teens to make, say, and offer downloadable PDFs for how to make stuff, all the while taking pics of stuff you are making and posting. Link your blog to other crafting blogs, send your pieces as samples to Seventeen, Kiki, and other mags that sell to girls, and once you have a following, consider writing a book? What if you were the number-one-expert on crocheting jewelry?
      Exciting about the card illustration, too–keep after it–hard work and persistence are most usually rewarded!

  2. Although I do not have a website as yet, my next intent is to set up either a facebook page or a website to exhibit my work and for (possible) sales. I am hopeful that I can gain some useful and helpful hints from information found through Alternative Art Journals and maybe be one of the lucky two selected to win a copy of Successful Artist’s Career Guide in the summer giveaway. It looks chock full of great info.

    • Hi Gail,
      What is the nature of your work? What is your media, subject (or no, if abstract)? If you have a particular media or subject matter, what about sending images to magazines or on line zines–to “illustrate” short fiction, or something specifically related to your work? For example, if you are a watercolorist, what about Watercolor magazine? Or a Watercolor Society near you? And what do you want specifically? Do you want to show? For what purpose? To sell? As non-artist-y as it might seem, one great thing to do is write down what you want to do, where you want to do it, and what you hope to gain–like a business plan.
      Good luck!

  3. I must do art to live (like breathing). Although I have another job, I make sure I create at a minimum once a week, I also started teaching art journalling classes at our local scrapbooking store. I did not think that I was a teacher, however I am putting it out there and somehow people seem to be coming to the classes:) I also (with the help of a friend) host ATC events at our local Art gallery. This book seemes extremely creative, thank you for the chance to win it!!!

    • Randell–Teaching and getting involved in a community of artists sounds just right. The more you show yourself to be reliable, creative, friendly, the more you will asked to teach and exhibit. Consider the possibility of hosting a show of your students’ work at some location–a cafe, a public space you are associated with–and show your work as well. This kind of good karma act will come back and back. Good luck! Margaret

  4. shows shows shows. here there and anywhere. big places little places, bars libraries, coffee shops and any and all galleries that will have you. the more you can get things out there to be seen the better is my philosophy.

    • Scoob–Agreed–if you want to show your work, then show your work wherever you can. As I said to Randell, consider putting together a group show with friends or colleagues, with you as the curator. This will open up unexpected doors, and other artists tend to repay this in kind. Good luck! Margaret

  5. Doing a lot of stuff – I have become eclectic at what I do entertain starting, and have done more child-oriented things in the past five years. I have saved up to buy a torch to move more metal into my artistic vocabulary. I still cannot swing any good power tools, so any woodworking is limited to handwork for now. I have BOLO for a good stump section that is not too big (that I can move myself, since no one else is going to move it for me!) so hammering is possible.

    I am a SAHM with two children I am home schooling, so time now is of the essence – there is no family here to help out and satisfy any art cravings. I would rely on my poetry to support me, but that’s not going to happen!

  6. Elizabeth Lopez comments: Hello, I would LOVE to win this book! I am trying to start my art career, even with naysayers that state that it won’t make me earn a living or that nobody cares about art. (Even I feel that sometimes) I would love for everyone to understand my art, not just reserved for the ‘elite’. I’m going to create a blog and a FB page asap, but first I have to create the things that are living in my head…I would also love to have an art job; that would be AWESOME! I’ve heard about being an art director, you need an associate’s degree and you get a living salary. I am sure there’s more art jobs out there, and i would really like to know where they are and what they are. Thanks for creating the book!

  7. As a self-taught photographer, having never been to art school, I have taught myself about photography by practice, practice, practice. What I do as well as attend exhibitions, enter gallery shows, search out places to exhibit. I belong to several websites flickr,, groups on facebook. I share my work everywhere.
    I study others work, contemporary as well as classic photography from the beginning. I seek to understand the art world and how it works by looking and speaking to fellow artist.
    Thank you for sharing your talent!

  8. I work in a very high stressful job and I can’t leave it but I would love to get ideas to continue my small Jewelry Business and make it grow but with the stress from the job my muse seems to ebb and flow and I can’t get creative a lot of times so I think this book will help me get out of my rut.

  9. Things I’m doing to further my career:
    – Learning the new technology and creating websites
    – Doing freelance in illustration/graphic design/web design
    – Fund-raising art shows to spread my artwork
    – Learning new programs (As of right now Affter Effects) to make me qualify for more jobs
    – Doing photography for fun and freelancing with a green screen
    – Taking more college courses to keep up even after having a BFA in Illustration and Graphic Design
    – Applying for more jobs that fit my industry
    – Long walks ( no joke it relaxes me and gets the creative thinking going)
    – I’ve worked in the industry for about 3-4 years altogether, many of the jobs dead ends. So I’m doing band covers to hopefully get my name in that industry
    – Creating a digital portfolio on my tablet through Powerpoint as well as improving my physical portfolio
    – NOT giving up. I’ve been a graphic designer for mostly print, but the industry is really going digital, although I know this, I’ve ended up with companies that are failing or in trouble because they don’t really know how to adapt
    – Adapting to the marketplace. Digital seems to be the way to go for the most part. That’s where a lot of the money is. I’m updating my website to HTML 5 and getting rid of a Flash portfolio because it’s pretty dead. All about JQuery.

    Yes I want this book. But thinking about it whether I get it or not perhaps somebody will look at some things I’ve done that they haven’t tried yet and it will help. Love to all of you. Art is humanity’s therapy.

  10. I am currently working on the Design for Performance degree with and Art Management minor at UNM. I have been a seamstress since I was five years old and explore every opportunity to be creative. My recent work includes working on costumes at UNM and recreating a swing canopy. I want to own and direct my own performance space that will include artisans of all media presenting their work and opportunities for the attendees to participate in all types of art experiences.