Artists need to be entrepreneurs. However, business skills are rarely taught in in art school. Whether living in Minneapolis or elsewhere in the country, these books give some of the best information about the skills artists and arts organizations need to succeed in the business of making art.
5. The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life – Also listed in the “Top 5: Books for artists”, Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit lays a blueprint for establishing an effective creative practice. Tharp has choreographed an extraordinary number of dances, Hollywood movies and Broadway shows. She founded her dance company in 1965 and is one of the best known choreographers in the U.S. Her work has won two Emmy Awards, Director’s Guild of America Award and a Chicago International Film Festival Award.
In The Creative Habit, Tharp gives us the tools on how to connect with our creative selves through practice and create rituals around our daily lives. Not only good for artists, the habits she discusses are good for any entrepreneur. She reminds us that creativity is at anyone’s fingertips, but only with effort and rigor will we truly reach our potential.
4. Rules for Revolutionaries: The Capitalist Manifesto for Creating and Marketing New Products and Services – Guy Kawasaki, former director of new product development at Apple, lays out simple steps to success: “Create Like a God,” “Command Like a King” and “Work Like a Slave.” Though the book is geared mainly towards business and product design, the concepts he outlines easily transfer to artists’ work as well. Easy and fun to read, the book commands the reader to get out there and make something.
3. Paradigm Found: Leading and Managing for Positive Change – In this inspiring account, Anne Firth Murray tells how she started the Global Fund for Women, an organization that provides funds internationally to seed, strengthen and link groups committed to strengthening women’s well-being. Though also not written specifically for artists, the book is inspirational in its discussion of leading for change, managing others and creating an organization out of nothing.
2. Guide to Getting Arts Grants – Ellen Liberatori breaks down the grant-seeking process into manageable steps. She discusses not only how to write and submit proposals, but how to make sure your work is ready to apply for a grant and what to do when you get the response. Great for artists at all stages in their work, Liberatori’s book is an indispensable guide written by someone who has been both on the grant-making and grant-writing side of the arts.
1. How to Survive and Prosper as an Artist: Selling Your Self Without Selling Your Soul – Caroll Michels’ book is a classic guide that all artists should have in their libraries. Michels tells how to take control of your own art career and walks through details of getting grants, gallery representation, sales, promotion and marketing in order to build a sustainable career. Ideal to read and reread, How to Survive and Prosper as an Artist serves as a checklist in getting to the next stage in any artistic career.