You make art, and now you want to sell it, right? The normal 9-5 job isn’t for you, as what matters to you is that you start making a living from what you love to do! But it may be challenging as making art frequently starts out as a hobby and it can be difficult to transform it into a career which you can actually make a living from. But it CAN be done!
There is no ONE method to transforming your art hobby into a creative career, although it’s a move many aspiring artists have gone through quite successfully. One of the easiest ways to learn how to make a living from your art is through other people’s experiences, like you’ll find in these best books for artists which guide on different approaches you can take to sell your work.
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Best Books for Artists Who Want to Sell Their Work
Art Money & Success: Finally Make A Living Doing What You Love by Maria Brophy
The book is authored by Maria Brophy and she designs her book to be a working guidebook with the objective of coaching an artist to realize success through the sale of their work. The author took her time to dedicate 20 years of her time to research on successful strategies artists should follow.
Maria gives her readers an inside look into her own business deals, achievements, and failures. The book goes on to share non-conventional knowledge that is expected to make artist’s work sales explode. The book includes exercises and worksheets to help artists apply her insights to their businesses. The book is can help you:
- Increase their income after connecting with the right buyers.
- Improve their negotiating skills and sell art easily
- License artwork and gain from being paid multiple times
- Trust their own creative intuition
- Implement powerful business and money practices
Art-Write: The Writing Guide for Visual Artists by Vicki Krohn Amorose
One of the most important things you can learn when starting your creative business is how to write about your art. And that’s exactly what Vicki Krohn Amorose teaches you in this book! She covers writing your artist statement, about your art itself, and even how to write effective emails and beyond.
One of the things I like so much about this book is how encouraging the author is. The way she writes makes you feel as if she is on your side, and that you can do it! But it’s not only encouraging, it’s practical, too.
Show Your Work: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Getting Discovered by Austin Kleon
This is probably the most “fun” book in the list, but also something you can definitely learn a lot from! Austin Kleon has written great books like his New York Times bestseller “Steal Like an Artist” in which he showed artists how to “steal” ideas from the community thus unlocking their creativity. Now in “Show Your Work,” he brings out an even more forward-thinking approach to the creative journey of making impactful art you can sell.
The book can be considered among the best books for artists because Austin tries to show artists that they should be discovered, but that you as the artist have to put yourself out there in order to make that happen. He teaches that you should use the networks you already have to advance your work and sales. He expands on the idea of “stealing” (he never actually condones stealing, by the way!) from other artists like in his previous book to now encouraging artists to open up themselves and let others learn from them (and buy from them!).
Art Inc. – The Essential Guide for Building Your Career as an Artist by Lisa Congdon
Art Inc. is a book meant for artists who want to turn their passion into a career. The process is sometimes daunting hence the need for guidance. Lisa Congdon — a fellow Portland-based artist — offers her expert guidance to artists by unveiling multiple ways they can make a living through their art.
In her book, she shows artists how they can earn from licensing, illustration, print sales, fine art sales, and teaching. She also offers good advice to artists in cultivating a business mindset. A mindset that is geared towards promoting and selling more artwork. Something that is, unfortunately, not always a strong talent that artists possess.
The book is generous enough to give artists trade secrets from world art pros including personalities like Paula Scher, Mark Hearld and Nikki McClure. These make Art Inc. the ultimate resource for aspiring artists who wish to succeed in selling their art.
These are just some of the best books for artists, but I feel like they would all make a great starting point in learning how you can start selling your own art!