All you need to know about How To Become A Successful Artist
In his new book the acclaimed art economist Magnus Resch guides fine artists towards their fortunes
Magnus Resch has no appetite for the cliche of the starving artist. “The average female artist in Berlin has an annual income of $10,000,” he writes in his new book, How To Become A Successful Artist. “A degree in fine art, in the US, is the least valued major in college; less than 20% of all artists who graduate from art school find permanent gallery representation; most will give up being a professional artist.”
In Resch’s view, it really doesn’t have to be this way. The author is a Professor for art economics, lecturing at Yale University; he holds a Ph.D. in economics and studied at Harvard, the LSE, and University of St. Gallen, and he sees, quite clearly, where so many are going wrong.
“The traditional view of artists sees them fixated only upon creative merit, with economic goals secondary to this preoccupation,” Resch writes. “Consequently, a situation has evolved in which amateur management often presides over an enterprise with no financial viability. If artists want to sustain and improve their careers, they have to hold their noses and follow the example of other entrepreneurs, and start to integrate profit margins into their activities.”
Those willing to take Resch’s valuable advice can learn a lot from his new book. How To Become A Successful Artist explores how artists can have a career in the field they love.
In plain language and an easy-to-follow structure the book addresses straightforward, but important questions, such as: How do I find gallery representation? How do I write an artist statement? How should I price my artworks? And what's the best Instagram strategy?
All the answers are backed up with solid research and hard data, as well as expert opinions and advice from such notable figures as Simon de Pury, Jeffrey Deitch, Oscar Murillo, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Raymond Pettibon, Julian Schnabel, Sean Scully, Stefan Simchowitz, Laurie Simmons, and many others.
There are guides to drawing up an artist’s CV, drafting emails to prospective journalists, creating contracts, finding gallery representation, and pricing works, as well as much more. All this is interspersed with pithy guidance from artists who’ve already made it. “Quit drinking early” advises the US painter Katherine Bernhardt; “Find allies, people whom you respect, and connect with them,” says the NY artist and educator, Marilyn Minter; “Never listen to anybody when it comes to being responsible for your own paintings. Because nobody knows better than you what you need to do,” argues the neo-expressionist, Julian Schnabel.
Readers of this book are freed from an outdated notion that contends creativity and the profit motive can’t get along. In 216 crisp pages, Resch guides art school ingenues towards that promised land: a creativity and financially satisfying career. To find out more and order your copy, go here.