5 Must Read Books for Artists

Every night before I go to sleep I spend some time reading.  I have accumulated a nice library of books to develop my art skills and art business.  Some of them were not what I anticipated, but many of them have become a great resource for me, and those are the ones I’m sharing with you here in my list of 5 must read books for artists.

5 Must Read Books for Artists www.carmenwhitehead.com

  1. Art, Inc by Lisa Congdon –  This was one of my favorite books I purchased and it’s one that I will refer too throughout my career.   It covers just about every possible career path for artists, from illustrators, showing in galleries, licensing, online sales, teaching, and art shows.  Lisa also provides interviews with successful artists after each section covered to provide you with a real life example.  The administrative side of an art career is also covered and she gives some great tips.


2.   Starving to Successful by Jason Horejs – This is a wonderful resource if you are wanting to start showing your work in galleries.  The author runs a successful gallery here in the Phoenix area (Scottsdale, AZ) and he provides you practical tips and steps to take to getting your portfolio together, writing an artist statement and approaching galleries.


3.  2016 Your Best Year by Lisa Jacobs – I’m using this planner for the first time this year, and so far I’m really enjoying it.  I follow Lisa on her very useful blog Marketing Creativity, so I’m already a fan of hers.  In the past I’ve had trouble laying out a really detailed goal plan for the entire year.  This planner first has you work through what your goals are, any obstacles you may have and how to set action steps.  You are given monthly sections with plenty of prompts, tips and space to write for a more productive year.


4.  How to blog for profit, without selling your soul by Ruth Soukup –  Having a blog to share your work is essential in today’s art market.  Monetizing your blog can be a difficult decision for some artists because they may feel like they’re “selling out” or giving up their standards as a artist.  But, I have found this book to be a huge help in getting me past that obstacle and showing me different ways I can “blog for profit” and still be an artist.  Ruth offers “solid advice and practical action plans for creating an authentic, successful, and profitable blog.”  I already have seen a 230% increase in my blog traffic in the last 6 weeks!  I’m still going back and reading different sections as I improve and add features to  my blog.  


5.  Handmade Marketplace – Kari Chapin – This book I purchased when I first opened my Etsy shop in 2012.  It’s an excellent resource if you’re at the stage of turning your hobby to business. Kari has since updated her book to provide more recent Etsy tips and online marketing with social media.  This book, I feel, is essential for a new Etsy shop owner.  It’s written from the perspective of an indie-crafter that’s been in the same spot and overcome the same fears and obstacles.

All of these books are available in Kindle form (except for the planner) and can easily be downloaded.  But, I’m a little old school and I love having an actual book in my hands.

I’m always on the lookout for books to read and improve my skills and business.  I truly believe we never stop learning.

Do you have any books that you love and would recommend to me?



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