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Art, Inc.

The Essential Guide for Building Your Career as an Artist

By Lisa Congdon and Meg Mateo Ilasco
13-minute read
Audio available
Art, Inc.: The Essential Guide for Building Your Career as an Artist by Lisa Congdon and Meg Mateo Ilasco

Art, Inc. is a practical guide for artists who want to earn a living from doing what they love. Art, Inc. presents the business side of the art world in a palatable way, sharing useful advice and practical guidance.

  • Artists who want to stop struggling and earn money from their work
  • Artists who want to understand the business side of the art world

Lisa Congdon is an illustrator and has worked for The Museum of Modern Art, The Obama Campaign and Simon & Schuster. Her work has also been shown in The Bedford Gallery and The Contemporary Jewish Museum.

Meg Mateo Ilasco is a creative entrepreneur and author of seven books including Craft, Inc. She has been a guest on Martha Stewart Living Radio and her work has been featured in Real Living and Real Simple.

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Art, Inc.

The Essential Guide for Building Your Career as an Artist

By Lisa Congdon and Meg Mateo Ilasco
  • Read in 13 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 8 key ideas
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Art, Inc.: The Essential Guide for Building Your Career as an Artist by Lisa Congdon and Meg Mateo Ilasco
Synopsis

Art, Inc. is a practical guide for artists who want to earn a living from doing what they love. Art, Inc. presents the business side of the art world in a palatable way, sharing useful advice and practical guidance.

Key idea 1 of 8

Being authentic is the best thing you can do for yourself as an artist.

So many of us want to be great artists. But how do we get there? Study artists of the past, emulate them and their lifestyle? As tempting as it might be, doing the exact opposite is a far better idea.

We’re all aware of the “starving artist myth,” the idea that in order to create something worthwhile artists need to struggle and suffer like Vincent van Gogh. Although a lot of us cling to this myth, it’s a lie.

Being a professional artist doesn’t necessarily entail enduring a tough life and trying to make ends meet. It can actually mean being surrounded by people who care about you and support you, such as your family, friends, mentors and artist circle.

What you will need to keep your creativity thriving is passion, talent and hard work. The place you live and the amount of struggle you go through is irrelevant. So forget the starving artist myth and stop mimicking tortured artists of the past.

Often people tell artists that they need to learn from other established painters or experienced teachers, but the reality is that the best art is art that displays authenticity and the true inner workings of the artist who created it. It’s the art that reflects your history and the events that made you who you are.

Therefore, if you are copying someone else, you won’t be able to innovate. Taking risks, trying different techniques in your work and using different subjects for your inspiration will be far more valuable and worth your while.

The good news is that inspiration is all around you. To stay inspired, try keeping a journal and noting down your observations and activities. You never know when a seemingly insignificant event might become your next source of inspiration.

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