Living and Sustaining a Creative Life

Essays by 40 Working Artists

Edited by Sharon Louden

Edited by Sharon Louden

Distributed for Intellect Ltd

With an Introduction by Carter Foster
224 pages | 40 color plates | 7 x 9 | © 2013
Paper $35.50 ISBN: 9781783200122 Published October 2013
In this day and age, when art has become more of a commodity and art school graduates are convinced that they can only make a living from their work by attaining gallery representation, it is more important than ever to show the reality of how a professional, contemporary artist sustains a creative practice over time. The forty essays collected in Living and Sustaining a Creative Life are written in the artists’ own voices and take the form of narratives, statements, and interviews. Each story is different and unique, but the common thread is an ongoing commitment to creativity, inside and outside the studio. Both day-to-day and big picture details are revealed, showing how it is possible to sustain a creative practice that contributes to the ongoing dialogue in contemporary art. These stories will inform and inspire any student, young artist, and art enthusiast and will help redefine what "success" means to a professional artist.

ARTnews
“Contributions range from predictable to shocking, in-control and overwhelmed. Some artists have full-time jobs; many are parents. . . .[Louden is] telling it like it is.”
Hyperallergic
“A strikingly frank book that removes the veil of mysticism surrounding the artistic life.”
CHOICE
"Consisting of 40 essays, this book presents the realities of the creative life over time, as reported by practicing artists. The stories take the form of interviews, narratives, and statements, and convey in frank, authentic form the joys and challenges of being an artist....Aspiring artists and students will be inspired by these essays, and professionals will see themselves in many of the stories being told. Anyone considering a career in art can profit from reading this book. It also provides insight into the world of art as a commodity, and the challenges of balancing business, relationships, and the creative life....Highly recommended."
Adam Sheffer, partner, Cheim and Read Gallery
"Anyone serious about a career as an artist must read this book."
Franklin Sirmans, Terri and Michael Smooke Curator, Los Angeles County Museum of Art
“Too often the story of how an artist makes art and a living is advertised as either a step into an abyss of debt and dementia or a glamorized Bohemia misunderstood by a general public. Yet what these artists demonstrate in this valuable book is that the common bond for us all who aspire to a well-lived life is blood, sweat, and tears. From artists living off sales of their work to those who teach and those who search for paychecks in odd jobs, the desire to create is never extinguished.”
Anne Pasternak, president and artistic director, Creative Time
“From surprisingly frank sharings on the struggles of starting out as young artists to the challenges of making time and space for creation, the artists in Living and Sustaining a Creative Life share with candor and heart just what it takes to be an artist today."
Michael Straus, chairman, Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts
“Sharon Louden has gathered together in this book an exceptionally diverse range of artists’ experiences in order to illustrate, in a manner otherwise inaccessible, the inherent tensions that artists face in constantly balancing their drive to devote core time and energy to creating new work and their wish to share that work with the world with the complexities, as well as the joys, of their personal and family lives.”
Olga Viso, executive director, Walker Art Center
“I applaud artist Sharon Louden for assembling this fascinating compilation of artist testimonies. It provides a refreshing, honest look at the myriad ways that artists shape and feed their lives and evolve authentic, generative practices in a society that does not always make it easy for artists to subsist and fully contribute. Living and Sustaining a Creative Life is thus an inspiring, unexpurgated resource for artists beginning their careers as well as any individual seeking to recalibrate his or her daily life to pursue a more purpose-filled existence.”
Courtney M. McSwain, writer and storytelling consultant
"Louden’s collection offers valuable lessons on striking a balance between the need to make money and the need to make art; for if making art is the primary concern, making money becomes a means to an end—not the end itself. . . . Though written about the unique experience of fine artists, Living and Sustaining A Creative Life is worth the read by anyone seeking to build a life of artistic intention without ignoring the need for monetary sustenance."
Contents

Preface  Sharon Loudon

Introduction  Carter E. Foster

Essays

Adrienne Outlaw

Amanda Church

Amy Pleasant

Annette Lawrence

Austin Thomas

Beth Lipman

Blane De St. Croix

Brian Novatny

Brian Tolle

Carson Fox

David Humphrey

Ellen Harvey

Erik Hanson

George Stoll

Jay Davis             

Jennifer Dalton

Jenny Marketou

Julie Blackmon

Julie Heffernan

Julie Langsam

Justin Quinn

Karin Davie

Kate Shepherd

Laurie Hogin

Maggie Michael and Dan Steinhilber

Maureen Conner

Melissa Porter

Michael Waugh

Michelle Grabner

Peter Drake

Peter Newman

Richard Klein

Sean Mellyn

Sharon L. Butler

The Art Guys

Thomas Kilpper

Timothy Nolan

Tony Ingrisano

Will Cotton

Conclusion

Ed Winkleman and Bill Carol

Acknowledgements

 

For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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