Friday, 26 June 2015

Books: Living and Sustaining a Creative Life

Living and Sustaining a Creative Life: Essays by 40 Working Artists, edited by Sharon Louden. 

I've been reading this book in slow sips over several months and I highly recommend it to anyone who is beginning a visual art practice and to all those who are already established. The gist of the book is that there is no one path. Some artists make their livings from day jobs outside of the art field, others teach or work in arts administration or as artist assistants. A handful make their entire living from art sales and of this handful a few do well and others live hand-to-mouth. In addition to the realities of money, the artists described their art practices. Some need to work every day, others work in waves. They also talk about balancing family and studio. In one hilarious essay, the artist shared how her young son told her that he thought that he needed to see a dentist. Balance isn't easy. The last chapter is an interview with two art dealers who give an overview of the art world. If you do buy or borrow this book, read it slowly as there is a lot to take in.


Sharon Louden said...

Hi Karen, THANK YOU for your kind words about "Living and Sustaining a Creative Life." I'm ever grateful and I hope this may be a resource for you for years to come. Thank you again, with my warmest wishes, Sharon Louden

Judy Martin said...

Karen, I have just attended four major art exhibitions in London England. Maybe 5 actually.
Cornelia Parker's Magna Carta
Agnes Martin at the Tate Modern
Erik Ravilious at the Dulwich Picture gallery
Sonia Delaunay at the Tate Modern
Joseph Cornell at the Royal Academy of Art

and what impressed me the most in this wide variety of very committed women and men was that they were all different in their approach to what art is, and they were all passionate and did it (art) all the time. They breathed it.

It sounds as if this book you are recommending says much the same thing.

Don't just sit there. Do your thing! Do your own art and do it all the time.

Karen Thiessen said...

Hi Sharon,
No, thank YOU: Writing the book was clearly a labour of love. It's a book that I will continue to recommend to other artists.

Karen Thiessen said...

Hi Judy,
Thanks for your comment. I wholeheartedly agree with you to "Do your own art and do it all the time." That's how anything gets done.