Getting Things Done for Artists
August 19, 2019 3:36 AM   Subscribe

I am looking for books that advise artists with day jobs on how to make the most of their limited time and energy as well as get their butts into the chair.

Most self-help books for artists either focus on technique or how to find inspiration. Or offer career management advice that assumes you are a full-time artist living off grants and residencies.
I'm looking for something closer to How to Be an Artist Without Losing Your Mind, Your Shirt, Or Your Creative Compass: A Practical Guide that talks in practical, no-nonsense terms about how to shoehorn art into an ordinary life with a day job and the usual life obstacles and distractions.
Advice on how to manage self-doubt and other psychological barriers that prevent art-making would also be welcome. I never had formal art training and have the usual issues that working outside of the system entails.
I know some Mefite recommended The Artist in the Office: How to Creatively Survive and Thrive Seven Days a Week but I didn't find it really useful. I don't really want to take photos of weeds on my way to work with my phone or doodle on office stationery.
posted by whitelotus to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
 
How technical do you want the book to be? I've always enjoyed Austin Kleon's work, but its pretty breezy and more big picture. Show Your Work is a good starting point. Also, I think most of the content of the books finds its way onto his blog. It might be a good place to see if he's the right voice for you.
posted by lownote at 5:22 AM on August 19, 2019 [2 favorites]


The Heart to Start is somewhat short and to the point, but sometimes that's exactly what's needed.
posted by rtgoodwin at 6:10 AM on August 19, 2019


Finishing School
posted by Obscure Reference at 10:12 AM on August 19, 2019


lownote: I've already read Show Your Work. It did have some good pointers for the internet era.
posted by whitelotus at 12:51 AM on August 20, 2019


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