“One Question” with Sharon Louden, organizer and editor of the book, “Living and Sustaining a Creative Life: Essays by 40 Working Artists”
Sharon Louden is a practicing, professional artist living and working in Brooklyn. Her work has been exhibited at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Birmingham Museum of Art, Neuberger Museum, and the Weisman Art Museum, among other venues, and it is held in the public collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, Weatherspoon Art Museum, and National Gallery of Art.
Neoteric Art: What was the inspiration behind your book, Living and Sustaining a Creative Life: Essays by 40 Working Artists?
Sharon Louden: In early 2011, a representative from Intellect Books (the publisher of Living and Sustaining a Creative Life) approached me to ask if I wanted to write a book. I met with her during the College Art Association Conference that year and submitted an idea that I felt was not being spoken of in books and in many art schools today: how do artists sustain a creative life? What inspired me to organize and edit this book was to be able to share with other artists that no matter how “successful” an artist is perceived to be by the market, we are all in the same boat: artists do many things independent of a gallery to live their lives.
Another point of inspiration is that when I graduated with an MFA in 1991, I had trouble seeking from different artists how they paid their bills – not a lot of artists were sharing information. I wanted to change that practice. I believe that artists sharing with other artists is important in a healthy community. This book is meant to inform, inspire and confirm that artists are resilient risk takers and creative in their lives outside their artistic practice. In addition, it shows that 40 artists can indeed be generous. Through their examples in this book, my hope is that readers will be inspired to follow their paths or gain ideas so they can establish their own “successful” journey – whatever course that may be.”