“One Question” with Jackie Battenfield, author of “The Artist’s Guide: Making A Living Doing What You Love”

The Artist's Guide

Jackie Battenfield is an artist who is known nationally for her luminous paintings and prints of natural forces. For over last twenty years, she has made a living from her art and is a popular motivational speaker on the challenges of sustaining a successful career in the visual arts. Battenfield teaches professional practices in the graduate program at Columbia University and for the Creative Capital Foundation. Battenfield is the author of The Artist’s Guide: How to Make a Living Doing What You Love, Da Capo Press, 2009, now in it’s eighth printing.

Neoteric Art: What was the inspiration behind your book, The Artist’s Guide: Making A Living Doing What You Love?

Jackie Battenfield: My main inspiration was to provide a guide that artists can turn to for advice and mentoring. As a self-employed artist, (painter) for nearly thirty years I have made a living from my studio practice. In my daily life I encounter the same issues that confront most artists: how to manage my personal life, to create new work, financially support myself, protect, and promote my art. I love my life and feel fortunate to have found a way to make it feasible. Since 1992, I have offered classes and workshops around the down-to-earth issues of building a career and help other artists develop their own sustainable, lifelong art practice.

I was inspired to write the book because I can reach only a few artists through skill-building workshops. My book is a compendium of advice and answers to the questions that have come up in my own practice and in the classes and workshops I have taught. It represents the accumulated wisdom and experience of thousands of artists with whom I have worked and shares insights from other art professionals. A studio practice can be lonely endeavor and it’s hard to know how to proceed. It is so easy to feel overwhelmed and defeated when things go wrong. My goal was to produce a book an artist could turn to for advice. As one artist speaking to another, I want to transform their uncertainty into productive activity in order to develop an ever-evolving plan to move forward.

More information on Jackie Battenfield here.

Visit the book’s website here. Plus! There are transcripts of 21 interviews with other art professionals on a wide variety of topics. They are under the tab: Reality Check Interviews. Each interview is also captured as a PDF document, which can be printed out. It’s another book in and of itself.

Buy the book here.