Three Great Art Books

I love books on art and I try to read as many of them as I can. Of all the art books I’ve read over the years, here are three of my favorites. This list will probably keep growing.

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The three books below were chosen, in part, for their accessibility. The older I get, the less patience I have for academic writing:

The Artist’s Mentor, Ian Jackman

This simple book contains inspirational quotes from a wide variety of artists on various parts of the creative process. It’s a quick and unassuming book that I re-read every couple of years.

The Story of Art, E.H. Gombrich

This very long book covers a ton of material, but it does so in a very easy to read and navigate format. Basically, every period of art, from cave to modern is given a quick recap in about ten or so pages. It’s easy to read a chapter before bed.

Art/Work, Heather Darcy Bhandari & Jonathan Melber

There are many books that can help you navigate the business aspects of your art practice. I’ve found this one to be a helpful point of reference.

The Square: A Review

This past Saturday, after working on my art for most of the day, I finished up, and watched a movie about the art world. Here is a very quick review of The Square.

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I recently watched the film The Square. Here are some quick thoughts:

I like just about anything that critiques the art world (in part because it is so foreign to me), so I had been looking forward to seeing The Square for a while. If, like me, it’s a critique you’re looking for, this film is for you – it pulls no punches.

Overall, I liked this movie. I thought it was a bit-long, and at times slow, but when it picks up, it really nails it. Two scenes in particular, the performance (in the photo above), and the press conference near the end of the film are exceptional.

I really don’t want to give too much away, and I promised a very short review, so, if you like artsy films about art, this one’s worth checking out.

Sometimes Life Gets in the Way

Making art is fun, fulfilling, and cathartic, but in my case, it doesn’t pay the bills. Like many an artist, I have a day job, and sometimes, it keeps me away from the studio.

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If I could do anything, I’d make art full time, but as I live in the real world, I have to work full time. That’s okay. I’ve managed to balance the two quite well – and am generally happy to do so.

That said, working for a living often comes with it’s own challenges, and in my case, requires a little re-invention from time to time. Working in a field ripe for automation, I recently went back to school, and after completing a course in Project Management, decided to write the CAPM (Certified Associate in Project Management) exam.

The exam was a huge challenge. Rather than working on art in my spare time, I put all my supplies away, and studied every day for nearly three months (1-3 hours a day during the week, and 6-7 hours a day on weekends). I’m happy to say, I passed on my first attempt.

While I still have a lot of work to do putting the certification to use, the challenge it posed was an excellent experience. It worked my brain in ways that hadn’t been worked in a while (if ever), boosted my confidence, and gave me a sense of control over my future. The fundamentals of project management will probably help a lot when it comes to the business aspects of my art as well.

What did I do with my first study free weekend? I worked on my art.