ForeWord Reviews

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Accelerating On the Curves

The Artist's Roadmap to Success

Foreword Review

Katharine T. Carter & Associates knows art and the business of promoting it. The marketing firm also knows artists whose skills are more successful in the studio than in business. “For many,” writes Carter, “developing a workable plan and finding the resources and courage necessary to reach their destination as ‘successful artist’ is an almost insurmountable task.” This highly useful text distills twenty-five years of the company’s experience in public relations and art marketing into a step-by-step “Roadmap to Success” for artists and those who love them.

Rich with information and wisdom and packed with detailed directions and sample documents guiding artists from studio to career in a series of step-by-step transactions, this three-part volume offers a three-stage program leading to professional recognition and income on the local/state, regional, and national levels. Keeping in mind that it’s not the destination but how one manages the journey that matters, Carter & Associates guides artists in navigating the road from obscurity to success.

Book One divides the roadmap into stages called “Local, County and Statewide Career Development;” “Interstate Commerce: Going Regional;” and “National Career Development” and “Reaching Your Destination.” Book Two contains templates, press kits, and presentation packages for artists to use as models for communication with curators, dealers, museums, and galleries. Book Three compiles practical and often amusing essays by associates who impart advice on “Navigating the Art World,” including how to achieve positive outcomes with galleries, art fairs, criticism, branding, print, and electronic media. The back of the book contains an encyclopedic array of valuable resources, a who, what, and where of the contemporary art world.

Carter’s advice on artistic achievement applies to other endeavors as well: “Waiting for others to discover you and make you successful, or to write about you and your work is an absolute, sure-fire path to failure.” She is adamant that art and poverty need not coincide. “When you decided to become an artist or just gave in to that compulsion to make art, you did not take a vow of poverty. The idea that artists can create great art and have a mind for business, take well-planned initiatives, and consciously and aggressively pursue certain outcomes through judicious promotional ploys was, and still is, seen by many as selling out, or even worse, selling your soul, when in fact, it is your salvation.”

With such fundamental statements setting the overall tone, Carter and her colleagues have crystallized their invaluable experience into a jewel of a manual.

Pamela Harris Kaiser