Absolutely No More Starving Artists.


modigliani_picasso_and_andre_salmonIn 1920, Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani died at the age of 35, destitute and penniless. Done in by a then uncurable case of tubercular meningitis—and way too much drinking—he was literally so broke that he only ate by trading his work for meals. (That’s, l-r, Modigliani, Pablo Picasso, and critic André Salmon in 1914, Paris, right.)

Of course, today, he is recognized as a genius. In 2004, Jeanne Hebuterne (devant une porte), above, an eponymous portrait of his life’s great love, sold at auction for $31,368,000; a record for his work.

Too bad he couldn’t take a trip to the future, not just to skim some needed cash off the top, but to pick up a copy of author Jackie Battenfield‘s book, The Artist’s Guide: How to Make a Living Doing What You Love. As she notes on her web site, the text

is a comprehensive handbook that provides the information, tools, and techniques, for developing and sustaining a successful art career. It provides answers to the challenges artists face everyday and includes real-life examples, illustrations, step-by-step exercises, and bulleted lists that allow readers to dive in and begin working immediately.

jackie-portraitSome artists see poverty as the price they must pay to become great, or even, wrongly, as a sign of it. But Battenfield, right, a gifted visual artist herself, doesn’t dispute that, at points in one’s career, Ramen noodles can be a sculptor’s best friend.

Instead, her core idea is that, equipped with the right information, an artist can run their career, as opposed to having it run them. Modigiliani would, no doubt, agree.

Jackie Battenfield is a guest today on my WBAI-NY / 99.5 FM radio show, NONFICTION, this afternoon, Friday, December 4, at 2 pm ET.

i38b-frontThen, eight years ago this month, Wax Poetics, right—the chunky, Brooklyn-based bimonthly—began what has become a stellar run of thirty-eight issues to-date. Designed to putty “the once noticeable gap in music journalism—an editorial void between contemporary artists and classic greats,” the magazine effortlessly bridges disparate blends of groove-oriented musiculture.

Today, I’ll be talking with editor-in-chief Andre Torres, as well as writer Michael Gonzales, author of the current issue’s cover story on Super Fly soundtrack creator Curtis Mayfield.

You can hear Jackie Battenfield’s Andre Torres’s, and Michael Gonzales’s ideas by tuning in at 2 pm. If you’re outside of the New York tri-state, check out our stream on the web. If you miss the live show, dig into our archives for up to 90 days after broadcast.



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