Living the Artist's Life: A Guide to Growing, Persevering and Succeeding in the Art World

Living the Artist's Life: A Guide to Growing, Persevering and Succeeding in the Art World

by Paul Dorrell

Paperback(Second Edition)

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Dorrell opened his gallery in 1991 and has been advancing artists’ careers on a national level ever since. This is an updated edition of his original book, covering critical subjects that he didn't before and expanding on others, written in the same honest tone. With clients such as Warner Brothers and H&R Block, Dorrell knows how to land the big deals, as well as how to win the trust of private collectors. He presents the information so that any artist can follow the steps laid out in this book, and begin assembling a career that works. Whether instructing on how to get your work into a gallery, or how to handle self-doubt, he knows his ground. He also tells the story of his gallery’s shaky start, from his initial failures to his many successes. Having survived the Great Recession, Dorrell provides many firsthand observations on the culture of greed and corruption that brought it about and how that relates to artists as well.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780985309107
Publisher: Hillstead Publishing
Publication date: 12/10/2012
Edition description: Second Edition
Pages: 235
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

Paul Dorrell founded Leopold Gallery in 1991. His clients include Warner Brothers, the Kansas City Chiefs, H&R Block, the Kauffman Foundation, and thousands of private collectors. Reared in Kansas City and educated at the University of Kansas, he has spent years roaming America by motorcycle. He has lived in Alaska, Los Angeles, New York, and Italy, but makes his home in Kansas City. He has written for numerous art magazines, and spoken at venues such as the Rhode Island School of Design and the Art Students League of New York. He is also dedicated to mentoring teenage artists from urban areas, and helping them get into college. To learn more about his work, go to

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 11

Forword 13

Career Checklist 14

Chapter 1 17

Who Am I?

Who Are You?

Wonder Bread, Seven-Grain, and the Regional Renaissance

Stieglitz, Guggenheim, You and Me

Now, Let Us Begin

Chapter 2 33

Why On Earth Did You Choose This Profession?

Conformist or Nonconformist?




Are You Selfish?

The Bohemian Life



Depression: The Artist's Malaise

Neurosis: The Artist's Badge


Chapter 3 49


Where to Live

Television and the Mass Media


The Simple Art of Reading

Graduate School?


Chapter 4 61

How Will You Know When You're Ready to Show Publicly?

Establishing Goals and Setting Deadlines

Photographing Your Work



Artists' Statements

Portfolios and Presentation Folders

Archival Process

Pricing Your Work

Chapter 5 77

Where to Show in the Beginning


Postcards and Newsletters

Recap on Sending out a Press Release

Photos 89

Chapter 6 105

New York: What It Means and What It Doesn't

Jurried Shows

Art Fairs

How Do You Learn About the Shows?

Shows I've Done

A Typical Show

Chapter 7 115

A Common Enough Beginning

The First Gallery



The Second Gallery

Passing Poles Like Pickets

Saving the Ship

The Third Gallery

Saving the Ship-Again

Chapter 8 161

Getting into the Galleries



Choosing the Right Gallery


Coming to an Agreement

Gallery Percentages

You're in a Gallery: Now What?



Getting Paid

Your First One-Woman, One-Man Show

The Critics

Galleries in Other Cities

Your Relationship With Your Dealers

Chapter 9 179

Clients, Rich and Otherwise

How Do You Land a Commission on Your Own?

Other Types of Commissions

Letter of Agreement

Commissioned Paintings Through Galleries

Commissioned Sculpture

Public Calls for Artists


When Should You Encourage Clients to Utilize Your Copyright?

Working with Interior Designers

Working with Architects

Contractors and Developers

Chapter 10 197

Corporate Clients

Corporate Culture: The Good, the Bad, and the Corrupt

Burning Bridges




Charity Art Auctions

Tax Write-Offs and Related Issues

Chapter 11 213


Social Media

E-Mailing Images

Utilizing Reproductions in Magazines and as Prints


Compromise, and One Example of It


Expanding Career

Museums: Gaining Their Acceptance

Snobbery: Another Word for 'Wasted Intelligence'

Expanding Life

Chapter 12 233



Bibliography 237

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Living the Artist's Life: A Guide to Growing, Persevering and Succeeding in the Art World 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book, there is a lot of personal information. OK, but really not needed. The 'guide' part of the book is what is the most helpful. As a struggling artists in the South, I feel this will help me get a grip on my career.