January 17, 2017

POSTED BY

Bianca Ng

CATEGORY

Book Review “Art Inc.: The Essential Guide for Building Your Career as an Artist” by Lisa Congdon

One of my New Year’s resolution is to read 50 books and it only felt right to kick it off with Art Inc. by Lisa Congdon. Lisa Congdon is a fine artist, author, and illustrator who’s known for her whimsical pattern designs. Despite discovering her creative passions later in her …

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One of my New Year’s resolution is to read 50 books and it only felt right to kick it off with Art Inc. by Lisa Congdon. Lisa Congdon is a fine artist, author, and illustrator who’s known for her whimsical pattern designs. Despite discovering her creative passions later in her career, she quickly became well known in the creative industry. Her clients include MoMA, Harvard University, Martha Stewart Living, Chronicle Books, Simon & Schuster, and Random House Publishing, and much more. She’s the author of six books and was named one of 40 Women Over 40 to Watch in 2015. It was no surprise that she wrote Art Inc.

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People warn you to never judge a book by its cover, but I argue that actually, the design of a book is very important! As a visual person, I actually remember books by their covers. Art Inc.’s cover instantly invites you to find out more thanks to Karolin Schnoor‘s lovely illustrations. I loved the consistent and conscious color palette used throughout the book, which guided you through the chapters. Overall the design of the book enhanced my experience with absorbing the wealth of information. Meg Mateo Ilasco did a fantastic job of balancing the playful illustrations with the dense text. Some of the information, such as selling your work and billing your clients, are not exactly fun, but the design helped make the topics less intimidating. Meg Mateo Ilasco made the book a breeze to read through and easy to refer back to when needed. Book design rating: 5/5.

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To be honest, I bought this book almost a year ago. Why did it take me this long to open it? Maybe because part of me was intimated to embrace myself as a professional creative person (this is chapter one of the book). It is terrifying to declare to your parents, friends, strangers, and yourself that you are a professional creative person. What does that even mean? When you want to be a doctor you go to college, apply to med school, and do a residency. Then you eventually become a doctor. But what does it mean to be a fine artist, illustrator, or graphic designer? Luckily, Lisa Congdon wrote this digestible, basically, step-by-step book for anyone to learn how to be a professional creative person AND not be broke (who else is totally over the stereotype of broke artists?). She talks about the gritty details of social media basics, pricing your works, juried shows, and licensing. Interviews with established creatives are also sprinkled throughout the chapters. This book is a treasure for fresh grads and people doing career shifts. Actually, this book is useful for anyone who just wants to be more badass at being a professional creative person. There is no fluff, just facts, and wisdom from her diverse experiences. She worked tirelessly to be where she is now and is kind enough to share her secrets. While she doesn’t particularly go in-depth with every topic, I appreciated that she covers the basics and includes many resources to refer to for more details. Book content rating: 5/5.

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Overall I would recommend this book. Check out Lisa Congdon’s work here and buy her book here.

All images ©Lisa Congdon

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