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Living the Artist's Life

Updated & Revised

By Paul Dorrell

Format: Paperback

SKU# U7392

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.

Mary-BosticWhat Mary Burzlaff Bostic, Senior Content Developer for North Light Books, has to say:
I love that this book is part personal narrative and part career guide. In his highly personal style, Paul Dorrell shares the wisdom and advice he’s gleaned from more than twenty years as a gallery owner and art advisor. Dorrell covers a wide variety of topics, from personal discovery to tax write-offs, marketing, showing in galleries and finding new clients.

SKU U7392
Author/Speaker/Editor Paul Dorrell
File/Trim Size 6 x 8.9
Format Paperback
ISBN 13 9780985309107
Number Of Pages 233
Second Edition

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Customer Reviews

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An artist's struggling life Review by SHYAMALI

An artist's life through the merry eyes of Paul Dorrell.The book suggests much humor.

(Posted on 7/3/2014)

Incredible! Review by Alfred

So much wisdom, artistic-business advice. This is a gem in the Art world. This should be the up-to-date text book for College courses on how to proceed with ones life in the Arts. And great stories as well.

(Posted on 9/2/2013)

Life on the High Board Review by Alejandra

Doing anything in the arts is like living on the high board, sometimes staring down at an empty swimming pool. In this updated and revised "Living the Artist's Life," Paul Dorrell describes it perfectly, and gives lots of advice that will enable you to at least see some water below. Dorrell covers everything, from the ten-year plan, to building a good portfolio with professional looking photos and resume, how to price your work, where to show, how to get into a gallery and what to expect from the gallery (and what they will expect from you), websites, copyright, networking, and so much more. There is also a color photo section of selected work from his gallery exhibits.

These are all nuts and bolts issues, but Dorrell goes further, into inspiration and discipline, the "more talk than action" habit of some artists (the lure of the "Bohemian life"), how to deal with your ego, which can be sliced and diced by many on the long road to success. And how to deal with success. And depression....something an artist can feel acutely when repeatedly rejected. And all the greats have experienced repeated rejection. It's a serious issue that has to be dealt with if one is to pursue an artistic career.

Chapter 7 alone makes this book worth buying. This is where Dorrell tells his life story. A riveting tale of ups and downs, and he doesn't shy away from the hard stuff. It's very well written, and takes you through a very personal journey, finally showing how we can avoid the sandpits and enjoy the crazy but ultimately satisfying adventure of "Living the Artist's Life."

(Posted on 8/14/2013)

Great Inspiration! Review by James

In many ways an autobiographical wonderful insight and adventure into the life of a creative. Every real artist should read this book. The author is extremely insightful, personal, candid and inspiring while covering the practical side of the artist's life. Yet as the title implies, the book is truly about living the life of an artist. Not always pretty, but honors the joy and grandeur of creativity. I think I will return to this book many times in the years to come, especially when a good kick in the rear end is needed!

(Posted on 7/24/2013)

Honest and direct advice with a great soul at its core. Review by Quincy

I picked up this book after I resigned from my job of six years as an art teacher, cashing in my retirement fund and traveling to Europe with my wife for 3 weeks for the first time ever. As soon as we got back I had no clue what to expect but hard work and some struggle. A friend had "Living the Artist's Life" sitting on her desk and I asked if I could borrow it. It was exactly what I needed to reassure, build and replace sometimes lost confidence in my decision to pursue art full time.

Paul, the author, writes very directly to demystify issues some aspiring artists might struggle to comprehend. He lays out clear direction. And, most importantly, he uses his own struggles and successes as a backdrop for all of the knowledge he shares with the viewer. In the end this book is really half novel and half guide. I was already in line with much of the advice given in the book and I still found it relevant as so many of us artists go to our studios, shut the door and begin to doubt ourselves. We are not alone in our struggles and this book was a great reminder!

(Posted on 7/10/2013)

What a TERRIFIC book! Review by Pete

I saw an ad for this book in the Artist's Magazine about a year ago. It was written by an Art Gallery owner and ... well, I've bought enough of these kinds of books that I thought, "nosirree, I'm not gonna fall for THIS again!"

But then the magazine published an excerpt, and I had to rethink my decision NOT to buy the book. Well, I bought it, and just today finished it. What a Terrific Book!

For 30 years I worked as an Illustrator and Creative Director in Advertising as well as a Senior Technical Illustrator in Aerospace. This 'painterly' type of artwork is new to me ... and more importantly, not selling everything I create, is ... new to me.

Now I have gotten my feet wet in the last 2 years in a few outdoor shows, and a couple of juried shows, but was surprised when sales were abysmal ... not just for me, but for all the artists!

I want to learn about the ins and outs of this side of the Art market, and this book touched on every question I've posed, from doing Outdoor shows to Self-Doubt to approaching Galleries.

I just want to thank you ... it was a lot of fun to read, and did ... not ... disappoint me in the least! It opened my eyes, brought a smile to my face and, in effect, gave me a pat on the back!

(Posted on 7/3/2013)

Brutally honest and real. Review by Caiden

This memoir/career guide book for artists was an inspiration to read. It provided me with insight about the art world, galleries, and for my own career--insight that my schooling certainly didn't offer. Moreover, Dorrell's glaring honesty about depression and failures as an artist was nothing if not reassuring. Granted, his laid back writing style is a bit...odd. If anything, however, that's what gives it soul.

(Posted on 7/2/2013)

A Great Read for Season and Aspiring Artists! Review by Charlie

Paul Dorrell cuts through the clutter and noise that can be daunting to an aspiring artist. His words of encouragement are a tonic to anyone who has been through the ups and downs of trying to succeed in the art world. As a former aspiring artist and now a seasoned artist, it was mildly surprising that I had been doing some of the things highlighted in the book and pleasantly surprising that I could learn a thing or two or three or four from the read. Everyone's path is different, but Paul's book can help encourage the inner artist that needs to emerge to help out the breathing, walking and toiling artist in the real world.

(Posted on 6/29/2013)

Very Useful Review by JT

I just finished reading this book after listening to his webinar on The Artists Network. It is half bio and half info. The fact that he owns a gallery and has to deal with artists every day makes a difference in his tone and attitude towards artists. He knows and understands our quirks!
Thank you for writing this!

(Posted on 6/25/2013)

Good Info, but annoying and overly long Review by GM

Dorrell tells us he has a driving passion for writing, but he's not a very good one. There's some good information in this book, yes. But there's a lot of padding, a lot of talk about himself -- it might easily be classified as a memoir rather than a source of information -- and a lot of annoyingly "hip" language that just seems out of place. I struggled through to the end to glean the good stuff. Does it belong in a package touted as career-building? I would say no.

(Posted on 5/10/2013)

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