Art Book Review #1

Art Book Review, book #1, "Starving" to Successful, by Jason-Horejs, 2020

Art Book Review #1

Title: “Starving” to Successful: The Fine Artist’s Guide to Getting Into Galleries and Selling More.
Author: J. Jason Horejs.
Year: 2009.

Intro by Author:

Have you ever wondered if you have what it takes to show your work in galleries? Have you felt frustrated because you are unsure how to best approach galleries for representation? Do you know what you need to do to prepare your work, your portfolio, and yourself to make an effective approach?

Starving to Successful | The Fine Artist’s Guide to Getting into Galleries and Selling More Art will answer these questions and many more as you prepare to increase your presence in the gallery market. Written by J. Jason Horejs, owner of Xanadu Gallery in Scottsdale, AZ, Starving to Successful will give you pragmatic advice and concrete, actionable steps you can begin implementing immediately to become more successful in marketing your work to galleries. Gain insight into what a gallery owner is thinking as he or she reviews your portfolio. Understand why the most common approaches artists make to galleries are largely ineffective. Learn what most artists fail to do in preparing their work for sale. Starving to Successful will change the way you look at the artist/gallery relationship, and will set your art career on a new path.

My Review

Stars (1/5):

5/5

Writing:

This book reads very easily, very fast, very pleasantly. It is organized in clear follow-through chapters. Jason Horejs is honest and doesn’t sugarcoat his actions. He comes across credible. He and his wife (and partner) run their gallery for 20 years. And his father was an artist! It is a truly fantastic source of information Jason Horejs shares with his readers.

Does the book deliver (it's title)?:

Yes, absolutely.

Biggest take away:

  • You have to make a minimum of 100 artworks a year. 
  • You go to the gallery you want to be represented by in person with your portfolio. No emails, no phone calls, no mailing. Go there in person!

Points of discussion:

The title “Starving” to successful. Although “Starving” cleverly placed into quotes, reaffirms the position and importance of the gallery-owner—which is okay. But it unfortunately also reaffirms the classic idea of the starving artist. As if an artist in the 21st century can only make money by being represented by a gallery.

This becomes another point of discussion when he wants artists to not have a shop on their own website. So you have to give up one important stream of income to be in his gallery. Of course, he is on the winning hand, because if the artist doesn’t comply he will not represent the artist. I hope (future) gallerists will come up with a more elegant way in dealing with this.

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