Guide Explains How to Build and Manage Your Art Career

In “The Artist’s Guide: How to Make a Living Doing What You Love,” author Jackie Battenfield draws on her own years of experience as a former gallery director and
self-supporting artist to explain how to:

  • develop and promote your portfolio.
  • broaden your funding sources through grants, awards, artist residencies, fiscal agents, and individual contributors.
  • explore exhibition, commission, and sales opportunities beyond commercial galleries.
Reflecting how many artists think, the guide covers many of the day-to-day issues of running any self-directed business such as planning, budgeting, managing finances, marketing, and pricing your work. For example, Battenfield advises against setting prices under pressure. As she puts it, “The worst time to figure out a price is when you are taken by a surprise offer to buy a piece.” She suggests making a complete inventory of all your works with prices attached to each piece.

In the guide, she explains in great detail how to write an artist’s statement, document work samples, and build relationships with the individuals and organizations that can further your career.

In the beginning of your art career, you will probably need a part-time or full-time “day job” to earn money for your studio work. Battenfield suggests looking for low-stress jobs that won’t drain you of the creative energy you need for your art.

How Planning Can Help

Throughout the book, Battenfield emphasizes the value of planning.  She points out that if you don’t set short- and long-term goals, you won’t be able to create, evaluate, and pursue the opportunities that can help make your dreams become reality.  Here are a few tips:

Survey the current art landscape. Instead of imagining an amorphous group of collectors, artists, or the general public, reflect on who would be most interested in the content of your work. What spaces feel like a natural fit? Although the art world is no longer held captive by a few dealers, critics, curators, or patrons, not all new venues and opportunities will be suited to your work or long-term professional goals.

Develop a work structure, business systems, and support networks that allow you maintain a healthy attitude, stay engaged, and search for new solutions. While the art world continues to shift in unexpected ways, you will need to continue to believe in yourself, ask questions, and get feedback and help as often as you need it.

Write your own obituary. How do you want to be remembered? What will you have accomplished? What will family members, friends, and colleagues say about you? This exercise can help ensure that you aren’t pursuing goals contrary to your core values and beliefs.

Promoting Yourself

What makes The Artist’s Guide so appealing is Battenfield’s empathy with artists who feel uncomfortable promoting themselves.  She acknowledges her own shyness and writes that “Promoting yourself requires coming face to face with your own self-esteem and issues of entitlement. It can quickly stir up feelings of inadequacy about your work and yourself as an artist.”

She says there are ways to promote your work that will allow you to maintain your personal integrity and enable your own networking style to emerge. “Promoting yourself doesn’t mean that you are impolite, disrespectful of others, or inappropriately aggressive,” writes Battenfield. “It can be as simple as saying a few words about the show to a curator at an opening, then following up with card inviting the curator to one of your own shows.”  Here are a few other tips from The Artist’s Guide:

Be yourself. People appreciate honesty and sincerity. Phoniness is easy to detect.

Turn your shyness into an asset. Be an attentive listener and ask questions.

Take a few actions every day to cultivate relationships with people you can help promote your work. Taking purposeful action can help you maintain the healthy attitude you will need to manage some of the issues that arise every day.

You can’t predict when the art community will turn their attention to you, Battenfield points out, “Art history is full of artists whose work was ignored and then embraced at different stages of their lives.” The strength to persevere can be developed by actively pursuing your goals and maintaining an resilient attitude.

The advice in The Artist’s Guide rings true, because Battenfield admits she made nearly every mistake discussed in the book: “I had fuzzy work samples and incoherent artist statements that still make me flush beet-red when I see them. I’ve bungled relationships and pulled them back together by the skin of my teeth.” She suggests using The Artist’s Guide as a template for creating a process that works for you.

Although a lot of the book focuses on different types of art organizations and funding sources, Battenfield’s day-to-day business advice is relevant to photographers and other freelance professionals who would like to have less stress in their lives and more time to focus on their craft.

Words of Wisdom

“It’s tough to be an artist in our culture,” writes Battenfield. While funds and opportunities are limited, your desires are limitless. Pushing yourself to the limits of your technical abilities can be challenging enough. Adding business responsibilities can feel overwhelming.

Making time to replenish your well of creativity is essential, she says. Constantly pushing yourself too hard won’t allow you to do your best work. Battenfield writes that “Any systems you can build to protect that fragile connection to your creativity is paramount to sustaining your artistic life.” In describing her approach to writing the guide, she explains “Every chapter in the book is about nurturing and protecting your creative energies so can make the best art possible.”

Jackie Battenfield has supported herself from art sales for over twenty years. She teaches career development programs for visual artists at the Creative Capital Foundation, and Columbia University. She also speaks at art workshops and events nationwide. Visit her website: to see if she will be speaking at event in your area. You can preview and purchase the 378-page softcover book on or the Barnes
& Noble website.


Book Website: The Artist’s Guide: How to Make a Living Doing What You Love

Facebook Page: The Artist’s Guide

About Jackie Battenfield

Amazon: The Artist’s Guide

Barnes & Noble:  The Artist’s Guide

Online Gallery Helps Buyers Commission New Art

ARTISTS. is an online seller of original art. The art lovers who founded the site believe a growing number of people would prefer to own something unique, rather than a reproduction. Recently, they introduced a service through which buyers can submit commission requests to artists whose works they admire on the Zatista site.

Zatista LogoOnce the request is submitted, Zatista works with the buyer and artist to ensure that the quoting and payment processes go smoothly.  For example, they help the buyer create a well-formed request with all the relevant details, and craft a commission agreement that both the buyer and artist can accept. Buyers aren’t charged for submitting commission requests. Nor are they obligated to accept the quote or follow through with the project.

Artists who are particularly interested in commissions should let the Zatista staff know, because they occassionally receive requests from buyers who does not have a particular artist in mind.

Another service provides is a complimentary art concierge service to help buyers select the right piece of art for their home or office.

How to Sell Your Art

Zatista currently sells original oil paintings, acrylic paintings, charcoal drawings, and mixed media works. They will also sell photographs and prints of digitally created art, as long as each print is hand-signed and numbered in an edition of 100 or less. They don’t sell sculpture, jewelry, furniture, weavings, and other categories of art.

To ensure that the site offers a robust, well-rounded selection of quality art in a variety of mediums, all artists and galleries who want to sell works on the site must be approved by Zatista’s Art Review Board.  When you apply, you will be asked to complete a profile and list a minimum of 3 works and a maximum of 5 works.

In addition to evaluating your art, the Art Review Board will take into account how professionally you present it. For example, photographs of your works should be clear, without extraneous objects or lighting glare. Your profile should be well-written, clear, and informative, and your store banner and message should be nicely created. The review process typically takes 3 to 5 days. It’s up to you to set the price for your work.

If your art is accepted for sale on the site, there are no membership or listing fees. Instead, you will be charged a commission when your art is sold. To make original art more affordable to more people, the online sales commission is substantially lower than commissions typically charged by brick-and-mortar galleries. For more information about the artist approval process, visit the FAQ section of the website.

Once your application has been approved, you are encouraged to display additional works and spread that word about Zatista to your Facebook fans and Twitter followers. You can also add a “Buy on Zatista” button to your blog, so visitors to your site know they can easily purchase your work any time day or night.

About Zatista

Zatista was founded by entrepreneurial Internet industry veterans. Their goal is to make the art-buying experience less intimidating and more enjoyable. They also want to make more originals easily accessible to aspiring collectors all over the world who might not be able to explore multiple galleries in big cities to find the art they like.

The Zatista website includes a glossary or art terms, and other information designed to educate and encourage a new generation of collectors.


New Resources Help Photographers Become iPhone-ographers

The fledging iPhoneography movement is a perfect example of what can happen when technology developers make it easy for artists and other creative pros to experiment with new hardware and software.

Imaging-industry analysts have long believed that smartphones would someday replace point-and-shoot cameras as the primary tool for taking snapshots. But these analysts probably never imagined just how wildly enthusiastic photographers of all skill levels have become about the artistic potential of the Apple iPhone camera and its ever-growing ecosystem of apps.

Some iPhoneography evangelists are long-time photography pros who have extensive experience with darkroom processing and fine-art photo printing.

The Advantage of iPhoneography

Photographers coined the term “iPhoneography” to describe the art of capturing and creatively processing images with the inexpensive apps available for the camera built into Apple iPhones

iPhone image ©Teri Lou Dantzler

Professional iPhoneographer and teacher Teri Lou Dantzler still uses her DSLR camera to shoot portraits for clients. But carrying an all-in-one camera, darkroom, and social-communication device in her pocket has opened her eyes to limitless possibilities for creative expression and fun.

“Since I always have my iPhone with me, I have captured images that I would have passed by before,” says Teri Lou. “I have processed images while waiting for appointments, while snuggled into a chair at the coffee café, on top of a 10,000-ft. peak, and at bedtime.” She publishes her work on photo blogs and for the Facebook iPhoneography group she started last fall.

Another benefit of iPhoneography is the simplicity of converting a basic camera and processor into a device that can shoot HDR or panoramic images or mimic the look of vintage cameras. Anyone can produce Photoshop-like effects without enduring a painful learning curve or continuously investing in new gadgets or full-featured editing software. For less than $5, you can buy a new app that performs only the tasks you need to create the type of art you envision.

Where to Start?

Because so many iPhoneography apps exist, it can be hard for novices to know where to start. And in fact, many apps do similar things, some better than others.

To help guide and inspire novices, there has been an explosion of iPhoneography books, courses, and tutorials. To decide which resource is right for you, check out the instructor’s background, images, blogs, and the content of the course or book.  Here’s just a sampling of what’s available.

Online Courses

Teri Lou Dantzler offers four-week online courses, supplemented by one-on-one critiques over the phone. When you register, she asks what type of imagery you would like to produce, then modifies the course accordingly. Her iPhone-Ography 101 course helps beginners focus on learning those apps best suited for their artistic goals. Her iCreativity course covers a variety of blending, brushing, and masking techniques.

For more information about all of her upcoming courses and workshops, visit Terri Lou’s blog:

Live Workshops

iPhone image ©Harry Sandler

Chances are your local photography-learning center will be offering iPhoneography courses sometime this year. But if you want to learn how to convert your iPhone images into gallery-worthy art prints, check out the workshops offered by Harry Sandler and Dan Burkholder.

Harry Sandler is a former music-industry tour manager and rock-concert photographer whose images have appeared in Rolling Stone and Circus magazines. He has been taking iPhone pictures of his travels for over two years. Some 17 x 22-inch prints of his iPhone images have been displayed at the Renaissance Fine Art and Design Gallery in Carmel, Indiana and he has another gallery exhibit scheduled this fall.

Sandler will lead an iPhone-Ography Workshop May 14 and 15 at the Peters Valley Craft Center in Layton, New Jersey and a day-long iPhonography class June 4 at Foto-Care in New York.  From November 4-7, he will team up with Teri Lou Dantzler to teach an iPhoneography workshop at the Pacific Northwest Art School on Whidbey Island near Seattle 

During his May workshop, Sandler will explain how to: capture an image with the proper resolution, work the various apps, figure out a personal workflow, create panoramas right in the phone, and process and print your iPhone images with good color, resolution, depth, and texture.

Sandler regards the iPhone as an extremely versatile tool in his artistic arsenal, offering a marriage of painting and photography. Initially, the iPhone camera reminded him of the Polaroid camera his father gave him as a child. Now he uses the iPhone in a variety of ways, including as a viewfinder for his 60 MP digital camera. Sandler is currently experimenting with compositing iPhone imagery and may try painting some of his iPhone photo prints.

To see some of his iPhone images, visit Harry Sandler’s blog: iPhone-Antics with Harry Sandler. (To see some of his images of rock concerts, visit:

Book Cover iPhone ArtistryDan Burkholder was one of the first photographic artists to embrace digital technology in the early 1990s. He will be presenting iPhone Artistry workshops at the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops (April 29-May 1 and October 12-15), Freestyle Photographic Supplies in Los Angeles (May 14), the Connecticut Media/Photo Workshops (June 25-26), the Center for Photography at Woodstock, NY (Aug. 13-14), Maine Media Workshops (August 21-27), and in his own studios in Palenville, NY (Sept. 3-4 and Oct. 8-10).

During his workshops, he will teach camera capture techniques that are exclusive to iPhoneography and provide advice on which apps are best for contrast, color, and sharpening.  He will demonstrate how certain apps can be combined to transform your images into fine art. Dan will also explain how to make stunning prints of iPhone images on art paper or canvas and show how the iPhone and iPad can work together to form a photographic dynamic duo.

Dan is widely known for both his vision as his artist and his mastery of the wet and digital darkrooms. His platinum prints are included in many museum and private collections. Dan’s groundbreaking book “Making Digital Negatives for Contact Printing” helped black-and-white photographers take advantage of emerging electronic technologies.  His forthcoming book on “iPhone Artistry” is currently available for pre-order on

To sample the type of advice Dan has to offer, download one of Dan Burkholder’s Tiny Tutorials to your iPhone. The tutorials explain how to organize your apps, streamline your image adjustment workflow, stitch and retouch iPhone images, and use basic masking and curves in Filterstorm.

Interactive Book with iPad Companion Edition

iPad Companion Edition of iPhone ObsessediPhone Obsessed: Photo Editing Experiments with Apps” was written by photographer/designer Dan Marcolina. Dan’s design firms are at the forefront of integrating design for print, video, and interactive media and designing publications and catalogs for touch-enabled tablets.

In his interactive print book, Dan shows how different iPhone camera apps can be combined to create artistic effects such as blurs and vignettes, high-dynamic range, and black-and-white imagery.  After you download the free Microsoft Tag Reader onto your iPhone, you can scan one of the 75 tags printed throughout the book to watch Dan present pop-up video tutorials.

Dan was one of the first to use Adobe’s new Digital Publishing Suite to create an iPad Companion edition of his book.

Print and E-Books

Book Cover Create Great iPhone PhotosThe book “Create Great iPhone Photos: Apps, Tips, Tricks, and Effects” was written by Allan Hoffman, who has spent 15 years as the technology columnist for New Jersey’s largest daily newspaper. He explains how to produce stunning panoramas, vintage-style photobooth strips, and super-saturated Polaroid® photos with a hip, 1970s look. The book also explains how to unlock the power of your iPhone’s camera with burst mode, high dynamic range (HDR) effects, exposure and focus controls, and more.

In “The Art of iPhoneography: A Guide to Mobile Creativity,” award-winning documentary photographer Stephanie C. Roberts urges you to use your iPhone to loosen up your traditional approach to photography and become more spontaneous in shooting how you feel.

Book Cover Art of iPhoneography

She emphasizes that, “photography is less about the camera, and more about the vision of the person behind the lens.”  While the book explains how use various apps to stretch your creative boundaries and make art with your iPhone camera, many of the techniques in the book could be applied to shooting with any other type of camera. Stephanie will be presenting one-day Art of iPhoneography workshops at the Showcase School of Photography in Atlanta in May and June.


Museum of Modern Art Offers MoMA Books App for iPad

Although art lovers will continue to treasure beautifully printed art books, expect to see more museums make some titles available as e-books.

For example, with the new MoMA Books application from The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Apple iPad users can purchase, download, and read MoMA e-books, including favorite backlist titles that are no longer available in print. The MoMA Books App also provides convenient access to exhibition catalogues, scholarly texts on key works and artists in collection, and anthologies of important art-historical texts from around the world. In other words, the e-books provide a way to disseminate a lot more knowledge about the works in the museum’s collections.

Screen shot of MoMA Book App
The first five e-books on the digital shelf feature works by French photographer Eugene Atget, the French artist Odilon Redon, noteworthy Chinese artists, and modern and contemporary women artists. You can also explore key works from MoMA’s architecture and design collection.

With the digital bookshelf in the MoMA Books App, you can preview free sample sections of each book’s contents and purchase books through your Apple ID and account. Once you download an e-book to the MoMA’s App’s Library, you can enjoy an enriched reading experience directly within the App.

MoMA e-books preserve the original design and layout of the print book while enabling you to zoom in on superb, high-resolution reproductions of artwork for close study of details.

You can also bookmark favorite pages for future reference. As more MoMA e-books become available, the App will automatically prompt you to update their browsing shelf to show new titles.

If you want to explore collection works, check the exhibition schedule, or purchase admission tickets, the MoMA Books App lets you link directly to Recent MoMA books that are not yet available as e-books can be purchased through a direct link to

The MoMA Books App is available as a free download from the App Store.

If you don’t have an iPad, you can purchase and download MoMA e-books to your personal computer through the MoMA Store.


See New Forms of Art at Boston Cyberarts Festival

Logo for Boston Cybertarts FestivalDozens of events at the Boston Cyberarts Festival scheduled for April 22 through May 8 will challenge the public to look at art in whole new ways. For example, events include: an interactive, virtual-reality visit with an Egyptian oracle; an exhibition of dynamic digital paintings; and two demonstrations of how augmented reality can be used for public art projects.

Virtual Reality Exhibit
Commonly used in gaming, virtual reality refers to computer-simulated environments in which a physical presence is simulated in a real or imaginary world. The Egyptian Oracle event at the Boston Cyberarts Festival will use a virtual-reality, interactive narrative based on the Egyptian tradition of the public oracle to help audiences develop a deeper understanding of Egyptian culture.

Vitural Reality
Courtyard of the virtual Temple of Horus

Scheduled from 2 to 4 pm on Sunday, May 1 at the Cyberarts Central headquarters at Atlantic Wharf, the event will focus on an important religious event from the Ptolemic Period.  An expert puppeteer will virtually control an avatar of an Egyptian high priest, who will collaborate with live educators, other figures in the virtual Temple of Horus, and the audience. The event will be filmed for a general discussion afterward.

Augmented Reality Art Projects
Augmented Reality provides rich, interactive experiences to smartphone users by overlaying images, information, and graphics on top of our real-time view of the world around us. During the CyberArts festival, augmented-reality art projects will be demonstrated to smartphone users at two popular sites in Boston.

See Aliens Invade Boston’s Greenway Park: Mark Swarek and Joseph Hocking will present an augmented reality-experience at Boston’s Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Park. Entitled “Occupation Forces,” the art project enables people who have downloaded a special “alien detection app” to see invading aliens that will go undetected by the unsuspecting public. App users will encounter the invaders at multiple locations and watch the occupation intensify as they near the center of the park.

Occupation Forces Augmented Reality Project at Greenway Park

See Virtual Public Art at the Institute of Contemporary Art: The artists’ collective Manifest.AR has produced an augmented reality app that uses geolocation software to superimpose a virtual exhibition of computer-generated art objects in and around Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art. From 3 to 5 pm on Friday, April 22, the artists will be on hand at the ICA to demonstrate how to access the work and talk about individual projects.

Image of iPad showing virutal art at Institute of Contemporary Art
“Parade to Hope” is one of the virtual art projects that will be installed by Manifest.AR and viewed through a Layar augmented-reality app at the Institute of Contemporary Art.

Participating artists include Mark Skwarek, John Craig Freeman, Will Pappenheimer, Tamiko Thiel, Sander Veenhof, Virta-Flaneurazine, Patrick Lichty, Lily & Honglei, Christopher Marnzione, Arthur Peters, Geoffrey Alan Rhodes, Nathan Shafer, Joseph Hocking, 4 Gentlemen, and Damon Baker.

Dynamic Digital Imagery
In the “Fluid Perimeters” exhibition of dynamic digital imagery, festival-goers can see examples of dynamic digital painting, digital animations, and algorithmically generated software that explores digital and artificial life.

A dynamic digital painting is one in which a static digital painting slowly, but continuously morphs into something slightly different. (For a demonstration of a dynamic digital painting, watch the YouTube video on the website of the artist San Base:

At the Boston CyberArts Festival, the “Fluid Perimeters” exhibition will feature works by Brian Knep, Robert Arnold, Dennis Miller, Andrew Neumann, Mark Stock, and Dan Hermes.

About The Boston CyberArts Festival
The biennial Boston Cyberarts Festival showcases the rich and vibrant world of art and high technology in New England. Cyberart encompasses any artistic endeavor in which computer technology is used to expand artistic possibilities.


The Boston Cyberarts Festival

Egyptian Oracle Virtual-Reality Interactive Narrative

Occupation Forces: an Augmented Reality Experience

Manifest.AR: Interventionist Public Art

Fluid Perimeters: An Exhibition of Dynamic Digital Imagery


Boston Festival Celebrates the Cyberarts

Virtual University Offers Photography Course for Writers

Book cover: Non Fiction Writer's Guide to Digital PhotographyWRITERS. ARTISTS. DESIGNERS. According to photojournalist/author Ronald Kness, non-fiction writers can earn more money when they submit photos along with their text. That’s why he wrote an e-book entitled “The Non-Fiction Writer’s Guide to Digital Photography.” But knowing the basics of taking good photographs could be equally beneficial to artists who are documenting their everday work or exhibitions or designers who are creating promotional materials.

If you’re new to photography, you might benefit from the new e-course Kness has developed for The Virtual University. Entitled “A Beginner’s Guide to Digital Photography,” the course is designed to help you cut through the confusion of digital camera menus and learn how to take high-quality, vivid shots every time. You can study at your own pace from the comfort of your own home.

The course provides plain-English explanations of common terminology as well as: 

  • Digital camera features (how and when to use them).
  • Camera menu systems (how to select the best settings based on lighting, distance, and other factors).
  • The Golden Triangle (how to use ISO, aperture control, and shutter speed to take the quality of your images to the next level).
  • The Rules and Composition (the 10 elements that have the greatest impact on image quality).
  • Lenses and Filters (how and when to use them).

The course includes tutorials, suggested readings, and optional homework activities. Plus, you can upload your images and receive helpful guidance and critiques from Ron Kness.

Head shot Photojournalist Ron Kness
Ron Kness

If you need a bio picture (or “head shot”) for online publishing or self-marketing purposes, Kness will explain how to shoot self-portraits in the most flattering light.  He will also provide tips for selling photos on popular websites such as iStockphoto, Bigstock, Dreamstine, and Shutterstock.

Kness has taught digital photography in a traditional classroom for the past seven years and is a featured columnist in “Writer’s Journal” magazine. Plus, he has ghost-written books on how to make money with digital photography and how to make money selling micro-stock photography.

The fee for “The Beginner’s Guide to Digital Photography” is $20. The suggested e-book (“The Non-Fiction Writer’s Guide to Digital Photography”) can be purchased in PDF form for $9.95.

All course materials will be available to you when you start the class, so you don’t have to wait for weekly lessons. You can learn at your own pace. You will have three months to complete the course.


Virtual University Course: A Beginners Guide to Digital Photography

The Non-Fiction Writer’s Guide to Digital Photography

Self-Publishers Can Use to Produce iPad Publications

iBuildApp ScreenShot of iPad AppsIf you would like to produce your own iPad magazine, catalog, or book app, check out the free iPad Publishing solution announced by Silicon Valley-based start-up The company  has created templates that make it much less complicated for authors and other non-coders to format and publish content to mobile devices such as the iPhone and iPad.

The solution was designed to deliver a good experience for the reader. “We believe that a digital magazine or newspaper should feel like a media app, not like a magazine reader,” said Rafael Soultanov, of “When someone swipes from page to page they can choose different stories to read. Images are vivid, and video is optimized. If a reader wants to comment or share what they’re reading, they just tap a button.”

The fully functional publishing app takes about 2 to 3 hours to create and publish content. Just copy/paste content into the pre-made templates for the iPad for free. With the templates, self-publishers can focus on their content and leave the formatting, publishing and distribution to iBuildApp.

The company plans to integrate the iBuildApp iPad solution with other CMS platforms such as WordPress, Drupal and Joomla. It will simply require snippets of code from iBuildApp to be inserted into the CMS code.

Unlike other services, iBuildApp Self-Publishing Solution provides authors with a free online editor, free formatting and design templates, and integrated publishing for iPad and Web.

Founded in 2010, iBuildApp is headquartered in Foster City, California. Their goal is to make it easy and affordable for businesses of all sizes to build and manage mobile apps.

iBuildApp’s first product was a do-it-yourself platform for making iPhone/Android apps without knowledge of coding. As of the end of March, the iBuildApp solution had been used to produce about 2,000 of the iPhone apps available on iTunes.

LINKS iPad Self-Publishing Solution