Today I thought I'd answer a question from a fan. Charity asked the following, via my contact form:
"Carl, I like to paint and people say I am very good. I would do it for a living and make money off it. Can you recommend any books that I should read about that? Thanks."
First, thank you for the question, Charity. This is actually one I've been asked a few times and I honestly can't believe I've never written a post about it, so here's my chance. Yes, yes I can recommend a book for you. It's my favourite book about art, or becoming an artist. In fact, it's the only such book that I've read more than once and really, the only one I've come across that I think is worth reading.
Now, if you're looking for an author to hold your hand and tell you how wonderfully special you are, stop right here, this won't be the book for you. However, if you want actual advice and the nitty gritty truth, this book will give it to you.
Innes' approach is direct, sometimes sarcastic, sometimes sardonic, often humourous and just plain old practical. He really has a "shit or get off the pot" attitude which can be seen from the very first sentence of Chapter 1:
"First. Stop fooling yourself. You're either going to make this work of you're going to damn well forget about it."
Granted, having been originally published in 1994, there are some concepts mentioned that are obviously out of date, like taking around slides of your work, but those are easy to spot and anyone with even half a functioning brain cell can easily identify the modern-day equivalent.
You may ask, who is this Innes and what gives him the authority to speak on such a subject. Well, he's Windsor Joe Innes, a famous painter in his own right, Google him if you don't believe me. And I'm not the only one, even the Art Times said the book should be in the studio of every self-respecting artist. Pretty high praise, no?
So there you have it, my must read for aspiring artists. And if you want to try it out, no you can't borrow mine, but you can read a preview on google books here: