Elizabeth Briel, Travel Artist

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21 Essential Links for Independent Artists

1st Lijiang Studio

Here are some people who have helped me in my quest to be an independent artist. They range from artists to creative entrepreneurs who are shaping possibilities undreamt of 10 years ago thanks to the internet, like:

1. Chris Guillebeau, Creative Noncomformist who’s traveling to every country around the world while starting small businesses

2. * I was a featured artist for his Art and Money Guide – if you’ve a half hour to spare you can hear my interview with his collaborator Zoe Westhof by clicking here.

and creative marketers like:

3. Hugh McLeod, the ‘cartoons on the back of business cards’ guy

4. Seth Godin,  talking about how to survive in the changing publishing industry,

5. Simon Sinek, who shows if we dig and look at WHY we do what we do, we’ll attract fans of what we make,

6. sites like Lateral Action – work strategies for creatives,

7. and Behance, a portfolio site and magazine.

The music industry is leagues ahead of the visual arts system in moving from analog to digital distribution.

8. Bandcamp is a service I’m thinking to use for sound projects takes a fraction of the proceeds [15%] compared with iTunes,

9. and for e-Book projects I’m considering Smashwords [also only 15%].

10. Vook blends videos with e-books.

11. Speaking of videos, here Kirk Mastin explains how you can create your own HQ video studio with just a flipcam/iPhone and your laptop.

In a few months I’ll release my first self-published book in different formats. 10% of the proceeds will go to a Bangkok-based charity, and the rest will fund the transformation of a small Sicilian studio into a creative retreat for artists around the world.

If people love what you do, they will want to support it, even if they’ve only a couple of dollars to spare. Why not let them, and give them  something back?

12. Kickstarter has given me some ideas for fundraising for my projects.

These artists are using new indie services and their fan base to make their projects happen:

13. “Avant Cellist” Zoe Keating

14. and neo-Brechtian cabaret singer-songwriter Amanda Palmer [some entries not work-safe].

15. Writers like Neil Gaiman – who’s reading at the Sydney Opera House this weekend – and William Dalrymple have inspired me to do more than your standard bookstore readings on my tour next year.

16. Here’s why Dalrymple took along nine mystics on his recent book tour.

17. Speaking of writing, Men with Pens is a snappy read packed with advice for good web writing,

18. and Copyblogger is pretty good, too.

Back to artists.

19. This visual artist [some entries NSFW] is more forthcoming about bipolar disorder than auction strategies [but the fine art world has famously opaque machinations]. She began showing in the gallery system here in Australia, connected with collectors and the artworld through her galleries, then decided to go independent,

20. and Kesha Bruce is an American artist living in Europe who gives a glimpse of what a professional can achieve outside the insular NYC artsworld.

Successful artists experiment again and again before finding what works for them. Some of us even experiment with where we live.

21. Jon & Lea Woodward are an illustrator/marketer team who show people how to live and work remotely from locations around the world with their Location Independent websites. Have a look and start dreaming of where you’d like to go next.

What websites would you recommend to help creatives forge their own path?

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