Elizabeth Briel, Travel Artist

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Art & Money


[photo of a study on Dongba paper for the Calendar Girls series which I’m working on this month at my studio in Lijiang, China]

Throughout much of the 20th century and into the next, Art and cold hard Cash have been at odds, in the eyes of artists, the public,  and those gallerists/curators who work with us.  [“Commercial art”  and Illustration are considered lowbrow compared to “high art”, which is another debate altogether.]

The line in many art schools, parroted by tenuously-tenured academics, goes something like this: “making a living at your art is impossible” (perhaps because they feel this might apply to them, if they tried) “so get used to doing something else to avoid becoming a starving artist statistic – but you won’t be qualified to do anything but art anyway”.

Chris Guillebeau and Zoe Westhof are out to change that with their new Unconventional Guide to Art and Money .  It’s a refreshing, practical take on the business of art, for artists working in all media. And I’m pleased to take part in this project: I’m one of  about a dozen artists consulted for advice. My interview focuses on how my travels and “location independence” have inspired my art and brought me more artworld contacts; and how my versatile skills and mobile studios have made my income recession-resistant.

If you know someone in art school, or a practicing artist who could use a bump in their career, the Art & Money Guide could be just the jump-start they’ve been looking for.

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