Part crafting book, part biography, How To Make It is out to prove that being creative and being profitable are not mutually exclusive.
What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘artist’? Maybe ‘starving’? I remember there used to be advertisements for starving artist shows all the time when I was growing up. Looking back, it’s kind of ironic that they had the money to pay for said adverting. But I digress.
How To Make It profiles 25 different creative entrepreneurs who have launched very different, but all very successful, business endeavours. These men and women have built not only a life, but also a career, out of doing what they love and sharing it with the world.Composed mainly of American creatives (the noted exception being the lone pair of Canadians from British Columbia), this book gives a real peek behind the curtains at what it really takes to make this kind of business work. There are a lot of couples – those who manage to maintain both a love and work life together. Many fell back into this line of work after our most recent economic downturns. Very few of the featured artisans have formal business training. From what they eat, to the hours they keep, and even play lists of music they listen to, author Erin Austen Abbott has created a real sense of what it is to walk a mile in these artists’ shoes.
In addition to the detailed profiles, each featured businessperson has offered instructions for a piece of artwork that they make. Because nobody is wanting to give away all of their trade secrets, most of the crafts are very general in their design and I did not find a great deal of benefit to them. While interesting, I did not find myself wanting to undertake anyt of them.
How To Make It would make a great gift for the young artist who wants not only to pursue their craft, but also has parents who don’t want them to live in the basement for the rest of their lives. It could also serve as a jumping off point for someone who has also ached to stretch their artistic wings, but hasn’t quite had the courage to try.
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