cover image Your Art Will Save Your Life

Your Art Will Save Your Life

Beth Pickens. Feminist, $14.95 trade paper (136p) ISBN 978-1-936932-29-0

Career consultant Pickens’s first book expands on her pamphlet “Making Art During Fascism” and implores artists and creative professionals who are at a crossroads in their career to continue practicing their skills while also learning to take control of their lives. The author, whose clients are primarily artists, describes the book as a “love letter to artists,” intended to be used “as a framework for maintaining [an artistic] practice regardless of the political climate.” She emphasizes that art-making serves as an important emotional outlet that helps artists navigate their own lives, but also notes the ways art can motivate others, as seen in the extraordinary works of art that came out of the AIDS crisis and helped fuel a larger movement. Pickens is an enthusiastic advocate for artists to not give up and to follow their dreams. The most useful advice in the book is for emerging artists, adamant about pursuing their art; for example, a section on the three basic needs of artists smartly emphasizes the importance of finding a community of other working artists and engaging with a variety of art in maintaining one’s own artistic practice. This slim self-help book offers modest and straightforward suggestions for surviving and thriving in creative endeavors. (Apr.)