The Montreal Artist's Handbook: Marketing art

Marketing art

Business Skills for Creative Souls: The Montreal Artist's Handbook (Youth Employment Services), 193 pp

You can make it if you really want to

It’s tough making a name for oneself in the arts scene in any city, but it’s especially daunting in Montreal because there is so much competing for the attention and money of average Montrealers. The city continues to produce top-notch, world-class artists, and YES Montreal, the English-language Youth Employment Services, launches its first-ever Business Skills for Creative Souls: The Montreal Artist’s Handbook next week, which features contributions from such local luminaries as Just For Laughs creator Andy Nulman, fashion designer Hillary Radley, painter Josée Nadeau, singer Lorraine Klaasen and playwright Steve Galluccio.

"One of our career counsellors, Susan Molnar, was seeing a lot of artists and quite often they get referred to our entrepreneur program where we have workshops and counselling and [celebrity] panels," explains YES Montreal executive director Iris Unger. "Then about a year ago we said, ‘Why not capture this rich information in one publication?’"

The book is designed to help artists make it in Montreal, though its lessons can be applied anywhere. There are chapters like "How to Create a Buzz" that explains how to create a press kit, write a media release and get the media’s attention through such techniques as "piggybacking" (timing your launch to coincide with another media-saturated event, like the Jazz Festival or a political gathering). There are sections on how to apply for arts grants, plus pearls of wisdom from 50 celebrity artists themselves.

"The real goal of the book is to teach business skills and show that, yes, you can make it as an artist in Montreal," Unger says. "It’s a rich community. But you need to have the knowledge to make it economically, if you want to make a living from your work."

Business Skills for Creative Souls: The Montreal Artist’s Handbook is available for $19.95 at the YES downtown office (630 René-Lévesque West, suite 185) beginning Nov. 19. For more Info: 878-9788 or surf to www.yesmontreal.ca.

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