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6 Degrees Entertainment

Book Reviews
'Be The Artist: The Interactive Guide to ...'
By: Thomas "Detour" Evans - Fulcrum Publishing, $21.95

Description: This go-to guide can be your handbook as you enter the art world and navigate the nuances of becoming self-sufficient.

Instead of feeding you new techniques, it will provide you with insights to help you make decisions based on your specific situation and goals.

By the end of this book, you will have a set of guidelines for scenarios that range from taking on commission work and conducting negotiations to dealing with rejection and improving your organization.

Verdict: Simply put, 'Be the Artist' is designed to help up-and-coming creatives educate themselves on essential yet seldom-discussed strategies, learn about new and relevant artists, and gather the resources they need to build their business.

As an active artist navigating the world of social media, "Detour" is often asked for advice and so after four years of posting weekly career tips every Tuesday on his Instagram page, he decided to expand his outreach and put all his good thoughts into this expansive, and rather fulfilling new book.

'Be the Artist: The Interactive Guide to a Lasting Art Career' is that book and was released on February 11th, 2020 via Fulcrum Publishing. The book, which I have now personally read twice, and two others in the office once each, is an amalgamation of personal anecdotes, interviews, answers to frequently asked questions, and resources for further education.

Opening with a quote from Pablo Picasso, and next inspiring you to follow your passion, blocks of sample laddering interview snippets, homework (that's right, readers, you will have homework to do here as you progress), questions to ask yourself, the benefits of having mentors, and more are brought forth for you to ask the most important question of yourself: Who do you want to be?

As is now known, it took a year for "Detour" to pull everything together for this brilliant new book and thus you shouldn't feel obliged to rush your way, or even skip your way through it, trust me.

Detailing some of the most impactful tips he has been giving artists and the students that come through his studio since day one, a lot of the advice that he gives can actually be translated into other areas of life.

So having those broader tips enables "Detour" to venture into different directions within the book without breaking stride, discussing not only a lot of the nuances of being an artist, but things that you can learn throughout your journey also.

Such as the fact that you don’t have to be a creative, or an artist to really get something from this book. There are tips here that not only are offered up to us to adhere to, but that he himself leans on day to day also.

The way the book is laid out is simplistic for the eye also: The left side is more the text, and the right side is more the space where people can doodle and take notes.

There's also a section called Your Googles, where some of the different sections have search terms that are relevant to that topic. Simply put, if "Detour" is referencing something specific he then would like you to include it in your search terms once you begin to, well, Google for yourself thereafter.

Oh, and his advice, as a whole? Start as soon as possible in terms of what you want to do, and find exactly how to do that.

For, as he stresses, it’s going to be different in every creative practice, everything from being a musician or being a full-time sculptor or whatever your career path might provide, but find a way to start it as soon as possible; and you’ll know when you can transition to full-time thereafter.

With so much more to be discovered about this book, "Detour" has even added reading and resources in the back pages of it. Indeed come those last few pages you will discover a slew of resources that are available in terms of podcasts, documentaries, books, blog postings and other websites and organizations that artists can go to; to help add value to their practice or find residencies, studios, grants, podcasts that a lot of other artists listen to.

Oh, and just because it comes complete in bite-size, easily digestible pieces (oh, and that homework too, of course), the fact that you now have such a workbook to guide you is, well, just perfect.

It's not a large, heavyweight book, but it's not small, lightweight one either. So, we'll call it a quite wondrous, medium-weighted and sized resource guide for those that wish to start and then have a long lasting career in the Arts.

About the Author:
Thomas “Detour” Evans is a professional American artist. Born into a military family, Detour spent his youth traveling the world, eventually settling in Colorado, where he attended the University of Colorado.

While he initially studied business, his passion was art. Initially working out of his kitchen, creating art for himself, Detour has transitioned to full-time visual arts, creating artwork for major brands and large corporations.

He now spends his days carving out new and alternative paths in the art world and sharing his discoveries and insights on his popular Instagram account, @detour303.