11/19/2013 10:49 am ET

How Do Working Artists Live?

Chris Simpson via Getty Images

Anyone who’s chosen to live a creative lifestyle — not just artists — knows what it means to worry. Rather than gun for the safety of a monthly paycheck, most of us (this writer included) have to find a way to put food on the table, without sacrificing our proverbial souls.

It’s dodgy terrain to traverse. I often find myself wondering how others manage it. For those similarly curious, artist Sharon Louden, a frequent professional practice lecturer at the New York Academy of Art, has come up with Living and Sustaining a Creative Life: Essays by 40 Working Artists, a strikingly frank book that removes the veil of mysticism surrounding the artistic life.

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