Recently I've been looking for books that contain writing by artists. That was how I came by Letters to a Young Artist, a small pocket sized book that is ideal reading during those short breaks in a day - a bus ride, a lunch... It contains two dozen letters by artists such as John Baldessari and Adrian Piper. Many offer words of wisdom and encouragement. If you are an emerging artist feeling a moment of doubt about the art world, this is a great pick-me-up. Highly recommended.
I would really love to find a book that contains text by artists before they become established - I'm interested in what strategies work well when it comes to filling in application forms with their inevitable "write 200 words on your art." A collection of early statements from emerging artists that later did well would be really valuable. For instance, my friend Jen recently told me that she has had success with art applications which she wrote quickly, the day the application was due. Is spontaneity or informal writing a better strategy than a more formal essay? Any opinions?