Art & Development, Values

The Business of Art

The Center for Cultural Innovation just published The Business of Art: An Artist’s Guide to Profitable Self-Employment, a 256-page book with the following sections:

Chapter 1: Work Like An Artist, Think Like an Entrepreneur
(Assess your skills and weaknesses, set goals, and write a business plan. Why do artists need business plans? Often artists use the models which are most familiar to them, like the non-profit or community-based organization model, but a self-employed / sole proprietorship is probably more useful. An overview of business structures is included.)

Chapter 2: Getting the Most Out of Public Relations and Self-Promotion
(Marketing. Publicity. Pricing. Press Releases.)

Chapter 3: Managing Money and Financial Planning
(Bookkeeping, budgeting, invoicing. Health, legal, tax overview.)

Chapter 4: LAW is not a 4-Letter Word
(Lawyers, Contract, Negotiation/Mediation/Arbitration)

Chapter 5: I’ve Written My Business Plan. Now Where’s the Money?
(Grants, loans/banker relationships, bootstrapping {replaces the need for investment capital}, microlending, more)

And a huge Resource list.

I’m a huge advocate for artist’s professional development, and after mulling over the Kerry James Marshall lecture for a few days, I’m even more motivated to get organized and be an agent — to not let my presence be conditional upon outside forces. The Creative Capital Professional Development workshop gave me a lot of skills, and I want to share resources like CCI’s book. It covers similar themes — goal setting, making a business plan, marketing, financial planning — so I would really encourage artists who are feeling like their fate is controlled by jurors, gallery owners and critics to get this book and start being strategic about your participation in the art world now. And it’ll also be a great reference book; better to have advice about legal issues when you don’t need it, than not have it when you do.


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