The Business of Being an Artist / Edition 4

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Fine artists are taught many things about the craft of art in the various art schools and university art programs, but rarely do they learn much if anything about how to make a career of their talents. The Business of Being an Artist contains information on how artists may develop a presence in the art world that leads to sales. The book contains information on how artists can learn to sell their work directly to the public with an understanding of the principles of marketing and sales as they're applicable to works of art. Artists will also learn how to find a suitable gallery that will arrange sales and commissions and how to set up a contractual relationship with the dealer that is both equitable and profitable. Among the topics covered in The Business of Being an Artist are: the range of exhibition opportunities for emerging and mid-career artists; how to set prices for artwork; when or if artists should pay to advance their careers; how artists may communicate with the public; applying for loans, grants, and fellowships; areas of the law that concern artists; using art materials safely; online sales and marketing, and much more. In addition to all of this priceless information, The Business of Being an Artist includes a unique discussion of some of the emotional issues that face artists throughout their careers, such as working alone, confronting stereotypes, handling criticisms and rejection, the glare of publicity, and the absence of attention. Without a doubt, The Business of Being an Artist is a must-have book for every artist ready to turn their talent into a successful business.

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Editorial Reviews

Crafts Report
The Business of Being an Artist "is an invaluable resource for aspiring artists and those who feel they need to check in with a real expert from time to time. Most people agree that art schools need to offer more 'survival courses' for their students, and I can't think of a better book for this purpose.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781581156737
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
  • Publication date: 2/23/2010
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 392
  • Sales rank: 792,378
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel Grant is the author of a number of books on fine artists' career development. He has taught at Lyme Academy College of Art and led career workshops at a variety of colleges and universities around the country including Yale University, Smith College, Iowa State University, and the College Art Association. In addition, he is a contributing editor at American Artist magazine and writes regularly for the Wall Street Journal and ARTnews. Grant has worked as a full-time art critic and feature writer for Newsday in New York City and the Commercial-Appeal in Memphis, Tennessee, as well as having served as the editor of Art & Artists. Daniel Grant has written seven books for Allworth Press: The Business of Being an Artist, Selling Art Without Galleries, The Fine Artists' Career Guide, How to Grow as an Artist, An Artist's Guide: Making It in New York City, The Artist's Resource Handbook, and The Writer's Resource Handbook. Grant's work appears periodically in the New York Times and Art in America. A graduate of Northwestern University, Daniel Grant lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, where he has chaired the local cultural council.

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Table of Contents

Introduction ix

Chapter I Exhibiting and Selling Art 1

So, Where Can I Show My Work?

Gaining Media Attention

Marketing and Sales

Communicating in the Digital Age

The Disappearing Art Critic

Critical Essays Disappearing, Too

The Actual Sale

Marketing and Sales in a Weak Economy

Chapter 2 Operating as a Professional 43

Getting Ready to Exhibit

Pricing Artwork

To Frame or Not to Frame

Accepting Credit Cards for Sales

A Word About Taxes

The Need for Good Recordkeeping

Working Small, Working Large

Protecting Oneself from Theft

Thefts at Art Fairs

Artists Who Work at Home

The Need to Specialize

Too Much Art

Giving Up the Day Job

Chapter 3 Expanding the Area of Sales and Income 71


Publishing Prints


Print Publishers

Dealers and Galleries

Certificates of Authenticity

"Signed by the Artist"

Bartering and Leasing Art



Starting One's Own Gallery

Art Partnerships

Selling to Corporations

Finding Corporate Buyers

Making Contact

Chapter 4 Developing Relationships with Art Dealers 95

Finding Representation

Art Consultants

Art Galleries

Is the Artist's Age an Issue?

Coming to Terms

Foundry Fees and Commissions

To Consign or Sell?

Artist-Dealer Disputes

Spreading Oneself Too Thin

Severing the Artist-Dealer Relationship

Galleries Change Artists

Art World Relationships

The Collector-Dealer Relationship

The Artist-Gallery Relationship

Art Gallery Etiquette

Bad Debts and Other Recoveries

Chapter 5 A Web Site 127

The Business of Marketing Art Online

Getting People to Your Site

Tracking the Number of Browsers

Linking to an Online Mall

Some General Rules of the Internet

Online Sales

Artists' Blogs

Where Sales May Be Most Plentiful

Chapter 6 When Does Investing in One's Career Become a Ripoff? 143

Business Managers

Artists' Representatives


Artists' Career Advisors

Paying to Play the Art Game

Selling Art through Mailing Lists

The Value of Prizes and Awards

Publishing One's Own Catalogue

Entry Fees for Juried Shows

Are You Deluding Yourself?

Chapter 7 Artists and the Law 165


Copyright and the Internet

Does "Appropriation Art" Transform Copyrighted Material?

Making a Copyright Search

Trademark Protection for Artists

Copyrighted and Trademarked Subjects in Artists' Work

Artists' Moral Rights

Waiving One's Rights

Confusion Over the Term "Site-Specific"

The Right to Privacy

Sidewalk Art

Art that Looks like Other Art

Artists Lose Lawsuits

Valuing an Artist's Estate

Chapter 8 From School to the Working World 209

Apprenticing and Internships

The Skills that Artists Look for in Assistants

Artists' Assistants and the IRS

Finding a Job as an Art Teacher

Art Schools and Controversial Art

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Teaching

Making Peace with the Academic Life

Artist-in-Residence Programs

Museum Artist-in-Residence Programs

Chapter 9 The Materials that Artists Use 251

Safe Art Practices in the Studio

Substitute Ingredients in Artists' Paints

A Primer on Paint Labels

Artists Making Their Own Paints

Owning a Printing Press

Art Materials Information on the Line

Trying Out Newer, Less Expensive Materials

The Changing Relationship of Sculptors and Foundries

Selecting a Print Studio or Foundry

Print Studios


Chapter 10 Getting Ready to Handle the Pressures 283

Post-Exhibition Blues

Changing One's Style

Changing One's Media

Handling Criticism

Rejection Letters

Handling Art World Publicity

Love and Marriage

The Benefits and Pitfalls of Censorship and Controversy

Out of the Spotlight

Thomas Hart Benton Has a Message for Artists

Chapter 11 Contests and Commissions 317

Commissions for Percent-for-Art Projects

The Commissioning Process

General Services Administration

State and Municipal Agencies

Thin Skins and Strong Stomachs

The Efforts to Contain Public Art Controversy

Private Public Art Commissions

Damage and Neglect of Public Art

Who Decides Artistic Merit?

Jurying Art-Descending from the Ideal

When Jurors May Not Seem Fair

Jurors with Clear Biases

Chapter 12 The Search for Grants and Gifts 343

Applying for Loans

Applying for Emergency Assistance

Artists' Foundations

Applying for Grants and Fellowships

Fiscal Management

So Who Will Provide the Funding?



Corporate Foundations


Local Arts Agencies

State Arts Agencies

Regional Arts Agencies

National Endowment for the Arts


Miscellaneous Funders

Asking for Money

The Proposal Package

Reporting Requirements for Grant Recipients

Keeping Perspective

About the Author 385

Index 387

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