29 Jan 13

Smart Art Management Series: 10 Steps to Self-Manage Your Art Business

What does Art Management mean? For me, the owner of an art management company, it means helping artists with the various aspects of finding places to exhibit and sell their artwork. Many artists do not wish to work with an art manager so for those artists “art management” means managing their own art career. It is imperative that these artists manage their art businesses in a way that will set them up for success. This blog series will help you learn how to manage the various elements of managing an art career based on my personal experiences as an art rep.

Below is a list of the ten steps that are some of the most important things that an independent artist can do to best manage their career.

Step One: Get a business license (and any other documents needed to become a legal business).

The reason you need to get a business license is to make sure that you are legally able to operate as a business. Check with your local State, City, and County for details about what licenses,
documents and fees are required.

Step Two: Organize and appropriately store your body of work.

Caring for your artwork is critical to make sure that your work is always ready to be displayed, sold or photographed. Depending on what type of artwork you create, name (or at least number)
your pieces and store them in an appropriate manner in a place that is dedicated to the storage of your artwork only.

Step Three: Organize all of your paperwork in a hard copy and electronic filing system.

It is important to use a file cabinet to store business set-up documents, contacts, receipts, etc. It is also very important to set-up an electronic filing system to include things like a catalog of your artwork, an electronic picture of each piece, etc.

Step Four: Create a brand to include your business name and logo.

Branding is a critical component of any art business. Especially while you are building a name for yourself, your company’s logo will make your business recognizable to others. To see a sample of my company’s logo

Step Five: Have a written biography, artist statement and resume ready at all times.

Each artist must have a biography, an artist statement and a resume. These items are needed to be part of a professional portfolio and it is important to keep your biography and your resume updated at all times. Because many artists need help with these important items, I offer writing services to artists.

Step Six: Create samples of your work - individual samples, portfolio.

Portfolios, a collection of high quality images or samples of your work are often requested when approaching galleries, retail stores and when entering contests. I always keep portfolios and
samples of my represented artist’s work in my car to have them readily available upon request.

Step Seven: Bring exposure to your work online.

It is critical to have some type of online presence in today’s art market. Create a website, use social media outlets or send out newsletters to your email contacts (get their permission first) to keep people updated on any news related to your work. I have several images showing my represented artists work on my website and I also have links to their individual websites. I also use my Facebook and Twitter accounts to share various types of news, alerts and other information about what my artists are doing. This has led to sales for all of my artists.

Step Eight: Sell your work through various outlets.

Each of my artists has found it important to sell their work through all of the traditional methods and online. The use of online marketplace, websites and by offering deals using social media sites is vital to reach a much more diverse customer base leading to a much larger level of sales.

Step Nine: Create product bios of each piece in your collection - be able to describe your work.

Each of your products must have a description to provide potential customers/collectors of your work with details about each one of your pieces of work. Click on the following link to see how I’ve helped my client George Jennings describe a piece of his work sold through his store.

Step Ten: Connect with other artists.

It is important to be part of a bigger artist community. Some of the best ways to do this are to join an online art group, visit galleries and museums, or attend local art walks and festivals.
These are great ways to share ideas with fellow artists or even get inspired!

Thank you for reading my blog, the first in my Smart Artist Management Series! Many of the steps listed will be written about in more detail throughout the year so check back each month
for more tips and information. In the meantime, work through as many of the above steps as you can to set yourself up for success!

OFFER!!

Visit my Meylah store where you can order various art business organization, writing, and consultation services This month, I am offering all the readers of this blog 10% off my artist biography writing services. Take care and keep creating!

Picture Credit : George Jennings


Posted by: Nakeesa Frazier

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1 Comment

1 Sandy Dell commented on 02/01/2013

Great article Nakeesa! Keep up the great work!!

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