52. “The Business of Being an Artist” by Daniel Grant.

Correction: The Prudence Roberts lecture was rescheduled for next Fall.

This afternoon at 12:45pm, Monday, April 9, OCAC is going to host a lecture by Prudence Roberts, the juror and curator of Disjecta‘s Portland Biennial 2012, as well as a Art History professor at Portland Community College.  This will be a great opportunity for all aspiring artists not only to learn about the exhibition and new talent from Portland, but also to learn more about what is involved with being a professional artist. Don’t miss this talk!

More information about Prudence Roberts and the Portland Biennial below:

  • Roberts also talked with KBOO about the Portland Biennial 2012 show in general and some of the artists specifically. Check out that interview here: http://kboo.fm/node/34637
  • To learn more about the 2012 Biennial of Contemporary art, go to Disjecta’s site: http://www.disjecta.org/2012/. It provides not only a list of artist participating but also where their work is being shown.

For this week’s library pick, we’ve selected a title that all aspiring artists should read: The Business of Being an Artist by Daniel Grant.

Here’s how the publisher describes it: “In the fourth edition of this essential artists’ reference, art world insider Daniel Grant offers a comprehensive guide to making a living through art. This new edition has been updated to include sections on how to market and sell art in a weak economy and how to succeed in the business of marketing online, including tips on creating a successful Web site and blog. Complete with anecdotes from successful artists, the book covers everything from art gallery etiquette to the legal rights of artists, including chapters on: making the transition from school to the working world; searching for funding through grants and fellowships; developing relationships with art dealers; handling criticism and rejection; how to stay safe in the studio. The Business of Being an Artist is an invaluable resource for art students, aspiring artists, and professional artists who want to learn all there is to know about successfully navigating the world of art” (from the back cover).

For a preview of its contents (and it covers everything!), here’s a list of what it talks about chapter by chapter:

Chapter 1:  Exhibiting And Selling Art — So, where can I show my work? — Gaining media attention — Marketing and sales — Communicating in the digital age — Disappearing art critic — Critical essays disappearing, too — Actual sale — Marketing and sales in a weak economy –

Chapter 2:  Operating As A Professional — Getting ready to exhibit — Pricing artwork — To frame or not to frame — Accepting credit cards for sales — Word about taxes — Need for good record keeping — Working small, working large — Protecting oneself from theft — Thefts at art fairs — Artists who work at home — Need to specialize — Too much art — Giving up the day job –

Chapter 3:  Expanding The Area Of Sales And Income — Licensing — Publishing prints — Self-publishing — Print publishers — Dealers and galleries — Certificates of authenticity — Signed by the artist — Bartering and leasing art — Bartering — Leasing — Starting one’s own gallery — Art partnerships — Selling to corporations — Finding corporate buyers — Making contact –

Chapter 4:  Developing Relationships With Art Dealers — 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 — Collector-dealer relationship — Artist-gallery relationship — Art gallery etiquette — Bad debts and other recoveries –

Chapter 5:  Web Site — 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 — Artist’s blogs — Where sales may be most plentiful —

Chapter 6:  When Does Investing In One’s Career Become A Ripoff? — Business managers — Artist’s representatives — Publicists — Artists’ career advisors — Paying to play the art game — Selling art through mailing lists — 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 — Copyright — 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” — 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 — Apprenticing and internships — 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:  Materials That Artists Use — Safe art practices in the studio — Substitute ingredients in artists’ paints — 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 — Changing relationship of sculptors and foundries — Selecting a print studio or foundry — Print studios — Foundries –

Chapter 10:  Getting Ready To Handle The Pressures — Post-exhibition blues — Changing one’s style — Changing one’s media — Handling criticism — Rejection letters — Handling art world publicity — Love and marriage — Benefits and pitfalls of censorship and controversy — Out of the spotlight — Thomas Hart Benton has a message for artists –

Chapter 11:  Contests And Commissions — Commissions for percent-for-art projects — Commissioning process — General services administration — State and municipal agencies — Thin skins and strong stomachs — 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:  Search For Grants And Gifts — Applying for loans — Applying for emergency assistance — Artists’ foundations — Applying for grants and fellowships — Fiscal management — So who will provide the funding? — Foundations — Corporations — Corporate foundations — Government — Local arts agencies — State art agencies — Regional arts agencies — National endowment for the arts — Individuals — Miscellaneous funders — Asking for money — Proposal package — Reporting requirements for grant recipients — Keeping perspective.

This is a must read for anyone interested in the arts! And, in this 2010 edition, it is about as up to date with the complexities of the art world as anyone would need. Check it out!

And don’t miss the lecture with Prudence Roberts!


6 thoughts on “52. “The Business of Being an Artist” by Daniel Grant.

  1. I wish I lived in Portland and could attend this lecture. I am an emerging artist,in my senior year of my BFA and the thought of what is after graduation seems to me to be just as imprtant as what came before,maybe even more important. I will get the book. Thanks for the information.

  2. Timely for me – too far to attend though. Is the book relevent for artists outside of the States? I will recommend a similar book for Canadian artists: ‘Artist Survival Skills, How to Make a Living as a Canadian Visual Artist’ by Chris Tyrell.

  3. This seems like a fantastic reference book to have on hand! I’m not an artist myself, just a creative writer. However, I’ve been trying to jumpstart my career in marketing/promoting local artists. This would be a great read for me, thanks for posting. I’ll have to pick up a copy!

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