Monday, May 9, 2011

Business for Artists

You want to have make money from your artistic talents? Most of the time, folks will tell you (often right as you are graduating with that BFA in hand): "That a a couple bucks will buy you a cup of joe." Yeah, thanks a lot.

The words "business" and "plan" are not easily uttered by artists. I've done (partial) business plans at least twice. Ugh. Then I heard Jennifer Lee, author of The Right Brained Business Plan on a podcast. She said some of the big-bad business plan words like: demographics, target market and market size and then spoke about pulling off a plan using visual aids. Yeah, I'm all over that one.
I got Lee's book after looking it over really carefully. My first reaction was that the visuals were a bit cartoon-y but pretty quickly saw that this was a selling point for me, it opened me up. There are other good books on the market right now. The Creative Entrepreneur has gotten good reviews. Poke around on Amazon.
I got out my gel pens, my markers, scissors and glue stick and have actually made inroads in my plan. Forecasting? Yeah, baby! Jennifer actually explains to you how to do the research for finding your target market, etc. Oh Joy! I don't feel like an idiot.
Jennifer also suggested the Levenger Circa notebook. Levenger licenses the disc and hole punch technology from Rollabind and if you are a binder person, you will love it. Some of the tools (such as the hefty hole punch, which is all you REALLY need) are cheaper over at the Rollabind site. 

If you want to make money at your artwork, you want an art business and if you want an art business, you need a plan. Start slowly. Artists deserve to make a living; to make a life from their art. Dag-nab-it! You are not "selling out" if you do so.

16 comments:

Karen McLaughlin said...

Oh Diana... I've been WAITING for this post! Thank you
: )

Gress Graphic Arts said...

ALso I bought a copy of "How to Survive and Prosper as an Artist, Selling Yourself Without Selling Your Soul" by Caroll Michels years ago (I'm sure it's been since updated). I reference it all the time.

Jane LaFazio said...

thoughtful. provocative... thanks Diana.

Sue Bleiweiss said...

excellent advice Diana. Another book I think is really well written on this subject is "The Savvy Crafters Guide To Success: Turn Your Crafts Into A Career"

Diana Trout {Nan.DT@verizon.net} said...

Yes, to all of you. It's pretty exciting that there are books on the market like this one. Find one that YOU like. It's helping me focus. Good golly!

Susan Nash said...

wow, I have recently purchased this book and am just wading into it...hoping to go "knee deep" soon! I am encouraged that an artist whom I consider "big time" is doing this too. Thank you! and thanks for sharing!!

Gina Lento said...

Diana, I am currently reading THE CREATIVE ENTREPRENEUR and it'd pretty good so far. The book is set up to be an easy read and there are exercises to follow as well. Thumbs up so far.

violette said...

Great information Diana.........i posted it on facebook. Thank you so much!

Love, violette

Diana Trout {Nan.DT@verizon.net} said...

I'll take a peek at The Creative Entreprenuer and Savvy Guide ... . Thanks folks. Isn't it empowering to find this information these days. I left art school (30 odd years ago) with no clue at all - a great disservice. Although they insisted on teaching us how to size our canvases with handmade gesso and goat guts sizing. Crazy ...

Judy said...

Hi! Diana,

Never thought my playing around deserved a Business Plan, however I shall take the thought on board, see what my brain thinks. Tis, good thought!

iHanna said...

Great review Diana, and your book looks great! I haven't read Jennifer's book yet but I am a big fan, love her blog and the newsletter she sends out. :-)

Elizabeth said...

After getting slammed out of the blue and without reason, last week, this is just the sort of info I need !! Thank you so much Diana!!!! ONWARD INTO THE FRAY and HAppy Spring!!!

Jenny Petricek said...

Thanks so much for sharing this info! As a newcomer not at all sure what the future holds for her, your ideas are definitely food for thought that may be useful later on!

Traci Bunkers said...

I would be curious to hear how this book compares to Lisa Sonora Beam's "The Creative Entrepreneur." Anyone read both of them?

Diana Trout {Nan.DT@verizon.net} said...

Good question, Traci. I wonder if they are different enough to warrant reading both. I looked for it over the weekend at the bookstore but it wasn't there.
Will take a further look.

lisa {milkshake} said...

Good post, Diana! I am getting ready to push more wholesaling of my work. The PA Guild offers a mentor program and I took advantage of it about a month ago. I have a fantastic mentor who has already helped me so, so much. So that's an option, too! (It's free!)