When Richard Florida took the mainstage at last year's Americans for the Arts conference in Portland, Oregon, the woman next to me—we had never met—leaned in with an immediate response. "Hubba-hubba," she murmured in my direction. The Carnegie-Mellon University professor of economic development had come a long way since the publication of The Rise of the Creative Class in June 2002.
Now that Richard Florida has moved on from the “rise” of the creative class to the “flight” of the creative class, the cultural sector is left with the question: are we better off today than before he re-classified us?
In order to succeed in your career some financial investment is usually necessary, and the career of the fine artist is no exception: art supplies are expensive, art schools can be astronomical, and finished works may have to be framed, crated, shipped, and insured. There are outlays for postcards, postage, portfolios, brochures, slides, and even perhaps a website. And then there's the question of vanity galleries.
The College Art Association (CAA) came into existence in 1911 as a professional organization for both art historians and artists, in particular those who teach at the college level. What are the benefits to artists of belonging to an organization like CAA?
I am always interested to hear how artists succeed in the art world. Most artists don't have an advisor to help them, galleries don't seem to have as much time for career development, and unfortunately the days of being discovered are over. Therefore, I have come up with my ten tips to help artists succeed.
From filmmakers to choreographers to graphic designers, the issue of incorporation appears daunting at first, but can be more straightforward than most artists think.
1. What is the difference between copyright and trademark?
A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, or design, or combination thereof, which serves to identify and distinguish a source of goods or services of one party from another. A copyright protects original works of authorship, including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic and certain other intellectual works.
2. How do I copyright my work?
Grants are only one piece of pie for artists. They are one part of a whole strategy that you come up with for yourself.
The arts stimulate the senses, and the opportunity to create a marketing tactic for your work can be as challenging and fun as creating the work itself.
This column addresses the issue of contracts between artists, galleries and collectors. A contract is the essential tool that informs both parties of their responsibilities and objectives. If you and your gallery/collector work well together, you will rarely, if ever, refer to it.
Every time you send off a portfolio of your work to a gallery, curator, grant program, slide registry or other such person or entity, you take the risk of being rejected and disappointed.
Have you ever heard the classic George Harrison song, “My Sweet Lord”? It goes something like: “I really want to see you / Really want to be with you / Hallelujah / Hare Krishna. . . .” In 1976, United States District Court Judge Richard Owen, arguing that Harrison had heard the song’s melody in someone else’s song long before having written his own, ruled that Harrison was guilty of copyright infringement.
What are art consultants, or, as they are sometimes known, art reps or private art dealers? They are essentially people who sell art but who do not have a gallery.
In this column, NYFA Program Officer Edith Meeks interviews performing artists about issues relating to their working careers. Here, she speaks with David Sharp about artists and finance.
Edith Meeks: You’ve made a pretty unusual career combination of dancing and corporate financial consulting. Do you make any connection between the two?
While artists with disabilities face unique challenges in their careers, artist-in-residency programs present an even greater challenge.
Pay yourself! This is a new concept for some artists, but it's smarter to figure out now what your time is worth, represent this time in your project budget, and raise money based upon these real costs than to underbudget the project and wind up maxing out your credit cards with expensive, last-minute charges and cash advances.
You’re an artist, so you don’t have to worry about some of the constraints that come with running a business. Or do you? Unfortunately, concentrating solely on the process of creating your art is not always possible.
1. Do I need an accountant?
If you are able to do your bookkeeping and file your tax returns yourself, then you probably do not need an accountant. Once your business becomes more complicated or more time-consuming, then it is probably advisable to hire an accountant and a bookkeeper. It is also advisable to hire a qualified professional such as an accountant or an attorney during the initial setup of your organization. Both professionals will be able to clarify questions and help with the choice of the most appropriate business entity.