Quick Tip: Business Tips for Artists

The roles of artist and entrepreneur go hand in hand, whether by choice or necessity. I’ve studied the craft of pottery through many different avenues: in school at Massachusetts College of Art, in apprenticeships, at workshops, and by observing pottery traditions in my travels nationally and abroad. I realized the importance of arts administrators in running small-scale operations and in providing big picture access to the arts, and that motivated me to continue my studies with an MA in arts administration.

Business is just as much a craft as pottery, and few are masters of both. Here are a few tips you can adapt and adopt to strengthen and streamline your business practices.

Get organized. Consolidate all your deadlines into one place. I prefer Excel spreadsheets. Once your list is created, keep adding to it. Set aside a little time daily, weekly, or monthly—whatever you can commit to—to research new opportunities. Set a reasonable goal of how many applications you will complete in a year.

Time management. This one takes discipline. Schedule your time accurately and stick to it. You can use Google calendars or the old fashioned kind, whatever works best for your practice. You can also add follow-up reminders to this calendar to improve your networking game. Check in with your spreadsheet of projects and deadlines regularly. 

Outsource. Determine your least favorite business chore. Is it social-media marketing, business plan writing, or financial management? Pick one and focus on it. Find someone who can do this for you or find somewhere to improve on this skill yourself. There are many free professional development offerings out there, and it is worth it to invest the time and energy in your business.

Example of a spreadsheet set up to keep track of upcoming opportunities and deadlines.

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