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Friday, February 16, 2018

How professional artists structure their businesses.

While hundreds read the post, only a small handful answered the questions. Their answers are still fascinating.

Last week, I asked professional artists to tell a young painter from Alabama, Cat Pope, how they organize their business.

This is the first survey I've ever written. It was very easy to produce, but there are things I should have asked differently. If you haven't taken it yet, you can still go to the link here. The results mostly speak for themselves; I've just added a few parenthetical notes.

The respondents were heavily slanted to the northeast. Would artists from other parts of the country have answered differently? What about Canadian painters?



How hard, I wonder, is it to keep more than 3 galleries supplied with work? I should have also asked about other spaces like coffee shops, restaurants, or hotels.


This next chart represents some serious online work, even for people who aren't direct-selling through websites.



I feel the frustration of wearing all the hats, all the time. Apparently, I'm not alone. A lot of us put a lot of soul into the 'sole proprietorship' idea.


The following was a badly-designed question. I should have given respondents the opportunity to answer "none." 40% of respondents skipped it entirely, which makes "none" the second-largest category.


 Another missed opportunity. Why didn't I ask about annual sales goals?


I included this last question because artists are always being asked to "showcase their work" in charity auctions, yet it's not a deductible donation for us. When we see that work being sold for a fraction of its gallery price, we think it would be easier to just write a check.

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