General Business Practices

These resources provide information to help artists enhance their professional practices and strengthen their businesses. While most of the resources are specifically for artists, some are good general business resources.

Note: The resources on these pages are listed by priority, with top-rated items appearing first. For more information on the listings and how to submit recommendations for listings, please see the note at the end of Artists' Career Resources.

Photos (L-R): Teri Greeves, Anna Millea, Michael Puryear

CERF+ Art and Studio Inventory Tracking Resources

Studio Protector Link


A studio inventory record is important for an artist when making business descisions. It is also invaluable when reviewing business insurance coverage or if there is ever a need to make an insurance claim. This Studio Protector page provides tips on creating and updating an inventory record of art tools and equipement, as well as artwork.

Also, as part of this Studio Protector studio inventory blog, CERF+ created Excel and Google spreadsheet templates for tracking inventories of studio assets and art works.

The Excel spreadsheets at the link below are in a compressed (zip) file, so you can download them with the file structure for adding images to the inventory. The files are in both .xls and the newer .xlsx fromats--pick which one you need and delete the other. Instructions are included in the first worksheet of each spreadsheet. Feel free to modify the spreadsheet as needed, but if you pass on a copy to someone, please send them here or give them the original copy. Be sure to keep a backup of the spreadsheet and image file in the cloud or another Safe Off-site Location!

Download CERF_Inventory.zip

If you prefer to use Google spreadsheets, here are the links (As with any Google document, you will need a Google account to make a copy of these spreadsheets.):
CERF+ Art Inventory and Sales Tracking Template
CERF+ Studio Inventory Tracking Template

Artist Career Training

External Link

| Aletta de Wal, Artist Career Training

On-line art marketing courses and resources as well as, personalized support and workshops offered by Aletta de Wal. Fee for services. Free resources include ArtMatters! e-newsletter, Art Marketing Blog, and interviews with artists and art professionals.

Accion Small Business Resources

External Link

| Accion

Accion, a small business lender in the U.S. and many other countries, has a library of tips, articles and videos designed to help people start, strengthen or grown their small business.

Creativity in Challenging Times



CERF+ interviews four artists about their strategies for surviving and flourishing during difficult economic times.

What Would I Do Differently? Insurance Advice from the Trenches



A cerfnews article highlighting insurance related experiences of and advice from craft artists who have had serious emergencies.

Business Insurance: Can You Afford to Be Without It?



A cerfnews article about acquiring insurance for your craft art business.

Joan Mitchell Foundation’s CALL Resources for Artists - Estate Planning Guide

External Link

| Joan Mitchell Foundation

CALL (Creating a Living Legacy) Resources includes an Estate Planning Workbook for Visual Artists. This guide is designed to be a practical tool for artists and/or their supporters to use when carefully assessing and identifying the unique estate planning needs and concerns specific to the visual arts. CALL Resources also includes a career documentation guide described elsewhere in these listings. CALL is an initiative of the Joan Mitchell Foundation begun in 2007.

Joan Mitchell Foundation’s CALL Resources for Artists - Career Documentation Guide

External Link

| Joan Mitchell Foundation

CALL (Creating a Living Legacy) Resources includes a Career Documentation Guide that provides a range of support to visual artists in organizing, inventorying, archiving and creating a comprehensive documentation of their artworks and careers. The website includes detailed suggestions for all aspects of documenting your art and art career, whether you are an emerging artist, an established artist, or at some point between. CALL Resources also includes an estate planning guide described elsewhere in this listing. CALL is an initiative of the Joan Mitchell Foundation begun in 2007.

New York Foundation for the Arts: The Profitable Artist

External Link

| New York Foundation for the Arts

The Profitable Artist is a handbook for artists in the performing, literary and visual arts, compiled by arts professionals and the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA). The book guides the reader through five broad substantive topics that are often overlooked by artists: strategic planning, finance, law, marketing, and fundraising. Each topic area is reinforced by real-world examples and applications of the material.

Taxation & Tax Deductions for the Self-Employed Visual Artist

External Link

| Riley & Associates, P.C.

A summary of tax related issues for visual artists by certified public accountant Peter Jason Riley of Riley & Associates, P.C. This resource will help you determine if your art enterprise is a business or hobby in the eyes of the Internal Revenue Service and guide you to better understanding of business income, inventory, expenses, equipment purchases, and claiming a home office deduction. Included in the resource are links to business income and expense worksheet templates designed specifically for visual artists. The Riley & Associates' website has similar tax issue summaries for performing artists and writers.

Women’s Business Development Centers

External Link

| Association of Women's Business Centers (AWBC)

Women's business centers help women in business by providing training, mentoring, business development and financing opportunities. The AWBC's website includes a directory of women's business centers in the United States.

The Field Guide for Ceramic Artisans

External Link

| Julia Galloway

The “Field Guide for Ceramic Artisans” is a website of information and resources developed by Julia Galloway, professor and director at the School of Art at the Univerity of Montana, and her students to help and support students of ceramic art when they are finishing school.