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

Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG): Professional Guidelines

External Link | Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG)

"The Professional Guidelines have been developed as a reference to help everyone in the arts and crafts community learn how to handle common but important situations that may arise. These documents are basic tools for improved and equitable business practices, leading toward more standard professional practices." The guidelines include forms, checklists, and advice on a wide variety of business issues.

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.

Publications: The Crafts Report Magazine

External Link | The Crafts Report

A monthly magazine that focuses on business information for craft artists.

Ask Harriete: Artist Professional Guidelines Q&A

External Link | Harriete Estel Berman, metalsmith

An astute business and tech savvy blog from metalsmith Harriete Estel Berman. This blog has a wealth of information on all aspects of an artist's business, including a set of professional guidelines developed by a stellar committee of craft professionals for the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG).

ArtBizCoach.com: Artist Marketing and Self-Promotion

External Link | Alyson B Stanfield, Art Biz Coach

On-line art marketing courses and resources as well as, personalized support and workshops offered by Alyson B. Stanfield. Fee for services. Her artbizblog (www.artbizblog.com) is an excellent free resouce for arts business information.

New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA): Business of Art Articles

External Link | New York Foundation for the Arts

An index art business articles from NYFA.

Creative Capital Online Learning Workshops

External Link

| Creative Capital

Famous for their excellent weekend-long intensive art business workshops, Creative Capital has a series of one-topic webinars.  You will need a computer with speakers, but no special software.  The cost is $25 per 90 minute session. Check their calendar for times and topics.

Senior Artists Initiative

External Link | Senior Artists Initiative

Estate planning information-SAI is a nonprofit organization that assists senior artists in understanding the need for and processes involved in organizing their life's work and by developing programs that provide recognition for senior artists.The site contains several useful articles about how to help assure a favorable disposal of your artworks after death that are compiled in a pdf "Guidelines for Senior Artists;" http://www.seniorartists.org/images/Guidelines.PDF

Artist Trust: Professional Development Resources and Articles

External Link | Artist Trust

Articles on a variety of professional developments and topics, plus resource listings. Artist Trust also has grants and other resources for artists from Washington state.


External Link | Alan Bamberger, art consultant

A no-frills site of useful articles, tips, and product reviews for both artists and collectors from art consultant Alan Bamberger

Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE)

External Link | SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives)

SCORE (Counselors to America's Small Business) is a nonprofit association dedicated to providing entrepreneurs with free, confidential face-to-face and email business counseling. SCORE connects you with mentors and provides business workshops at locations around the country.

IRS: Small Business and Self-Employed One-Stop Resource

External Link | Internal Revenue Service

A compendium of online resources on starting, financing, and managing a small business, especially in relation to taxes.

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.

Small Business Development Centers (SBA)

External Link | Small Business Administration (SBA)

Part of the Small Business Administration, SBDCs offer one-stop assistance to individuals and small businesses by providing a wide variety of business information and guidance in central and easily accessible branch locations. This section provides a directory of offices and programs.

Small Business Administration (SBA)

External Link | Small Business Administration (SBA)

A great compendium of online advice on starting, financing and managing a smalll business.

New York Foundation for the Arts: NYFA Source

--- | New York Foundation for the Arts

NYFA Source provides online access to the nation's most extensive databank of grants, emergency relief, residencies, publications and sources of information for artists of all disciplines.

Small Business Planner (SBA)

External Link | Small Business Administration (SBA)

The Small Business Administration's archive of articles about various aspects of running a business. The site also includes tabs for SBA services, tools, and local resources

Getting Your Sh*t Together (GYST): Software and Services for Artists of All Kinds

External Link | GYST (Getting Your Sh*t Together)

GYST is a software application for PC and MAC for tracking artworks and other career-related items such as artist statements, contacts, etc. Cost is approx. $130.

Professional Artist Magazine

External Link | Professional Artist Magazine

Professional Artist magazine offers artists practical advice on business topics and advanced technical applications, listings of Calls to Artists and an online art business community.

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.

Recession Art: Leveraging Investments in Creativity's 2009 Artists and the Recession Survey

External Link | Leveraging Investments in Creativity

Over 6,000 artists responded to the Artists and the Economic Recession Survey, commissioned by Leveraging Investments in Creativity, in collaboration with Helicon Collaborative and Princeton Survey Research Associates International.

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.

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.

Springboard for the Arts

External Link | Springboard for the Arts

Springboard for the Arts provids a variety of resources to artists in the Upper Midwest region. Services include art business workshops, loans, emergency assistance, and a comprehensive state-by-state listing of resources for artists living in the Upper Midwest

Chicago Artists Resource (CAR)

External Link | Chicago Artists Resource

Chicago Artists Resource (CAR) is a program of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. CAR lists artist profiles, career resources, and opportunites. The resources are primarily of interest to Chicago area artists, although there are also items of national interest.

Publications: Allworth Press Business Books for Artists

External Link | Allworth Press

Allworth Press provides practical information books for the creative community.

Federal Citizen Information Center

External Link | U.S. General Services Administration

FCIC of the General Services Administration (GSA), provides information about common consumer issues.

Microenterprise Programs Directory

External Link | FIELD at The Aspen Institute

FIELD at the Aspen Institute has compiled this listing of microenterprise programs around the country that help small business owners and low-income entrepreneurs gain access to the training and financial resources they need to succeed. On the tab above the data, select the US map icon and then select your state to see programs in your area.

SBA Online Small Business Learning Center

External Link | Small Business Administration (SBA)

The SBA Learning Center offers onling training, videos and chat sessions on a range of small business topics.

A River Worth Crossing: Learning Basic Business Practices to Help Sustain Your Career



Whether you’re just starting out or,looking to give your existing business a boost, implementing basic business practices, from creating an identity and setting prices to writing a business plan and developing a budget, should help make your life as an artist in business a little easier.


External Link | ArtHome

ArtHome helps artists build assets and equity through financial literacy and home-ownership. Online tools include a home buyer's guide and home budgeting information.

State Arts Agency Directory - NASAA

External Link | National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA)

State arts agencies are important resources for grants, exhibition opportunities, and professional practices workshops. This site will help you locate your state agency and key personnel.

Center for Cultural Innovation (California)

External Link | Center for Cultural Innovation

CCI helps self-employed artists, small arts businesses and the nonprofit arts sector in California start, manage and grow their own businesses. They also teach entrepreneurial training workshops in Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento, and the Bay Area.

Artist Help Network

External Link | Artist Help Network

A listing of artists' resources including free and for purchase publications on a variety of art business-related topics.

Bruce Baker’s Business Development Workshops and Resources for Artists

External Link | Bruce Baker

Craft Marketing guru Bruce Baker teaches workshops across the country. If you cannot make a workshop, he has CD's about getting into and selling at craft shows for sale..

Arts and Crafts Business at About.com

External Link | About.com

This site includes articles and other resources useful to running a craft business. The articles give a pretty good overview of craft business issues. One caveat: About.com articles are a means to sell advertising, and the advertising links tend not to be very relevant. The trend is for articles on About.com and similar sites to be more superficial, however there is currently some good information here.

Canada Cultural Human Resources Council: Artist Career Strengthening Resources

External Link | Canada Cultural Human Resources Council

Available for purchase and developed by artists and cultural workers, "The Art of Managing Your Career" provides emerging self-employed artists and cultural workers with information to better manage their careers. Craft is one of the eight art disciplines covered. A booklet, "The Art of Managing Your Career in Crafts," is of some interest for its definition of craft and outline of craft career issues in Canada.

Publications: Chester Book Company, Craft Books

External Link | Chester Book Co.

Bookseller and publisher of craft books.

Recession buster: Tips for Weathering the Storm

External Link | Woodshop News

Woodshop News contacted the owners of several small cabinet and furniture shops that the magazine has recently profiled to find out what measures they have taken to weather financial downturn.

Recession Survival Guide for Small Business

External Link | New York State Small Business Development Center

Put together by New York State's Small Business Development Center, the guide includes helpful recession-specific tips, techniques, and experiences that can help any small business owner weather tough financial times.