Service organizations like the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) and VLAA understand that although most artists are running small businesses, too many are unfamiliar with business concepts that can help them move towards more sustainable careers.
NYFA’s second edition of The Profitable Artist draws on the Brooklyn-based organization’s many years of top-notch professional development programs. Written for artists of all disciplines, the 291-page book addresses many of the topics that are part of our Business Edge seminars series, including goal setting, marketing, legal issues (such as copyright and contracts), business entities, pricing and fundraising. There’s a chapter devoted to emergency preparedness, an important, but too often ignored, subject that we have addressed in collaboration with our friends at CERF+. The user-friendly book also covers topics such as personal finance and budgeting, which we’d like to add to our menu of offerings.
Because there is crossover between creative businesses and the broader entrepreneurial scene, it’s good to see the chapter on the one-page business model canvas and the lean start-up methodology. These tools ask entrepreneurs to look at their products or services from the point of view of their customers and to define the need that will be fulfilled or the problem that will be solved. This value proposition approach isn’t for everyone but the artists who attended our workshops on this method were intrigued.
If you don’t want to buy this highly recommended easy-to-digest book (also available as an ebook), which was co-published by Allworth Press, check out NYFA’s new online learning programs and/or attend one of more of our upcoming Business Edge workshops.
— reviewed by Sue Greenberg, executive director