How to Start an Art Business

There are several ways a person can make money in the way of art. The person should be knowledgeable and talented in this area if they want to pursue a career in it. If they are talented and they have truly have a passion for the arts, then they may also want to consider starting an art business. There are several different kinds of art businesses so you would have to know which one you wanted to do. Read on to learn how to start an art business.

Things You'll Need

  • Financing
  • Studio
  • Accountant
  • Services
  • Business Plan
  • Products

Decide which direction you want to take. Do you want to start an art gallery? How about an art museum? Perhaps you want to open a studio and teach art to others. You could hold workshops or summer art camps for kids. There really is no limit to what you can do, but you must choose one direction and make a commitment to it.

Decide who is going to keep the records. If you have good business sense than you can handle all of the paperwork and accounting yourself. If you don't have good business sense, however, than you are going to want a partner that does. This partner does not have to be a 50/50 partner. They can be more like a 70/30 partner if you want. Just know that keeping records is the most important part of the business and you will get in trouble with the IRS if you don't handle this part correctly.

Create a business plan. This plan should include a budget. Estimate how much money you would need to rent a studio, how much you would need for supplies, electric, phone, Internet and other necessities. Place as detailed info as you can get in to this budget. That figure is going to help you know exactly how much financing you are going to need to get started. For the rest of the business plan, write out how you are going to get started, what services you are going to provide, what products you are going to sell, and the prices of each. The more information you have in the business plan, the better. This will help you get financing in some cases.

Obtain financing if you don't have your own start-up capital. Your best bet is to go to your local bank. Show them your business plan and find out if you qualify for a loan. If you don't get anywhere with your local bank call up the Small Business Administration. They can help you get funds to start up your business. The website link to the Small Business Administration is provided for you at the bottom of this article.

Put your plan in to action. Rent your space and start setting it up. If you are offering art workshops, you are going to want to have supplies that your customers can buy in order to make whatever you are teaching them. So set up an area for items for sale and another area with tables and chairs as the workspace area. Set up a computer to handle inventory and sales. Keep all receipts for your records and make sure all paperwork is kept up to date.

Advertise your new store or service. Spread the word and take out a few ads in your local newspapers. Create some fliers and pay some kids to hand them out or place them on car windshields at the supermarket. Create a radio announcement or rent a billboard. There are a lot of options and you can pick and choose which ones fit your budget.

Have a grand opening to announce your new business to the world. This is highly effective in getting people who might not normally stop by to drop in. Offer some free refreshments and some 10 percent off coupons for the big day. This type of advertising has what we call ripple effects. The people who come to your grand opening are going to tell their friends who are going to tell their friends, and so on. Pretty soon you will have a thriving art business and you will need to start hiring employees just to keep up with the demand.


  • Don't forget to display art around your studio. If you offer workshops or kids art camps you will also want a section where the children can display their art.


  • Send in your taxes quarterly when you begin to make a profit so you don't have to pay a large lump sum at the end of the year. If you don't pay your taxes quarterly you could end up owing fines as well.