How to Run a Successful Art Career: The Business Side – Kevin Caron

#artcareer #careertips #KevinCaronArt

From – Artist Kevin Caron’s business manager shares information on pricing, shipping, planning & commissions in this free how to video about the business side of being an artist ….

Kevin Caron introduces Mary, his business manager, AKA The Voice. Kevin gets a lot of questions about how others can have an aret career, so they decided to do some videos about it.

This video is about the business side. Mary doesn’t do it all- she hires people to do things she isn’t good at. For instance, they have a bookkeeper come in for $70 / month because Mary isn’t good at numbers.

A business coach has also been invaluable. Mary has a phone conversation with her monthly to talk about what’s happened that month: what commissions and sales are in the pipeline and how things look compared to the budget, which the coach helps her put together annually.

Even though Mary isn’t doing it all, she gets so focused on the day-to-day activities she can’t see what’s going on. A business coach helps her get perspective. How do you get a business coach? Mary recommends SCORE, which is an organization of experienced businesspeople who are ready to help you. Or maybe you can form a Mastermind group, or just a group of artists who can help each other with this task. She also recommends .

When you’re doing the art, marketing and business yourself, you wear a lot of different hats and have some clarity about which hat you have on at which time. When you’re an artist, you definitely want to be creative. When you’re doing marketing, you often want to be creative. Not so with the business side.

So what is the business side? Planning is important. If you don’t plan, you really don’t know where you’re heading. It would be like going on a cross-country trip and not taking a road map.

You definitely want is a business plan, which tells you what your business is and what you want to achieve. It can be a one-page document. There are books, Web sites and blogs to help you. A business plan helps you avoid getting diverted when distractions arise. A business plan isn’t carved in granite, though. You can – and should – change your plan.

You also want to get a bookkeeping program. Kevin Caron uses Quickbooks. This is important because it tracks what you have, what you’ve sold, who you sold it to, etc. – in essence, where your money is. Kevin Caron also uses his bookkeeping program for inventory.

They also use a Customer Relationship Management program called Act!, but there are others. It keeps track of customers, prospects, vendors and others. It also lets you know when to follow up with a prospect.

What about shipping? The customer pays for it. Kevin Caron gets bids from some trusted shippers, then includes that with the cost of the sculpture.

If it’s a commission, the patron pays the first half of the total amount up front based on an agreement for the project. It says shipping must be paid when they pay the second half of the price of the sculpture – before the piece is shipped.

Kevin Caron gets the most questions about pricing. Many 2D artists price their artwork per square inch. There are also rules of thumb for sculpture. Make sure you’re not LOSING money. Mary keeps a spreadsheet of every project, noting what materials cost and how much time Kevin spends, using an hourly rate.

Once you get past the early days of your career, you start getting paid for your experience, brilliance and ability. Then your prices can start going up. You still want to keep them consistent. Sometimes you want to price an artwork higher than you might have thought because buyers equate price with value.

When you work with galleries, they usually take about 50 percent of the sale – remember they’re doing all the sales, marketing and business tasks. So if you do that work YOU get that money. If you plan to work with galleries, you need to make sure that you are making what you need in that 50 percent. Do not, though, undersell your galleries – that’s a good way to ruin a relationship!

Mary hopes that helps with the business side of your art career. If you have questions, put them below. But right now be sure to subscribe to see more free how to videos when they come out, and visit to see Kevin Caron’s amazing sculpture.

“Inspired sculpture for public & private places.”

Artist Kevin Caron has been sculpting full time since 2006. See – and hear – his amazing metal and large format 3D-printed sculptures, which are found in public and private places coast-to-coast and online at

Follow me for more fun and facts:




Pin It

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *