Essential art business books

Essential art business books

Great textile artists don’t necessarily make great business people. In fact, it’s clear from many conversations I’ve had, that many artists working in textiles feel that concentrating too much on selling and promoting their work takes them too far away from the job of actually creating it. I can see their point. They are artists because they have a love of creating not selling.

However, whilst it would be wonderful if all artists could afford to pay someone else to deal with the promotion and sales side of their work, the reality is that few are in this position. Perhaps there’s a balance to be struck?

Good work sells but it is not always as simple as that. Every artist needs some guidance and direction to make the right business decisions and get more out of their work. There are a good number of art business books out there that can help you get the ball rolling.

Contents at a glance:

  1. Blogging for Creatives: How designers, artists, crafters and writers can blog to make contacts, win business and build success
  2. The Essential Guide to Business for Artists & Designers
  3. A Pocket Business Guide for Artists and Designers: 100 Things You Need to Know
  4. I Just Like to Make Things: Learn the Secrets of Making Money while Staying Passionate about your Art and Craft
  5. Art and Design Activebook: Building the Best Portfolio
  6. The Handmade Marketplace: How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, and Online

Blogging for Creatives - one of the best art business books

Blogging for Creatives

Blogging for Creatives: How designers, artists, crafters and writers can blog to make contacts, win business and build success
by Robin Houghton

The internet is powerful – we all know that. You’re reading this blog post right now because you either found it through a search on Google or Bing or you were referred here by Facebook or another social media site. Blogs are big business.

Robin Houghton’s book helps creative individuals explore the world of blogs and gives them an understanding of how these blogs can be used to increase their audience-reach and ultimately result in sales. Houghton explains to readers how it is possible to network through blogs and do successful business using the same tools. Blogging for Creatives is written in a non-technical fashion making creative individuals feel at home. Apart from motivational stories the book includes a range of useful tips and tricks on how to build, publish and host an attractive blog that helps creative individuals make money from their creative work using business blog art.

We used many of the lessons learned from Blogging for Creatives when originally setting up TextileArtist.org. Whilst we’re always learning what works and what doesn’t, much of the advice we implemented from this book resulted in increased traffic and more sign-ups to our newsletter. That can only be a good thing for us and the textile artists we promote!

The Essential Guide to Business for Artists and Designers - a great resource for textile artists

The Essential Guide to Business for Artists and Designers

The Essential Guide to Business for Artists & Designers
by Alison Branagan

Authored by Alison Branagan, The Essential Guide to Business for Artists & Designers offers a comprehensive business guide to a wide range of artists looking to build their practical entrepreneurial skills. The book has everything a textile artist needs to know about the business, financial and legal side of setting up and maintaining a creative business.

Branagan covers a wide range of topics including starting up a business, employment vs. self employment, funding and sponsorship, self-promotion, building networks, legal issues and creative crime, negotiation tactics and contracts, taxes and basic bookkeeping, records, innovation and future trends, trading via the internet. The Essential Guide to Business for Artists & Designers is one of the art business books that is an absolute must for anyone looking to make money from their textile art business or any creative business for that matter.

A Pocket Business Guide for Artists and Designers - a great business book for artists

A Pocket Business Guide for Artists and Designers

A Pocket Business Guide for Artists and Designers: 100 Things You Need to Know
by Alison Branagan

While the previous title by the same author provided a comprehensive insight into the various aspects of setting up a creative business; A Pocket Business Guide for Artists and Designers: 100 Things You Need to Know provides a brisk and direct look into what arts graduates need to do to set up a business.

The book provides precise answers to the many possible questions posed by graduates in 250 words or less. The no-nonsense guide is meant for individuals looking for specific solutions to their creative business issues who do not need much elaborate guidance. The five sections of the book deal with the business aspect of fiber art and other forms of art, promotion of these items, legal matters, money and financing and last thoughts. Though the book is primarily aimed at students, all creative individuals can learn a thing or two without having to give over much time or commitment.

I Just Like to Make Things - a book for the reluctant business person in every artist and fiber artist

I Just Like to Make Things

I Just Like to Make Things: Learn the Secrets of Making Money while Staying Passionate about your Art and Craft
by Lila Rogers

If you ever needed business to be made colourful and playful to get your creative pursuits on the money-making track, Lila Rogers’ title does just that. This dazzling volume offers loads of advice, both personal and career related, for creative artists looking to make the most of their talents.

I Just Like to Make Things includes a wide range of play sheets to explain the business side of making money from your craft. If you dread the technical and business side of selling your work, the aim of this book is to make it light-hearted; Rogers hopes to access the creative side of your brain and apply that passion to business. The book explores various aspects of keeping your creative juices flowing while also providing a wide range of tips and tools on how to stay smart and gain success. Hand-drawn charts, colouring book pages and several case studies make this book worth owning for any art and craft enthusiast. See

Building the Best Porfolio for textile artists

Building the Best Porfolio

Art and Design Activebook: Building the Best Portfolio
by Maggie E. Edwards

Art and Design Activebook: Building the Best Portfolio is an engaging, full-colour book targeted at students looking to build that perfect portfolio for their work. Authored by Maggie E. Edwards, the book also comes with free CD-ROM. Readers get access to tips, materials, techniques, contextual references and lots more to help them with putting their art out there in the market. The CD-ROM is a perfect companion to the book providing a number of useful interviews, information, advice and tips to master the art of building that perfect portfolio; something every textile artist can use.

The Handmade Market Place - learn how to sell what you make as a crafter or quilter

The Handmade Market Place

The Handmade Marketplace: How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally and Online
by Kari Chapin

The Handmade Marketplace is just the book for the kind of artists who are more comfortable with creating their artwork than trying to figure out ways to run a website and do business online. In this book, author Kari Chapin helps readers explore the different possibilities of selling and marketing crafts in the global marketplace.

Chapin begins with helping readers determine the right price for their products and explains how this is indeed the first step to get the buyer to take notice of a product. Chapin goes on to demystify the ever-expanding marketplace for textile artwork as well as handicraft items in general making for a great read for any textile artist looking to expand.

 

Books featured in this article
Book Best Price Amazon UK Best Price Amazon USA
Blogging for Creatives: How designers, artists, crafters and writers can blog to make contacts, win business and build success £4.63 $9.99
The Essential Guide to Business for Artists & Designers £11.55  $19.11
A Pocket Business Guide for Artists and Designers: 100 Things You Need to Know £5.14 $9.99
I Just Like to Make Things: Learn the Secrets of Making Money while Staying Passionate about your Art and Craft £11.55 $11.99
Art and Design Activebook: Building the Best Portfolio £56 $15
The Handmade Marketplace: How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally and Online £7.59 $9.99

 

Have we missed a book you couldn’t do without when selling your artwork? Let us and our readers know about it in the comments below.

FREE E-BOOK: How my journey into textile art began, a fascinating insight into the work of textile artist Sue Stone
Monday 23rd, October 2017 / 22:44
Joe

About the author

Joseph Pitcher is the son of textile artist Sue Stone. He is an actor and voice-over artist and has worked at the RSC, the National Theatre, West End theatres and several other leading regional venues across the UK. Find Joe on Google

View all articles by Joe

2 Comments on “Essential art business books

  • Thanks for the reading list. As someone looking to quit their job next year and move to working in textiles, there’s a ton of good material here.
    I’m also really enjoying Kari Chapin’s follow-up to the book you’ve listed above – ‘Grow Your Handmade Business’ – common sense business planning advice for creatives.

    Reply
    • Joe

      Thanks for the additional suggestion. Let us know how you get on – I think you’re taking the all-important first step. Good luck.

      Reply

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