GYST-Ink.com is our go-to resource for navigating the business of art. GYST's offerings include an overview, guidelines, and useful words for writing artist statements. Radiant Hall offers free artist statement reviews from Porter Loves Creative to two artist members per month on a first-come, first-served basis.
For advice on writing an artist bio, check out:
Some helpful resources for writing an Artist CV:
Lynda.com is an online learning platform that helps anyone learn business, software, technology and creative skills to achieve personal and professional goals. You can access over 1,100 online courses on topics like Photoshop, Illustrator, 3D printing, web development, etc. for free with a Carnegie Library card.
We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have professional photos of your work. Documentation is the cornerstone of a strong portfolio, and necessary to have ready for any opportunity that comes your way. Radiant Hall provides professional headshots and candids to artists who participate in Open Studios. If you're looking for a photographer to work with on a regular basis, here are a few talented folks we've worked with: Adam Milliron, Ryan Michael White, Christopher Sprowls, and Julie Kahlbaugh.
For editing purposes, we recommend Photoshop or Lightbox. Adobe programs are available for around $10/month (photography only) or $50/month (all programs). It is well worth the investment to have the proper tools. If you want to learn to use your new Adobe programs and you have a Carnegie Library card, you have access to Lynda.com for free, and can watch unlimited tutorials on any program you’d like!
We highly recommend storing your files on an external hard drive. Raw files take up a ton of space on your computer. Here are some guidelines for saving image files:
Decide on a naming system for files that works for your practice and stick to it. It will make searching, inventory, and sharing so much easier. Some suggestions: Lastname_TitleofArtwork_2016-raw or Lastname_TitleofArtwork_detail_2016-raw.
Airtable is the inventory software we recommend to keep all of your work and information in one secure place. Airtable spreadsheets have more flexibility than Excel or Google Sheets and can be tailored to your specific needs.
Creative Capital compiles a list of residencies, grant and award opportunities, and open calls for artists and curators every month. Their blog also offers advice on the grant-writing process. We particularly like their guide to creating a project budget.
The Nonprofit Resource Center at the Carnegie Library provides free access to print and online resources for grantseekers. Visit CLP Main in Oakland to access specialized databases like the Foundation Grants to Individuals database, which includes information on almost 10,000 funders that provide scholarships, fellowships, grants and other types of financial support to artists, students, and researchers.
A few ongoing opportunities you might want to look into:
Of course, GYST offers a pretty comprehensive overview of building a web presence. If you're looking for website building and hosting suggestions, Radiant Hall uses Squarespace and GoDaddy. Wordpress is also a good option.
Radiant Hall members and alumni can have their bio, photo, and personal website link included in the artist listing on our website.
This brief guide covers personal budgeting as well as some basics for running a small business. GYST covers finances, budgeting, taxes, etc. for artists in more detail. Radiant Hall uses QuickBooks for invoicing, payment processing, tracking expenses, and other accounting needs. You can use the online version for as little as $10/month.
Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council has established an Emergency Fund for artists who have experienced career-threatening situations such as a fire, flood, or theft. Grants from $300 to $1,000 are offered to assist with replacing materials, equipment, etc. to help get your art practice back on track.
Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (VLA) provides pro bono legal assistance to low income artists and smaller arts nonprofits for arts-related legal needs. If you are in need of legal help for items like contracts, non-profit designation, copyrights and trademarks, you can apply for assistance through GPAC if you meet certain eligibility criteria.
The Business Volunteers for the Arts (BVA) program will help you get the business help you need at a fraction of the cost. Pittsburgh area business professionals volunteer their expertise in financial and strategic planning, marketing, information technology, human resources and more to assist artists and arts nonprofits. You can learn more and apply through GPAC.
GYST-Ink.com has practical guides for just about every aspect of your artistic career. For local resources, check out the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council's artist services. If you can't find the help you need, contact us!