Artist coaching services – here a list of 8 Artist Consultants
Artist coaching services – Something is missing in the higher fine art education. Art schools around the world don’t seem to prepare their students for the labor market. Too many talented students graduate from school and find themselves unemployed. Currently, 90% of art school graduates cannot make their primary income from making art, in the U.S. alone. Click on one of the consultants below to view directly:
Help Artists Make Business
An online analysis
Because of the ‘secrecy’, it is difficult to get user reviews and objective opinions out there on the Internet. After some searching, I have not found a list of artist coaches with in-depth analysis. Therefore, I made a research and listed the most popular art consultants, hoping to help you find the right one for your art career. With the help of web stats tools, I also listed the amount of traffic they are attracting. Together with their social media influence, it can piece together a bigger picture of their importance and popularity in this market.
We called them, read their books (soon we will publish an article about them), analyzed their services carefully… Why? Because we propose the same, we consult artist but we had to know our difference, and here you can see what we are proposing.
- Founder: Alyson Stanfield
- Pricing: 250 USD for the first call, or 4900 USD for the Inner Circle Package (10 months)
- Specialty: motivation, vision, support groups, events
Alyson looks artistic, approachable and relaxed, someone you could trust. She self-published a book called ‘I’d Rather be in the Studio!’ in 2008, whose title itself speaks to the hearts of many artists. The book aims to teach the artist how to do self-promotion and get more recognition.
I am not against any types of recognition. If there is a Golden Globe laying around, I’ll be the first to grab it. My concern would be how to cash out my fame in a sustainable manner while I’m still alive. Don’t want to be starving and lonely? Alyson has her plan to help you – the ‘Inner Circle’. It’s a coaching and course package that puts artists in a big group, carried out mainly online. This year, they will have approximately 50 artists joining this group. The whole package costs 4900 USD for 10 months (or 5267 USD if it is paid in ten installments).
- her podcast
- Twitter: 15k Followers
- Instagram: 3.2k Followers
- Pinterest: 3k Followers
- Youtube: 1.2k Followers
The Inner Circle is actually the most expensive coaching package in the market. Put your hands in your pockets. What do you feel? If you only feel your legs, then you are counting on yourself. Even if you are able to afford it, this may not suit you if you don’t like the idea of online groups. Check out their two-day ‘Mastermind’ workshops in various locations in the U.S., at the price of 500 USD.
Confidence and motivation
All of their services are more expensive than their main competitor – The Abundant Artist. What did allow Art Biz charge a premium to its clients? I guess the key is Alyson herself. Art Biz is not what it is today without the personality and charisma of its founder. If you are a timid female artist, who has issues with confidence and motivation, Alyson might be able to help. Can you imagine yourself in an AA sharing session with other people who are going through the same hardships? If you can not imagine yourself in this scene, then keep looking.
2. Art Business
- Founder: Alan Bamberger (The quote is ironical, the article is “How Not to Succeed in the Art World”)
- Pricing: 150 USD for an hour, 75 USD for half an hour
- Specialty: present your art to the public, assistance with grant/residency applications
- Motto: Know where you are going
Covering the field
Perhaps their motto ‘Know where you are going’ sounds too ‘Confucius’ and not specific enough? This is probably because they offer a very wide range of services. Besides career help for artists, appraisal/pricing services for art collectors, they also do reviews for art exhibitions. No matter if you are a painter, a collector or a gallerist, you will find something for you here.
Art Business influence
- Website traffic: 140k/ month
- Twitter: 3.8k Followers
- Instagram: 5.6k Followers
- Facebook: 6.8k Followers
Learning from Alan
Alan is definitely an expert in his field. He had started dealing art long before I was even a project. Since 1983, he has been publishing articles on art business and authored several books. I believe his knowledge can benefit many artists who did not go to art school. He is the perfect professor who can both give you long reading lists and teach you how to get into the industry. No doubt there is so much you can learn from Alan.
However, if you never wanted to give away 50% of your earnings to a gallerist, then Alan may not the right coach for you. Because he represents the classic form of art business – the dealership. He will not be able to explain to you how to cut out the middlemen by integrating Shopify into your website. If you are a digital native who wishes to change the face of the art business, keep reading!
3. Art Match
- Founder: Martha Zlatar
- Pricing: 1500 USD to 5000 USD package, 6 months to 1 year
- Specialty: Time management, creativity, confidence, stay focused
- Motto: Minding your art business
You know what? Mind your own biz
The slogan is ‘Minding your Art Business’. It brings me a smile on my face every time I see it. So many artists had told me ‘mind your own business’ when I tried to mind theirs. I hope this slogan did not come from the frustration of working with stubborn artists.
Martha Zlatar, the founder of Art Match, has a business degree and passion for photography. She has been coaching artists from all disciplines since 2002. She is not a typical coach. Although she does not have an MFA degree or a gallery under her own name, she has an MBA degree and speaks three languages.
- Twitter: 179 Followers
- Instagram: 380 Followers
- Facebook: 185 Followers
We interviewed her
In our phone interview, I asked her if her business expertise is her unique value proposition, she told me this was not the case. What sets her apart from others is her genuine interests in people. She works with the psychology of creative minds, and help them with emotional and spiritual challenges. Receiving a coaching session with her feels almost like a psychotherapy.
Most of her clients are female, especially retirees who had not been to art schools but always wanted to make art. Does it sound like you? If you want to explore your inner self while improving your sales, check out her online course ‘The Inner & Outer Game of Selling Your Art’ for 47 USD. If you want to work with her, you can book the free half-hour talk and get your personalized plan. The pricing is on a case by case basis.
4. Art Specifier
- Founder: Joyce Creiger
- Pricing: 400 USD per year for Inner Circle package
- Specialty: artist community, corporate clients
- Motto: to link artists, designers, architects, art professionals and art lovers worldwide
ArtSpecifier is an online community for artists and creative professionals. However, it is not free to join. There are 3 membership levels: basic for 100 USD, premium for 250 USD and inner circle for 400 USD. Only the most expensive Inner Circle package comes with a personal consultation. You can apply online by filling up a form. There is a non-refundable 30 USD application fee. They will get back to you in a month to let you know if your application has been accepted.
- Twitter: 1.1k Followers
- Instagram: 5.9k Followers
- Facebook: 2.6k Followers
- Pinterest: 277 Followers
Personally, I am not against this kind of ‘no free meal’ pricing. At the end of the day, we all have to eat. It reminds me of an old joke: ‘We have three kinds of services: good, cheap and fast. Pick two.’ When it isn’t cheap, I assume it must be good and fast! You can’t ask an artist to pay 30 USD application fee and potentially 400 USD annual membership fee when you will only get back to them in a month.
Joyce founded ArtSpecifier in 2011, while still running her main business the ‘Creiger Group’. Having gone to Boston University, she is well connected in the Boston area. She is specialized in providing fine art decorations for private and business clients, such as hospitals, hotels and business centers. Art management for large corporate clients can be a lucrative business opportunity. If your visual style is somewhat therapeutic and soothing, get in touch with her! In case if you do not want your art exhibited in these environments, then you can skip ArtSpecifier and keep searching.
5. Artsy Shark
- Founder: Carolyn Edlund
- Pricing: 195 USD per hour
- Specialty: arts and crafts, business strategy, artist statement, wholesale
- Motto: Inspire every artist to build a better art business
Carolyn has 20 years experience running a ceramic jewelry studio, shipping their products to over a thousand retailers. Because of her extensive experience in production management, her consultation clients are not only painters but also craftsmen and creative entrepreneurs.
Artsy Shark influence
- Web traffic: 72k/ month
- Twitter: 27k Followers
- Instagram: 3.7k Followers
- Facebook: 9.8k Followers
- Pinterest: 16k Followers
If you are a productive artist or artisan, Carolyn could be the perfect choice for you. She is the only consultant specialized in dealing with wholesale. She has an online course on how to wholesale for 129 USD, and a course on email marketing for just 47 USD. However, if you are into selling your products in the retail environment, then it is better to choose an Etsy business coach. You won’t believe how many you will find on the Internet!
Client before ego
As a former product designer herself, she is also very tuned in to what her clients want and needs. She stated in an interview: ‘I am interested in making what they’d like to buy. As an artist myself, that’s what I did. I was really happy to make what my customers want.’ This may contradict many of these beliefs of art school graduates. If you put your collectors before your ego and treat them like proper customers, then you can choose her as your coach. Maybe it sounds too abstract. Let me explain it this way: if you have recently made a portrait with a dark blue background, would you be willing to paint the same portrait with a red background instead? If you are not willing to, you need help from someone else!
6. Gigi Rosenberg
- Founder: Gigi Rosenberg
- Pricing: 195 USD per hour, 595 USD for 4 hour
- Specialty: public speaking, writing for grants, artist statement
- Motto: Connect with your audience
Besides artist coach, Gigi is also a public speaking coach, writer and freelance producer. In 2010, she published a book called ‘The Artist’s Guide to Grant Writing’ which received 4.7 (out of 5) rating on Amazon and 4.2 on Goodreads.
Handled with care
Gigi is the only art coach who named her project with her own name. This is not an easy decision. It means she will have to handle everything in her limited time, without outsourcing her business chores. So far she has everything under control: I sent an email inquiring about her hourly rate, and I received the information needed within 7 minutes. This has been the quickest response I have ever received from a coach.
- Twitter: 493 Followers
- Instagram: 296 Followers
- Facebook: 362 Followers
Gigi’s attentiveness and responsiveness give her a competitive advantage over other bigger brands. Although artists are not waiting in long lines like in supermarkets on a Black Friday, do not undermine the importance of speed. It is one of the best qualities any client-facing role could obtain. I am impressed by her professionalism in this sense. If I need help with an important speech, I would contact Gigi without hesitation.
On the other hand
However, being specialized has a flip side of the coin. She will not be able to advise you on licensing Intellectual Property Rights or boosting sales on Etsy. Most of her clients aim to get government grants instead of succeeding in the free market. If the idea of mooching off taxpayers’ money does not appeal to you, then you need help from other professionals to reach your goals.
7. Practical Artists
- Founder: Alix Sloan
- Pricing: 400 USD per hour for the first hour, 250 USD for follow-ups
- Specialty: exhibition opportunities, pricing strategy, studio management
- Motto: Practical Advice for Artists
The book milestone
Alix published her book ‘Launching Your Art Career’ in 2015, bringing her over 20 years of experience in one book. I purchased her book on Amazon and it soon became a source of inspiration. It contains not only her own advice but also 40 other professionals.
- Instagram: 500 Followers
- Facebook: 460 Followers
Dealing with gallery owners
Besides a published author, she is also a curator and gallerist. She ran her own art gallery ‘Sloan Fine Art’ in New York City from 2008 to 2012. Thanks to her real-world experience in the primary market, she can offer a valuable advice for artists who want to ‘make it in NYC’. Among all artist consultants, she is the most expensive to consult considering her 400 USD hourly rate. However, for artists who are eager to sign with art galleries, perhaps it is still worth a shot.
She also has a series of online courses on Teachable where you can learn from how to get your artwork exhibition to how to host successful studio visits. These courses are very affordable, starting at 35 USD for an hour course. It can give you a good idea before making a 400 dollar commitment to a personal coaching session. But again, if you are not interested in working in NYC or dealing with galleries, you will not need Alix’s help.
8.The Abundant Artist
- Founder: Cory Huff
- Pricing: 300 USD for one session, 2000 USD for 6 months package
- Specialty: sales strategy, social media tactics, artist website
- Motto: Help artists quit their day jobs
The Abundant Artist is the leader in this field in many aspects. They have plenty of free articles published on their website, which brought them the most web traffic among all art consultants. They offer online courses, one-on-one coaching, and workshops. Their workshops take place in main cities in the U.S, as well as London. If you are a group of over ten artists, you could request the workshop to be held at your place, starting from 200 USD per person.
The Abundant Artist influence
- Podcast, Youtube: 7.5k
- Website traffic: 180 per month
- Instagram: 7.5 Followers
- Facebook: 21k Followers
- Twitter: 4.9k Followers
How to Sell Your Art Online
Known for the book ‘How to Sell Your Art Online’, the founder Cory Huff has a strong personal brand as well. Among all the artist help books, his book is one of my favorites. It offers pleasant illustrations and easy-to-read sales tactics. He runs a Youtube Channel called ‘How to Sell Art Online’ with over 7000 followers. Although these videos aren’t cinema quality, they offer a glance at his coaching style.
The bad boy
The Abundant Artist is the most popular but not the most conventional. They were once the ‘bad boy’ who caused disruption in the art market. They encourage the artist to take back the driver’s seat from institutions. For example, they talk about selling your art as merchandising. ‘What? You are going to print my art on your pillow?’ It is out of the wildest imagination of many old-fashioned artists who want to be ‘dead in a museum’. But eventually, their art will be printed on mugs anyway!
The need of his coaching
If you are a digital savvy young artist who is not afraid to look into spreadsheets, The Abundant Artist is a safe choice for you. It’s like choosing the top-selling cars when you don’t know which car to buy. But if you are a fast learner, you don’t really need Cory to coach you. Because his book ‘How to Sell Your Art Online’ can teach you enough to get you started. He put a lot of good tips on how to sell your art and merchandising using different platforms. Not sure if you want your art printed on a pillow, then you need to keep reading!
Artist coaching services – Final Words
Being an artist is a lifestyle, a career choice and, a business venture. Some artist consultants focus on the motivation, creativity, and spirituality, some others make sure you are on the right track in this ‘rat race’. There are also some want to disrupt and change the game. Those consultants tend to focus on alternative ways to make money while making art.
It all comes down to where you are and who you want to become. To go against the status quo, or to get fully funded by the ministry of culture? As you can imagine, these are very different career choices. Some of these choices will speak to your heart, while some others will make you uncomfortable.
Where to put the effort
No matter where you are in this daunting journey, you may need a companion, a guide or a mentor. Even if you are already making a living from art, you may still need help. I have met as many frustrated mid-career artists as their younger fellows. With the help of a professional, I sincerely hope that all these efforts will finally pay off.
Our consulting approach
The main difference of our consultancy with all those talented persons is that we are down to earth, we don’t sell time but results. An artist needs to be advised to make a website? We make it with him, concretely. He wants to sell online, we study the best way and we make it together. The result, because only speaking is useless. Here the link to our consulting