Cyber Corner

Online Resources – Business Support for Artists 

By Libby Kyer 

Originally appeared in The Botanical Artist – Volume 15, Issue 1  


At the beginning of each year, I like to bring some websites to you that support the business aspects of your art endeavors. This year, with the economy reeling from financial bad news, we as artists find ourselves facing some grim realities. Everyone’s tightening their belts, taking a long hard look at where to make economies in their daily lives, and figuring out how to make it through tough times. The purchase of art, art education, public artworks and other art services and products is frequently seen as one of the easiest spots to cut costs. Our incomes falter. As independent workers, our health, disability and life insurance is seldom subsidized by an employer, and with reduced income, we may be tempted to cut corners in this area. 

Here are some artists organizations that seek to protect not just the individual artist, but the intrinsic value of art and culture in our lives. They recognize that hard times need the power of art to uplift and inspire, record and represent the thoughts and wills and lives of many, and echo and lead the desires of us all. As Berthold Brecht said, “Art is not a mirror held up to reality but a hammer with which to shape it.” Art is a necessity. Take a look. You’ll find personal inspiration and support as well as community support for artists an art as an essential part of our economy and culture. Springboard for the Arts’ states their mission as “to cultivate a vibrant arts community by connecting artists with the skills, contacts, information and services they need to make a living and a life.” References to workshops, health care, artists loans, grants, and business skills for artists are all addressed at this comprehensive website. Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation supports “the richness and diversity of the region’s arts resources and promotes wider access to the art and artists of the region, nation and world.” One of the things I like best about this site is the resource area for links to so many support groups. Even though a regional group, MAAF has all artists at heart, and you’ll find lots of links to further encourage and educate you. studioNOTES provides an e-journal that is free and chock full of good advice. Worth subscribing, to get the e-mail that reminds you to review the latest issue when it publishes! Check out the sample subjects provided. If you don’t see something that intrigues you, I’ll be surprised. I have mentioned this site before, but it bears repeating. This group is not only a resource for online information of service to artists, it is an active advocacy group to insure that the arts are recognized as necessary to our culture. Recent activities include working with the Presidential Transition Team, to allow artists in need to benefit from any future distribution of recovery funds and any benefits provided to the American workforce in general. Hang in there. We are creative people. We’ll find a way.