What Does an Artist’s Business Manager Do?

~ by Maria Benner (Scott Clendaniel’s wife and Business & Marketing Manager)

Last week I ran into two acquaintances who I haven’t seen in a couple years, and both of them asked me what I’m doing for a living these days.  So I told them that I’ve been working full time as Scott’s Business & Marketing Manager for the last four years.  Then I realized that some people don’t really know what I do.  I have an MBA, so Scott and I make a great team for operating an art business.  Here’s a sample of my task list:

Follow up with potential clients (or make sure that Scott does)

Reply to inquiries about Scott’s art, sometimes about licensing or merchandising

Manage the Etsy shop that accounts for 50% of our sales

Create and send out invoices, and keep track of unpaid ones

Photograph all paintings and edit the photos so we can make limited-edition fine art prints

Package and mail orders (Scott helps with this)

Handle custom stickers sales (Scott and I are distributors for a custom stickers manufacturer)

Order supplies

Negotiate contracts

Edit/write blog entries

Manage social media platforms

Compose and send e-mail blasts (click here to sign up 🙂

Seek out new opportunities for sales, a.k.a. business development

Maintain the website

Apply for grants and public art projects

Organize art shows and open studio events

Manage business finances

Learn about running an art business through blogs, podcasts, books, etc.

This is not a complete list, but should be enough to give people an idea of what I do.  There is no way one person can make art, and tackle the business end, which explains the “starving artist” myth.  Most creative souls just want to create, but not all are lucky to have business-minded individuals taking care of the business end.  I love my job, and am glad I finally let Scott talk me into being his Business Manager!

1 thought on “What Does an Artist’s Business Manager Do?

  1. John and/or Barbara Rice

    I also have an MBA. When people asked me what I did for a living I told them I herded cats.

    John Rice


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