An artist’s agent represents painters, sculptors and other fine artists, helping them make a name for themselves and find new outlets for their work and new sources of income. Agents typically receive a commission of 10 percent to 20 percent for each piece sold, meaning the harder you work helping your clients sell their work, the more you’ll earn.
Establishing yourself requires thorough industry research on who hires or commissions artists, how much they pay, and what kinds of artworks sell well in specific markets. You can learn about the business side of artist representation by earning a bachelor's degree in public relations, marketing or entertainment business. In some cases, agents have degrees in art where they start out as artists themselves, build relationships with others in the business, and gradually begin helping other artists sell their pieces.
Some artist agents learn about the business by interning or working for an existing talent agency. In these positions, it is important to form relationships with gallery owners and dealers. Also, look for opportunities to distinguish yourself by finding new talent and introducing these artists to the industry. For example, you can seek out new talent at arts festivals and other venues where aspiring artists showcase their work.
Starting Your Own Business
Once you’ve established yourself in the business with another agency, you might decide to go out on your own. This typically involves start-up costs of $2,000 to $10,000, according to an article on Entrepreneur. Because it’s the type of business you can operate from anywhere, even your own home, it requires minimal overhead. However, you will need to invest in the basics, such as business cards to pass out to potential clients and a website to promote your burgeoning business.
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