Business Overview

Art consultants serve two separate (but related) business functions. They may work with artists to help them find their best target audience and to promote the artist's work to increase sales. An art consultant may also work with collectors who wish to acquire specific kinds of art or galleries who wish to commission specific work from specific artists. Either way, a consultant is an important way for a community's artistic presence to grow and thrive.

Who is this business right for?

Needless to say, this job is best for those with an artistic background. This includes practicing artists and those with a formal education in subjects such as art and art history. This provides the necessary background to understand both how the art world and artists themselves function.

What happens during a typical day at an art consulting business?

Because of the multiple roles an art consultant plays, any given day may be different from the one before it. For instance, you may spend some days conducting demographic research and coordinating with advertising firms to help promote the work of an artist. On other days, you may spend a lot of time browsing online and offline art auctions in order to acquire specific works for art collectors. On other days, you may be contacting artists on behalf of art galleries and negotiating the commission of unique works of art.

What is the target market?

The target market varies based on the clients. For instance, art gallery demographics can vary wildly based on the tastes of the art director and their own specific niche. For art collectors, a surprisingly growing audience is affluent millennials, as they are likelier to see art purchases as an investment rather than a luxury. As for the artists themselves, they will typically be young artists who are fresh out of art school and looking to make a name for themselves.

How does an art consulting business make money?

Typically, art consultants make money by charging different fees for their different services. For instance, you may charge a flat fee for acquiring works of art for collectors, or you may negotiate a percentage fee in which you receive a certain percentage of its overall price. Similarly, in promoting the works of artists, you may charge a flat fee for particular services (demographic research, marketing consultation, and possibly marketing design), or you may function more like an agent who receives a certain percentage of profit from sales.

What is the growth potential for an art consulting business?

The growth potential for this business is modest. While the Bureau of Labor and Statistics does not track art consultants specifically, related fields such as “advertising, promoting, and marketing managers” are projected to grow by nine percent between 2014 and 2024. Combined with the fact that you have three different types of clients (artists, collectors, and galleries), your business can safely diversify and grow in whatever area is more profitable at the time.