The artist manager is the person who ensures that an artist is successful in the marketplace. The artist manager is also known as an artist's representative, agent, manager or consultant. But whatever she's called, her job remains the same: to concern herself with the business of art so that the artist can concentrate on making art.
The artist manager helps the artist navigate the business side of art, according to Art Business. This might include reading a contract, explaining to an artist what constitutes “business as usual” in a transaction or organizing a show. Advising artists about these matters is a primary function of the artist manager; this kind of advice helps the artist avoid having misunderstandings with potential clients.
Artist managers seek out artists and build relationships with them, according to the Find Your Art School website. They keep abreast of artists' work in order to better talk to potential buyers. Without this knowledge, it would be impossible for the artist manager to explain the artist or her goals for her art.
According to Find Your Art School, the artist manager spends a good portion of his time marketing an artist's work. Marketing activities can include setting up promotional events and exhibitions. In this capacity, he also notifies clients of these events via newsletter, makes phone calls, mails postcards and posts information on the artist's website. Because the artist representative has taken the time to get to know the artist, this also assists him when trying to market the artist's work. He understands how to show the work in the best light and possesses additional knowledge about why people buy the artist's work, because he's gotten feedback from the artist's clients. According to the Art Business website, the use of this information helps to develop better marketing plans.
Aside from the work that the artist manager does for a specific artist, the manager also makes sure she knows what the current trends in the art industry and markets are. The artist manager keeps current on up-and-coming artists, looking to see who might be on the verge of success. According to Find Your Art School, this ability to spot trends in the art world will have a great impact on the would-be artist manager's job prospects. A potential employer will look for a representative who understands the current and future movements in the art world.
The artist manager deals with other aspects of business that aren't related to the artist making art, but are important nonetheless. The artist manager keeps track of the finances as they relate to the business side of art. He minds the artist's money, keeping watch on how much the artist's work has made and how much is owed to the artist. Additionally, the artist manager keeps records and makes sure that all the financial aspects of the artist's business balance.