The Profitable Artist

New York Foundation for the Arts presents newly-revised second edition The Profitable Artist (Allworth Press, 2018), a comprehensive “how-to” guide to being a professional and profitable working artist.

With decades of experience training and helping artists worldwide, NYFA’s expert staff—in conjunction with outside professionals—have compiled a “best practices” approach to planning and organizing an arts career. This paperback handbook identifies common challenges; examines specialized areas of strategic planning, finance, marketing, law, and fundraising; and distills these topics in an easy-to-digest way so that artists and creatives of all disciplines can apply them to their own experience and practice.


  • Techniques for planning your career
  • Innovative fundraising tips
  • Best practices for marketing and selling your work to new audiences
  • Networking strategies for a digital world
  • Budgeting and financial basics made clear
  • Legal requirements and terminology in plain English

The Profitable Artist: A Handbook for All Artists in the Performing, Literary, and Visual Arts is edited by Peter Cobb, Felicity Hogan, and Michael Royce. NYFA has been providing essential services to artists in all disciplines since 1971. With more than 40 years of institutional experience in arts education, NYFA brings an authority and legitimacy unmatched by any single author.

Retail Price: $24.95
NYFA’s Price: $20.00 (plus shipping; domestic and international available)

Interested in buying the Chinese version of The Profitable Artist? Click here to purchase.

Average shipping time is 1-2 weeks. For time-sensitive requests, please contact us. NYFA can offer also discounts for bulk orders (10+); for more information and pricing, please email [email protected].


“Drawing from the expertise of legal, financial, and marketing advisors, The Profitable Artist provides an indispensable, user-friendly guide to developing a successful artistic practice. Comparing tactics to those used by successful start-ups, this thorough guide provides valuable guidelines from a range of consultants to contextualize those factors that can make or break creative businesses. The NYFA Artist as Entrepreneur Boot Camp has been a huge positive resource for our students at RISD, as they develop their freelance practices and set up studios and businesses. The same methods employed there form the basis of this book, now broadly available to emerging practitioners. The book is easy to navigate—readers can dip in and out of topics on an ‘as need’ basis on subjects such as protecting intellectual property, developing new audiences for projects and events, planning for retirement, pricing work, optimizing digital tools, fundraising, and many other detailed aspects of building a career. This valuable reference provides artists with essential tools to develop a successful and sustainable practice.”

Rosanne Somerson, President, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)

“The Profitable Artist is a goldmine for citizen artists of today who are looking to weave their art into the fabric of our society. The importance of recognizing one’s role and responsibility as an artist is more important today than ever before. It is about defining the purpose and relevance of one’s creative enterprise, and this resource offers meaningful insight in this space.”

Aaron P. Dworkin, Professor of Arts Leadership and Entrepreneurship, University of Michigan, and Afa S. Dworkin, President and Artistic Director, Sphinx Organization

“Back by popular demand is the second edition of The Profitable Artist. Its debut is as timely as the first edition. Much of the useful information in The Profitable Artist dovetails with recommendations contained in CreateNYC that support individual artists. It continues to be an invaluable resource of information and pathways to success and independence for artists everywhere!”

Ben Rodriguez-Cubenas, Program Director, Charles E. Culpepper Arts & Culture Programs, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and Chair, Citizens’ Advisory Committee for CreateNYC

If you are interested in bringing The Profitable Artist content to your organization or institution either in-person or online, please visit our Educational Partnerships page or contact [email protected] for pricing and availability with the subject line “Professional Development Services Inquiry.”

Image: The Profitable Artist, Photo and Artwork Credit: Marco Scozzaro (IAP ’16)