Be Smart About Art

Making it as an Artist in the 21st Century: NEW #besmartaboutart online course [part 1]

For emerging to mid-career artists

Date: Sept. 19, 2017, 9 p.m. - Nov. 7, 2017, 9:30 p.m. UK time (see time converter)

Location: Online - your computer, tablet or smartphone will all work!

Speakers: Deborah Henry-Pollard, Susan Mumford

Price: Early Bird 215 USD / 165 GBP / 189 EURO. Full ticket 250 USD / 195 GBP / 219 EURO. Bonus for BSAA Members!

This multi-part professional development course is designed for emerging to mid-career artists who are ready to up your game in a rapidly changing industry. The course and sessions will be led by art world specialist Susan Mumford, Founder of Be Smart About Art. Attendees will receive over 10 hours' of Susan's time in LIVE sessions, and will also get her bespoke input via the online course platform. 

In order to help you distill the knowledge learned and ideas surfaced, BSAA Creative Specialist Deborah Henry-Pollard, a Business Coach for Creatives, is coming on board as Business Model Canvas Adviser. She'll support your Canvas development so that, by course completion, you have a working document tailored to your own needs

Better yet, there are plenty of course bonuses! 


WANT TO FIND OUT MORE? Keep reading... 

The experience: The core course is comprised of four live webinar webinar sessions using our favourite online platform Zoom (1.5 hours each, including Q+A) plus by a Q+A wrap-up session available to all participants in November, to make the most of the festive period as well as look to the new year ahead. Each session is accompanied by pre-session resources, and followed by homework to be completed. Recordings of these live sessions will be made available via the online course platform (Ruzuku) so that you can watch and listen if you missed the live workshop OR want to reinforce the learning and catch anything you missed the first time around. Recordings will be available to all course participants for replay until December 31st, 2017. 

In addition to the sessions themselves, the course's online forum will enable you to get additional insight from Susan as well as bounce ideas off fellow artist participants throughout the course. By actively engaging, you learn even more AND develop your peer network, which is your most important community in your art career. The more you put in, the more you get out. [And note that learning to professionally network is a course element :-).]  

Plus: you'll receive special bonuses! 
Details are yet to be revealed. For now, here are some hints: There will be two pre-course bonuses to get you ready to make most of the course. Plus, there will be a post-course bonus session to help you maintain a positive mindset in the weeks, months and years to follow. 

 Reserve your place by completing this form (which includes telling us what YOU are looking to get out of the course). 

Be sure to book your place early to take advantage of the Early Bird Discount! 
**Early Bird pricing applies to the first 21 attendees to register.**

How to get access to the online course platform? And get access to bonus sessions? 
ALL signed-up participants will be sent access to the online course platform, complete with BONUS materials and more, on Tuesday 12th September. Individuals who sign up over that next week will be sent access details (time tbc). A final email with access for all participants will be sent, along with webinar access for the first LIVE session, on Monday 18th September (the first LIVE session being on the 18th - see details below).   

Course Registration ends on Sunday, September 17th at 6.59pm EDT / 11.59pm BST.
All participants will receive a final email with access link to the online platform on the afternoon of Monday, September 18th, before the first live session the next day at 3pm EDT / 8pm BST. 


After you've secured your place via completion of the Registration Form, the BSAA Team will be in touch to get you all set up with payment/s. 

Your options:

Super Speedy Early Bird (first 21 places): USD
 --> $216 course total. You can make a single payment OR register for 3 x monthly payments of $72 each. 

Super Speedy Early Bird (first 21 places): GBP
 --> £165 course total. You can make a single payment OR register for 3 x monthly payments of £55 each.

Super Speedy Early Bird (first 21 places): EURO --> €189 course total. You can make a single payment OR register for 3 x monthly payments of €63 each.

Full Ticket: USD
 --> $249 course total. AYou can make a single payment OR register for 3 x monthly payments of $83 each.

Full Ticket: GBP
 --> £195 course total. You can make a single payment OR register for 3 x monthly payments of £65 each.

Full Ticket: EURO
 --> €219 course total. You can make a single payment OR register for 3 x monthly payments of €73 each.

All participants who are BSAA Members at the time of signing up and throughout the course are entitled to a half-hour one-to-one session with Susan, which can take place prior to the course or following completion. This will be facilitated by the Zoom platform (unless otherwise arranged). 
Value of this Art World Mentoring Session = 97 USD / 75 GBP.  

Not yet a Member? Check out details and sign up! 

Continue reading below to see what will be covered throughout the course..

Also watch our 10-part video series 'PRO TIPS FOR ARTISTS' taking place in the lead up to September 19th:

About the course leader: Susan Mumford is a game-changer in the 21st Century art world. She’s an entrepreneur, gender equality advocate, mentor, speaker / moderator and author. While running a gallery in Soho, London, she founded the Association of Women Art Dealers (AWAD), a non-profit trade network with multiple international chapters. She subsequently started Be Smart About Art, a professional development and membership organisation that helps art world professionals thrive in a changing industry. In late 2015, her first book was published: Art is your life. Make it your living. She’s frequently seen on stage talking about the business of art, the art of business, and gender equality in the realms of art and business.  

About Deborah Henry-Pollard, course Advisor who will support you develop your Business Model Canvas
: Debs works with people in the creative industries to support them in fulfilling their visions, helping them on single projects or the shape of their future development. She creates atmospheres in which creative people have ideas flying off like fireworks and supports them in translating the ideas into realistic projects. Plus tango - she LOVES tango. Debs has 30 years' experience of creating strategies across the arts, charity and retail sectors and brings this expertise to helping her clients find their own solutions. 


Pre-course bonuses (x 2): These will address the realities of working with galleries today, as well as selling art, online and offline alike. 

Session 1 (live webinar Tuesday, September 19th 3-4.30pm EDT / 8-9.30pm BST):

How to make a living as an artist (from classical painter to VR artists)? 

Areas to be covered: 

  • We'll start with case studies of artists who have 'made it' (and we don't mean Jeff Koons or Tracey Emin!). These stories will give you new ideas and will serve as great examples to inspire, from male and female artists alike :-). 
  • 'Pick Susan's brain' Q+A session! 
  • You'll then be introduced to working ON your creative enterprise with expert guest speaker Deborah Henry-Pollard. This will include an overview of the Business Model Canvas, and, whether or not you've previously come across it, the new insight provided in this course will provide new for thought for where you are now AND where you're going, to help you to build your artist business plan. Debs' support will be on hand throughout this Making It course, via the online platform. 


Session 2 (live webinar Tuesday, September 26th 3-4.30pm EDT / 8-9.30pm BST):

Making Mula! 

Areas to be covered: 

  • Income streams [Business Model section: Revenue Streams]
  • Pricing art, goods and services [Business Model sections: Cost Structure, Value Propositions - think about what you're selling, Key Resources, and Key Activities. Think about profitability in pricing structure, accounting for direct expenses like materials and overheads such as studio.]
  • Profitability (including commission split with galleries, online galleries, art consultants, interior designers, artist fairs, art prizes and more) [Business Model sections: Cost Structure, Key Partners]
  • Q+A with Susan 

Using notes taken and ideas generated during the LIVE session, work on your Business Model Canvas using post-it notes (or whatever suits your style!). This will focus on the LEFT side of the canvas, which is logic / efficiency, looking at feasbility and viability.  


-- Two-Week Breather! This is your opportunity to catch up, take stock and to work ON your business before the third and fourth sessions. This is also an excellent time to bounce ideas off peers, as well as Susan and Debs, in the private online forum for course participants.   


Session 3 (live webinar Tuesday, October 17th 3-4.30pm EDT / 8-9.30pm BST):

What makes you YOU, and how to be taken seriously as a Professional Artist? 

Areas to be covered: 

  • Clarity of Creative Practice - and how to communicate this to the world [Business Model section: Value Propositions - not only the product, but the values]
  • Clarifying and developing your Brand Identity, including how this translates in communication online and offline
  • Establishing credibility, from LinkedIn to your website 
  • Online presence in 2017 (incorporating your website, social media, email marketing and third-party selling platforms) [Business Model sections: Channels, Relationships, and a little bit of Key Partners]
  • Q+A with Susan  

Using notes taken and ideas generated during the LIVE session, work on your Business Model Canvas.  


Session 4 (live webinar Tuesday, October 24th 3-4.30pm EDT / 8-9.30pm BST):

Establishing your position as a professional artist and building a targeted audience

Areas to be covered:

  • Growing your mailing list (online and offline) 
  • Building a professional network
  • Clarifying your audience (categories: current clients, prospective clients, introducers / partners, media and ambassadors)
  • Engaging your audiences 
  • [Business Model Canvas sections covered overall in this session: Channels, Relationships, Customer Segments, and a bit of Key Activities]
  • Q+A with Susan 

Using notes taken and ideas generated during the LIVE session, work on your Business Model Canvas. This will focus on the RIGHT side of the canvas, which addresses emotion / value, looking at desirability, mmm.   


Sound amazing?! Here's Susan's top tip: 
The best way to make the most of this online course is to put effort into being active. No matter how much information we provide, it's up to YOU to turn learning into reality, for the benefit of your ever-developing art career. 



What if I can’t make some of these dates? Or if I have to miss part of the day?

All the sessions will be recorded and posted on the day of the live session, for you to watch whenever you like, if you are unable to join our sessions live. When you join you will have access to the recording and our online community for 5 months, until 31st December 2017. Susan Mumford will answer any questions posted in the forum until 14 days after the last live session, thereby giving you additional time to watch and replay sessions.

If I'm not in the USA or UK, may I participate?

Yes, absolutely! 

Be sure that you join us at the right times. Check out The World Clock for a time converter. 

What is the refund policy?

You can get a full refund for this course until Wednesday, August 30th. Just email us in writing with the reason of your cancellation, and we return your fees within 48 hours. Once the course has started we are unable to provide any refunds.

Where can I contact the organiser with any questions?

If you have any questions, please get in touch via email at 

Find out more about our programme and how we support creative professionals: