Be Smart About Art

Making it as an Artist in the 21st Century: 2018 (over 3 terms)

For emerging to mid-career artists. Only 15 places available.

Date: Jan. 23, 2018, 8 p.m. - Nov. 1, 2018, 9:30 p.m. UK time (see time converter)

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

Speakers: Deborah Henry-Pollard, Susan J Mumford

Price: 10 x monthly instalments, of 58.50 GBP / 78 USD / 67 EU

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.

Following an online course that ran in autumn 2017 (for which the participants are set to continue for parts 2 and 3 in 2018!), the course starting on 23rd January 2018 is set to take place over three terms: Winter, Spring and Autumn. You'll have access to the online course platform, chocka with materials, replays, the discussion board and more throughout the year (until 31st December 2018). 

The course and sessions will be led by art world specialist Susan J Mumford, Founder of Be Smart About Art, and will be supported by business coach for creatives Deborah Henry-Pollard (aka 'Debs'!). Whereas Susan will provide industry know-how and live coaching (with a maximum of 15 students), Debs will focus on implementation and development of your Business Model Canvas.

Better yet, there will be course bonuses to kick-off the new year, and supplemental materials will be added to the course's 'Knowledge Bank' throughout the year. 


The experience: 

Each term 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

This totals five LIVE sessions (with replays available to participants if you can't attend a session) per term, or 15 LIVE sessions over the year.

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. 

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 :-).]

>>> The supportive community developed in autumn 2017 has been A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!! <<< 

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. 

>> HOW TO SIGN-UP: Reserve your place by completing this form (which includes telling us what YOU are looking to get out of the course). <<

BSAA Member Bonus! 
If you're a Member of the Be Smart About Art community at the time of registration and continue membership throughout the course, you're entitled to three complimentary half-hour 1-2-1 sessions with Susan (one per term). 
Value of this Art World Mentoring Session = $305 USD / 225 GBP.  
--> This can take place before, during or after the course - whatever best suits you.
Not yet a Member? Check out details and sign up! 



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. 

Cost of course + payment options:

UK: Course total 585 GBP

Payment options: Make payment upfront OR set up monthly payments. 

USA: Course total 780 USD

Payment options: Make payment upfront OR set up monthly payments. 

Europe: Course total 670 Euros

Payment options: Make payment upfront OR set up monthly payments. 

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. 



1st Term:

Tuesday 23rd January
How to make a living as an artist (from classical painter to VR artists) Artists who have 'made it’;

Year Planner / Goals 2018 (and how to measure them);

'Pick Susan's brain' Q+A session! 

Overview of the Business Model Canvas to help you to build your artist business plan. 

Wednesday 7th February

Clarity of Creative Practice - and how to communicate this to the world;

Clarifying and developing your Brand Identity:

-       including how this translates in communication online and offline.

Wednesday 28th February

Income streams;

Pricing art, goods and services;


-       Incorporating: commission split with galleries, online galleries, art consultants, interior designers, artist fairs, art prizes and more

Tuesday 13th March

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. 

Between-term session: Tuesday 17th April

Knowledge sharing by participants; Practice art world pitches and receive input; Review elements of the Business Model Canvas; Q&A


2nd Term:

Wednesday 9th May


1. The thinking: turnover is vanity, profit is sanity and cash is reality.

2. Understanding basics: creditors, debtors, payment plans; cash flow.      \

2a - System options (book-keeping platforms).

3. Creating a budget (for individual shows / projects and the year).

4. Spending & saving: free tools, the dangers of in-kind swaps - and how the CAN work

Tuesday 22nd May

Deep dive into branding:

-       branding development worksheet to identify

  • Areas to change and develop, online and offline alike;
  • Providing client care and deepening professional partnerships.

Public speaking & selling –

1. alignment of values;

2. addressing confidence, imposter syndrome, your inner voice;

3. types of speaking (and how styles vary): 1-2-1, group, room/gallery; online.

4. 3 principles of speaking (for ALL varieties).

Wednesday 6th June

Your digital presence:

Identifying what to continue doing and what to change in a participatory exercise related to the video made available to all participants:

1. website - with UX focus;

2. social media - Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, other);

3. Email marketing.

Writing & getting press coverage:

-       1st vs 3rd person;

-       Having overviews written for shows;

-       Solutions if you don't or can't do the writing;

-       Securing listings and coverage.

Tuesday 19th June

Time management, structuring the week and prioritizing.

Not Going It Alone – Getting Support for your projects and business (work experience students, studio / admin assistants, freelancers for specific projects, etc) 

End of term session - Week commencing Monday 3rd September Tuesday 3rd

Knowledge sharing by participants; Review elements of the Business Model Canvas; Q&A


3rd Term: 

Dates To Be Confirmed.

Areas to be covered & being considered (including for incorporation into 1st & 2nd terms, as well as in-between sessions):

  • Selling Art Online (third-party marketplaces, social media sites, your own site/s)
  • Working on a Professional Basis using Written Agreements (long-term vs short-term contracts; consignment notes)
  • Inventory Management
  • Protecting your business with insurance and understanding risk
  • Tech platforms + solutions to boost your creativity time and professional results
  • Licensing images and creating products
  • Legacy planning – inventorying your art production, including notes / research / studio ephemera (creating your own legacy, your personal story)
  • Checking in with 2018 goals – evaluation and measuring success. How to make this a useful, productive habit
  • Gallery relationships
  • Creating peer consultant networks – small group of people who mentor each other and check-in with each other to test ideas / check up on goals



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 until 31st December 2018.

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. 

Where can I contact the organiser with any questions?

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