Have you ever heard the classic George Harrison song, “My Sweet Lord”? It goes something like: “I really want to see you / Really want to be with you / Hallelujah / Hare Krishna. . . .” In 1976, United States District Court Judge Richard Owen, arguing that Harrison had heard the song’s melody in someone else’s song long before having written his own, ruled that Harrison was guilty of copyright infringement.
What are art consultants, or, as they are sometimes known, art reps or private art dealers? They are essentially people who sell art but who do not have a gallery.
In this column, NYFA Program Officer Edith Meeks interviews performing artists about issues relating to their working careers. Here, she speaks with David Sharp about artists and finance.
Edith Meeks: You’ve made a pretty unusual career combination of dancing and corporate financial consulting. Do you make any connection between the two?
You’re an artist, so you don’t have to worry about some of the constraints that come with running a business. Or do you? Unfortunately, concentrating solely on the process of creating your art is not always possible.
While artists with disabilities face unique challenges in their careers, artist-in-residency programs present an even greater challenge.
Pay yourself! This is a new concept for some artists, but it's smarter to figure out now what your time is worth, represent this time in your project budget, and raise money based upon these real costs than to underbudget the project and wind up maxing out your credit cards with expensive, last-minute charges and cash advances.
1. Do I need an accountant?
If you are able to do your bookkeeping and file your tax returns yourself, then you probably do not need an accountant. Once your business becomes more complicated or more time-consuming, then it is probably advisable to hire an accountant and a bookkeeper. It is also advisable to hire a qualified professional such as an accountant or an attorney during the initial setup of your organization. Both professionals will be able to clarify questions and help with the choice of the most appropriate business entity.