My Book The Artist´s Survival Manual My Book The Artist´s Survival Manual My Book

Toby Judith Klayman

with Cobbett Steinberg

The Artists' Survival Manual

by Toby Judith Klayman
with Cobbett Steinberg

The Artists' Survival Manual,
Scribners, New York 1984;1987
(8th printing, Feb. 1994)
Desktop Edition, Klayman/Branchcomb
San Francisco, Ca., USA, 1996.

After many reprintings, the "Artists' Survival Manual" is once again available. This manual offers artists hard-to-find information on the essentials of marketing their work. In addition to the nuts-and-bolts of resume writing, preparing taxes, and copyrighting,several appendixes provide prepared sample forms and contracts. More information, book excerpts and how to order are available on this site.

The "Artists' Survival Manual", praised by artists and critics for its sensible, good natured, practical advice, now provides updated information on how to use business know-how to make money as an artist.

Revised to include new tax information (see excerpt) and other recent changes in the art world, the book is packed with essential facts.

Artists will find answers to such important questions as:

  • Are you ready to market your work?
  • (see excerpt)
  • What should you bring to a viewing?
  • How should you price, sign, title and copyright your work? What questions should you ask of a gallery?
  • How do tou find the gallery that's right for you?

These are just some of the many queries that author-artist Toby Klayman addresses in this invaluable handbook. Also included are actual forms for artist-gallery, commision, transfer and installment sales agreements, and a sample consignment sheet and bill of sale.

Toby Judith Klayman is a San Francisco painter who has exhibited in over ninety galleries across the country and around the world.

Cobbett Steinberg is a San Francisco author who has written extensively on the arts.

"A terrific source of information for emerging and established fine artists."

Pam Bernes, Art Director
Chicago Artists' Coalition

"Should prove very helpful to many artists."

Rubin L. Gorewitz, CPA and co-founder,
with Robert Rauschenberg,
of Artists Rights Today,

To order your copy of
"The Artists' Survival Manual"
please e-mail Toby Judith Klayman at; ($25 plus shipping plus taxes,where applicable).

The Artists' Survival Manual


by Toby Judith Klayman
with Cobbett Steinberg

From Chapter 1:

Are You Ready to Market Your Work?

Many artists don't believe they're ready to show their work until they have that elusive "it"; a body of work. We've been told so many times that every artist must have his own vision, his own style, his unique mode of expression, that some artists are afraid to put one foot in a gallery because they don't have that "body of work."

Do I have enough work? Is it "consistent" enough? Is it wrong to have more than one body of work, more than one style? These are but a few of the questions that plague us when we want to enter the marketplace. It's up to each artist to answer these questions before he or she approaches the galleries.

Personally, I think that a body of work can be whatever the artist says it is: it can be your last ten years' worth of work or the last six months' worth. Or it can be all the artist's drawings or all the artist's sculptures or all an artists landscapes or whatever the artist wants to put together and call a group: it can even be one monumental and masterful work. For me, a body of work does not have to be pieces that are similar in content, style, or technique ...

© Toby Judith Klayman 1996

From Chapter 16

An Artist's Finances and Record Keeping:
Taxes, Insurance, and Wills

There have been cases in the tax courts in which an artist who did not show a profit from his or her artwork was nevertheless considered a "professional" artist and thus permitted to deduct art-related expenses. C. West Churchman, for example, had been a painter for more than twenty years. She wasn't dependent upon the sale of her artwork for her livelihood and did not make a profit from it. She had no gross income in 1970 or 1971. In 1972, she reported $250 of gross income and deducted $1422 in art-related expenses, resulting in a net business loss of $1,172. The I.R.S. disallowed the $1,172 loss on the grounds that Churchman was not engaged in art for a profit, But the tax court disagreed, noting that while Churchman's work involved "recreational and personal elements", she did not stop at the creative stage, but went into the marketing phase of the art business, where the recreational element in "minimal." Her intent was, indeed, to make a profit even if no profit actually resulted, and even if there was no reasonable expectation of a profit. The court believed that Churchman might someday sell enough of her work to enable her to "recoup the losses which have been meanwhile sustained in the intervening years" (case citation C. West Churchman, 68 TC #59).

It's important to know the distinction the I.R.S. makes between a "hobbyist" and the "professional" this year but not that year, just because one year your business showed a profit and the next year it didn't.

© Toby Judith Klayman 1996

The following is a book-customer-review at by Carolyn Ellingson ( from San Francisco, California, February 20, 1999.

This is a "must'have" book for every visual artist involved in marketing his or her own artwork. All the important issues involved in marketing one's own artwork are dealt with in this book by Ms. Klayman, who has long been a visual artist herself as well as an expert on laws, contracts and royalties for visual artists and currently an instructor in an arts administration program at Golden Gate University. As an artist in San Francisco, I have used this book to educate myself about the various issues involved in marketing my own work.

Ms. Klayman guides us step-by-step through the often dreaded maze of dealing with copyright issues, pricing issues, commission issues, mulltiples as a way to enhance an artist's offerings and earnings, consignment arrangements, artist-gallery relationships, bookkeeping for tax purposes, avoiding problems with the IRS, to name a few.  Potential pitfalls of all kinds are held up for our inspecdtion and clear directions are given for their avoidance. A wealth of sample forms are included in the book (which can be used with written permission of the author) -Artist-Gallery Agreement, Resume, Consignment Receipt Form, Installment Sales Agreement, among others. Every artist needs to be ready with the tools presented in this book in order to be a successful business person-and these days every artist must be a successful business person as well as an artist in order to survive in the marketplace.

Klayman's book also delves into the complex personal situations every artist faces upon commitment to being an artist in society. Since most artists need a second job in order to survive financially as an artist (and many studies support this fact), there are some very specific dilemmas almost every artist faces related to balancing time and energy--these are discussed. Also explored are slumps, the importance of keeping in touch with one's collectors, the sometimes difficult relationships with other artists, definition of success, believing in one's own work, insurance issues and even writing a will.

Every artist entertaining the idea of selling work or in the midst of being represented by galleries and dealers or even just selling work in the studio NEEDS this book.