Studio Rules


Years ago, a friend of mine mentioned that her family, who are all artists, have family studio rules. I thought this was a good idea to implement for myself and I’m sharing in case you find them helpful as well.

Here are my basic rules. Let me know what additional rules you may have below.

1. No work is started without a signed contract. Even if they are a friend, and I know them well.

2. 50% deposit is required at beginning of work, even if they are a friend and I know them. (Yes even good friends can be flakey.)

3. Contract states exactly what is expected for the piece, and any big changes create a change order (and additional money).

4. Anyone who wastes my time with phantom shows/events that fall through at the last minute does not get a second chance.

5. All work left anywhere has at minimum a consignment sheet, with agreed to price, inventory number if applicable, and sales fees stated, signed by the owner before the artwork is left.

6. Collect sales tax on all in-state purchases. Because not collecting tax equates to giving someone an additional 9% discount, as I then have to pay the sales tax myself. (Some artists simply factor this into their pricing. I however find it a little messy to try and back out the tax after a sale, and prefer to simply add that onto the sale at the end.)

I have found that besides saving me a lot of headaches and frustration, having studio rules is an easy way to make things less personal. By that I mean, if you tell someone No, they can get upset. But when you let them No, you have a set of basic business rules, that apply to all clients, there is less chance for a client or potential client to take this personally.

What are some of your studio rules? I’d love to hear from you below. Thanks!


Artist Organized

2 Responses to “Studio Rules”

  1. Jaime Haney August 30, 2014 at 5:51 pm #

    These are great rules to have for the studio! I’m going to print these out and implement them myself.

    My studio rules are growing as I am learning from experience and getting a little burned here and there. Experience is the best teacher for sure, and assures I won’t make the same mistake twice but it’s nice to learn from other’s experience as well – which might be where most rules come from!

    One studio rule I am having to remind myself of all the time and that is to TRUST MY GUT!

    • Artist Organized
      Artist Organized March 1, 2017 at 12:46 pm #

      Thank you so much Jaime! I’m glad they resonated 🙂