Behind every great artist is an art agent–someone who specializes in managing, promoting, and cultivating an artist’s career to the best of their ability.
It is almost unheard of for a professional artist to do without an agent, and because of the art agent’s special place in the art world, they are considered an in-demand job for people who are willing to go the extra mile to fulfill the professional expectations and duties required of any great art agent.
If you are interested in becoming an art agent, there are a few things you need to know:
Skills You Need as An Art Agent
An art agent needs to skillfully and confidently navigate negotiations, marketing and promotional experiences, networking, fund-raising, handling the demands of buyers and the art themselves.
As an art agent, you should be an expert on the art world. This includes in-depth knowledge of popular art trends, art values and selling prices, rise and fall of demand for various artists and genres, and much more.
Best Programs for Becoming an Art Agent
Art agents should consider a graduate degree in art management, which is specifically related to the skills and experiences that an art agent will need in the professional world.
However, not all art agents have art management degrees; depending on your other marketing and agent-related skills, you can also break into the industry through a graduate degree in something related to art–such as fine art, arts curating, or art history.
You can find degrees in art management at a number of institutions, including Colorado State University, Belmont University, Pace University, North Carolina State University, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, and more.
How to Get Hired
Now that you’ve obtained an art management or related degree, it’s time to put it to work–and actually get hired.
There are several paths to take to establish your career. For starters, You can work freelance and establish your own agency or you can join an existing artist agency. The choice you make will depend on many things, such as your personal experiences and your networking connections.
If you want to get hired at an agency, it’s important to showcase your exceptional people skills, management skills, and your ability to move professionally in the art world.