To make it as an artist, a person needs talent, creativity and perseverance.
And if that person wants to make a career out of that creativity, a little business savvy is needed on top of that.
So, ArtsQuest is teaming up with an Allentown attorney for a series of seminars to help those in the creative industries learn the proper legal and copyright protections as well as tax implications of their work.
“A lot of our artists are excellent on the creative side, but need more help on the business end,” said Stacie Brennan, senior director of visual arts for the arts organization, based in Bethlehem. “We get a lot of questions from artists about how to protect their work, the licenses they need to sell their work.”
Starting Jan. 24, attorney and musician Bryan Tuk will lead monthly “Creator Sessions” at the Banana Factory in Bethlehem to discuss such topics as contract law, social media and even a “legal boot camp” for creators.
Tuk said such issues as getting paid can be a big hurdle for creative artists, something he’s experienced as a musician.
“There’s been a developing culture, especially in music, that everything should be free,” Tuk said.
The trend, he said, started in the late 1990s, with websites such as Napster, where music fans were trading music files for free.
“It really hurt the music industry; even to this day it’s not the same industry that it was,” Tuk said.
But he also said it’s not just musicians, or visual artists such as painters and photographers, that need legal assistance.
“Creators is a very broad category. Maybe it’s someone starting a marketing company primarily rooted in video production,” Tuk said.
With the lower cost of equipment and more access to editing software, it’s become a more competitive industry, with more people getting into it.
He said app, software and game designers could also fit into the category.
“We’re helping enable people to pursue these kinds of businesses. There are concrete steps that an individual has to take to build a business around their freelance work,” he said.
Tuk has an upcoming book on the subject.
“Risk, Create, Change: A Survival Guide for Startups and Creators,” incorporates many of these lessons. It will be available starting March 1.
The first ArtsQuest class, Legal Boot Camp for Creators, will be held 7 p.m. Jan. 24 at the Banana Factory on West Third Street in South Bethlehem, with monthly sessions scheduled through June.
Tickets for the Creator Sessions are $10 per session for the public, or $9 per session for ArtsQuest members and Artist Collective members. For more information, visit www.bananafactory.org.