Art tips, mentoring, selling, and much more


Be Smart About Art provides inspiration training and support to foster creative and professional development.
As we say, “Art is your life. Make it your living.”

Our programme offers:
Mentoring, Digital 1-2-1 training, Membership, Professional Development Workshops/Courses, Outreach Programme and Networking Events.
Continue reading for more…

“In ‘Be Smart About Art’, Susan has created a much needed organisation, filling what would appear to be a huge gap in the art world. 
Through networking events, workshops, boot camps and talks it gives artists (of every type), agents, gallerists and curators a chance to meet and mingle with each other, bringing huge benefits to all sides of the industry. And the beauty of it is that ‘Be Smart About Art’ can work for you, no matter what you do or what stage of your career you are at.” – Toby Deveson


MENTORINGMentoring session
Have you wondered what to do next in your art career?

You might be just starting out, mid-career or even established. To take your career to the next level, check out our One-to-One Training and Mentoring Programme with Founder Susan Mumford.

Our mentoring programme helps art professionals at all levels.

You will benefit from this niche industry advisory that is tailored to your individual needs. An array of areas are covered, including (amongst others): defining your niche, marketing and selling art, pricing art and commission amounts, attaining representation, negotiating the artist-gallerist relationship, improving  online presence, prioritising and optimising time, and introducing new income streams.

Mentees are located all over the world, including the UK, Thailand, Germany, Greece and elsewhere. Sessions can be held face to face, on the phone and online.

Interested? Also: Read more details and a case study.

“Susan has been my mentor for the past year and I have found her wise counsel invaluable. She has encouraged and guided me and continues to offer new ideas to strengthen my practice. As well as answering my many questions about the art business, Susan helps keep me motivated in times of creative doubt and insecurity.” – Jane E Porter

View the One-to-One Training and Mentoring Programme Guideline.



Mara on laptop

Have you wondered how to set up and measure email marketing campaigns using a professional platform, or are you keen to use PowerPoint and/or Photoshop for presentations of art? We are delighted to offer one-to-one training to help you get up and running on social media, software applications and more. This support service has been designed for the needs of art professionals.
See full details of areas covered and a price list.

“I have had a couple of sessions with Mara on WordPress and related issues and found her extremely helpful, able to work at my pace – which I think is slow – really respectful of what I needed when the agenda changed so I felt in control of what was happening all the time.  Techies can tend to go too fast or want to tell you more than you want or need to know at that moment, and Mara checks all that out with you.  Highly recommended especially for any beginner – and I am sure for those who are more expert than me.” – Julia Williams


Business card exchange at #bsaaffBE SMART ABOUT ART MEMBERSHIP
Would you like to move to the next level in your career?
Would you like to access supportive materials for your art practice, from anywhere in the world?

By becoming a Member, you join a group of peers with a common goal: to move forward in your art profession. Members include artists, dealers, curators and commercial art world professionals – with experience levels ranging from emerging to established. In this changing world, everyone has a lot to learn!

Benefits include:
  • Receive free entry to #bsaaff Be Smart About Art First Fridays networking events;
  • Get access to the Members Gateway;
  • Have a Member Profile visible to other Members on the Members Gateway;
  • Gain access to databases including: Art Prizes, Art Fairs, Artist Fairs, Artist Studios,, Galleries to Hire, Guidelines, Checklists & Templates for your practice, Summary notes from BSAA Monthly Talks and BSAA Essential Talks
  • Receive discounts on the BSAA Programme (Mentoring, Empowering you Digitally, Talks, Panel Discussions and Workshops)

See BSAA Members Network Benefits

Your investment for membership: £135 per year or £9.95 per month. Click here to sign up.



Talks & Panel Discussions:ATG Panel Debate at Olympia Art & Antiques Fair
Our programme of talks offers insights into the art world by industry experts. Recent topics have included art prizes, international residencies and pop-up exhibitions.
Click here for the full programme

“Wonderfully open, honest & informative. A must for emerging artists to learn the importance of being in the ‘big picture'”Annamarie Dzendrowskyj (Dos and Don’ts for Artists Attaining Gallery Representation and Collaborations)

“Valuable information. Why didn’t they teach these things in art school?”Rich Hammond (Monthly Talk – Secrets for a Successful Artist-Gallerist Relationship)

BSAA Essentials:
These talks provide essential industry insight for art professionals at all stages of career. This is a developing programme of talks, with each repeated several times (at least) throughout the year.

Training workshops:
The training programme has been designed to address the needs of artists, gallerists and commercial art world professionals. Areas covered include selling more art, planning an art show, online marketing – and more.
“I now feel fully equipped to prepare for a successful exhibition. Every minute was a must.” – Christina Scott (A-Z of Planning Your Art Show 2012)

“Be Smart About Art gives you the tools to portray your professional image and improve your practice” – Philippa Edwards @pondoris (A-Z of Planning Your Art Show 2013)

These intensive 3-day sessions provide a foundation for art practitioners to run a successful art business. Expert presenters provide insight for the day-to-day training of an art practice, and participants take away these new skills, as well as a network of fellows in the field.
Click here to read full details on upcoming Bootcamps.

“This course is incredible value for the money. You will learn here in 3 days more than you will in 3 years of art school. I would recommend this workshop to anyone who is serious about their art career”Elena Tamova (Artist Bootcamp)

“This course has given me confirdence in my current art practice and has given me an idea of how to move forward to make business practices more fluid and efficient.” – Eleni Duke @elenicurious (Art Dealers Bootcamp)


This Collective is comprised of a group of dedicated artists who exchange ideas and develop collaborations. 
Photography Collective
The group meets on the last Tuesday of every month in Central London from 6.30 to 8.45pm. Read more about the collective by clicking here.

Prospective members can find out how The Rooftop Collective supports the practices of photographers by joining one of the meetings as a guest. To attend as a guest, please book the meeting you would like to attend (go to the events listing on our website) and arrive at 6pm for an introduction to the collective.

Note that the Collective is comprised of a maximum of 10 Members, with openings only available when a Member leaves.


Outreach workshop in Pricing Art at EuroArt Studios, LondonFounder Susan Mumford regularly collaborates with complimentary programmes to deliver mentoring sessions, training workshops, panel discussions and more. A few organisations with whom she has currently worked include: Space Studios, Photofusion, The Art Academy and Cockpit Arts.

Is your arts organisation keen to bring our expertise to your programme? Please contact us to let us know your interests.

Creative Specialists available to support you

Crista Cloutier
Deborah Henry-Pollard
Kane Moore
Steven Sparling
Susan Mumford
Tamara Gal-On
Zoe Whishaw

Crista Cloutier

Crista Cloutier

Coach for Artists (Art Business + Crowd-Funding)

FOCUS: She informs artists to make a living from creative pursuits. PASSION: Seeing others move forward as a result of her plentiful experiences in the art world over the past several decades. Plus her own art, writing and travelling. EXPERIENCE: Running a gallery, placing works of art in New York’s Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Los Angeles County Museum, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and the Chicago Art Institute. READ MORE and BOOK AN EXPLORATORY 15-MINUTE SESSION:

Deborah Henry-Pollard

Deborah Henry-Pollard

Business planning, creative entrepreneurship

FOCUS: She works with people in the creative industries to support them in fulfilling their visions, helping them on single projects or the shape of their future development. PASSION: Creating an atmosphere where creative people have ideas flying off like fireworks and then supporting them in translating the ideas into realistic projects. Plus tango. EXPERIENCE: She has 30 years’ experience of creating strategies across the arts, charity and retail sectors and brings this expertise to helping her clients find their own solutions. READ MORE and BOOK AN EXPLORATORY 15-MINUTE SESSION:

Kane Moore

Kane Moore

Fundraising Specialist

Kane Moore is Capital Project Fundraiser for Battersea Arts Centre. He currently leads on the fundraising campaign for the theatre venue’s £13 million redevelopment, working to secure funding from both public and private sources. Prior to working at Battersea Arts Centre Kane was Trusts and Foundations Manager at education charity the Anne Frank Trust UK. He has also worked at the Shakespeare’s Globe and has provided pro-bono fundraising support to a number of arts and education charities.

Contact: Be Smart About Art Telephone: +44 20 7748 5212

Steven Sparling

Steven Sparling

Presentation skills, marketing, writing + entrepreneurship

Steven Sparling is a creative entrepreneur whose specialism is the intersection of marketing and communication – clarifying who you are, what your story is and how you communicate it effectively through speaking and writing. He can help you search out what makes you unique, who your audience is and how to connect with them. As a writer, teacher, PhD candidate (Creative Entrepreneurship, Goldsmiths) and voice coach (London College of Music), he works with individuals across the creative industries. A Coach with Be Smart About Art’s programme, he supports individuals in two key areas: In Use Your Voice!, he teaches the art of using your voice effectively and professionally. Whether conversations with prospective clients, journalists and colleagues or talks delivered to audiences, effective delivery can make a world of difference in how a person is perceived. He also works with you on your ‘story’ and how to tell it with skill and panache. In the 4 Pillars of the Creative Entrepreneur, he helps you discover the heart of a creative business. Steven guides you through a process of digging deep in 4 key areas of a creative practice. This illuminating exploration will result in a killer plan for taking a career of passions and dreams to new heights. Steven has been a professional actor since 1991 in theatres across Canada, the UK and in the West End, as well as the Raindance (London) and Gulf (Dubai) Film Festivals. On the teaching staff at the London College of Music (University of West London) since 2010, he previously taught at The Actors Centre and The University of British Columbia. He holds an MA in Creative Entrepreneurship (University of East Anglia), a BFA in Interdisciplinary Studies (Concordia University), and diplomas in Journalism (London School of Journalism) and Theatre Performance (Grant MacEwan University). As a writer, he has been published in print and online in newspapers, magazines and websites in many countries. Steven leads workshops in voice and various aspects of creative entrepreneurship.

Twitter: @StevenSparling

Contact: Be Smart About Art Telephone: +44 20 7748 5212

Susan Mumford

Susan Mumford

Mentor + Coach for Gallerists, Artists + Managers

Susan is a social entrepreneur with expertise in the art world. She is a mentor & coach, professional development trainer, author and public speaker. Hailing from Arkansas / West Texas, the self-proclaimed Dixie Brit has lived in London since 2000, where she has worked as a curator, dealer, gallerist and consultant. She emphasises that her early years spent in the UK as a retail manager proved to be invaluable for eventual entrepreneurship. In 2010, she founded the Association of Women Art Dealers (AWAD) and in 2012 she founded Be Smart About Art. Her personal mission is to empower and inform individuals who run creative enterprises as well as support arts organisations to enter a new age of commercial & digital know-how. Summary of her 1-2-1 work as a mentor & coach: After working 10,000 hours as an art dealer, which included leading a gallery through a recession, she knew how to build and grow a profitable business in the industry no matter the financial climate. Another 2,000 hours later, she became a professional mentor for the industry in 2011. Key professionals supported: * Art Dealers (including gallerists, consultants / advisors, independent curators) * Artists (not limited to media, experience or personal taste!) * Managers at arts organisations Also supported: * Early-stage entrepreneurs across the creative industries (including designer-makers) Key areas addressed: * Defining your purpose. WHY do you do what you do? * Clarifying your strapline, mission statement and vision statement. (This is important for yourself and others.) * Identifying income streams and creating new ones. This includes products and services. * Increasing profit margins and reducing outgoings. * Pricing art, products and services. * Promoting yourself / business online, in print and in person. With a strategic mind, you develop marketing initiatives that maintain creative integrity. Examples include email newsletters, e-vites, exhibiiton events and more. * Planning exhibitions (gallery, pop-up, fairs, etc). * Managing your time and keeping focus using easy methods you can immediately implement. * Recruiting and managing assistants, team members and interns (through university programmes). * Understanding best practices in the art world, from limited editions to artist-dealer commission split. How mentoring & training is delivered: * Sessions take place both in-person (UK and USA) and remotely online / by phone.

Twitter: @susanjmumford

Tamara Gal-On

Tamara Gal-On

Coach for women creatives (specialties: music, mums)

Tamara is a certified coach, international speaker and mentor for the Creative Industries, specialising in the Music Industry. She has spent the last 9 years developing her skills exclusively within the Creative and Cultural sector. She has worked widely across the music industry with artists, managers, writers and with clients and organisations like EMI, Warner Chappell and the Royal Opera House. For the Music Publishers Association she jointly developed and delivered the very successful Music Leaders Network, a leadership development programme for mid career women within the Music Industry

Twitter: @TamaraGalOn

Contact: Be Smart About Art Telephone: +44 20 7748 5212

Zoe Whishaw

Zoe Whishaw

Commercial Photography Consultant and Mentor

Zoe Whishaw is a Commercial Photography Consultant and Mentor providing creative direction and strategic advice for photographers at all stages in their career who want to take their work to the next level. She works on a one-to-one basis with those who need bespoke, objective advice to focus their creative direction and marketing to gain competitive advantage. As a seasoned Editor and Art Director she has had many years experience analysing and critiquing imagery across a broad spectrum of genre and subject areas. Zoe has developed and contributed to the success of leading media company, Getty Images, where she worked for 17 years in senior creative and strategic positions, latterly as European Director of Photography. She has been on the judging panel of a range of national and international photography competitions, including the Association of Photography Awards, Wildlife Photographer of the Year and ArtGemini Prize and regularly conducts portfolio reviews at industry events.

Twitter: @ZoeWhishaw

The moving image craze: How do small art businesses take advantage? - Art World Webinar (Member-only event) - CHANGE OF DATE Event

Would you like to understand how video can be used as an important aspect of your online presence? It’s not too late to start / increase your use of moving image to attract & develop a following. Plus, collectors, critics, journalists and love accessing your online videos, too. This is your…

How to profitably price art. A workshop for art world professionals (Online Edition) Event

Many artists and dealers struggle to get pricing right and be confident about what they are asking. Yet in context of the marketplace, the answer can be straightforward. Plus, putting this crucial piece in place will help you sell more art, more profitably.  In this workshop, you will learn…

Instructive Seminars (2 hrs)
An afternoon for art dealers: Strategic online selling & marketing Event

This strategic professional development session focuses on the needs of art dealers – including gallerists, independent curators and consultants. You’ll discover how to improve use of the internet to sell more art and get noticed by ideal clients.  Both workshop elements – selling and marke…

Insightful Workshops (half day)
Losing once doesn't (have to) mean permanent defeat Post

from our Sunday reading series – a weekly blog post (subscribe here) What if you don’t get accepted into an open submission show or art fair? Does that mean permanent defeat? Sure, if you allow it to prevent you from ever trying again. Does getting a “no” a…

Sunday blog – The art world in bite-sized stories 204 views
A top tip for selling art --> Live with it Post

from our Sunday reading series – a weekly blog post (subscribe here) There’s a lot to be said for living with art. It’s all too easy to dismiss a piece on first sight, and then forget about it entirely. Give an art work time, and your view can do a 180 degree turnarou…

Sunday blog – The art world in bite-sized stories 414 views