Ways to Finance Your Sculpture Business


Do you want to open your own art business selling your sculptures but don’t know where you would ever get the funds? It’s not as difficult as you might think to get financing to open a small business of your own. The main costs of an artistic business are in material and labor costs which are not that expensive, depending on what medium you work in.  

If you want to apply to get financing from outside groups, you will have to put together a detailed business plan that includes costs for your business and how much money you estimate that you will need to operate for the first year. If you are not great with math then you should hire an accountant to help you crunch the numbers out. This is due to the fact that if you ask for too much money, you will have a hard time finding a financier and if you ask for too little you will run out of money in just a few months. 

When you have a business plan and you are ready to start looking for financing, you can try to get grants and loans to start your business from these places. 

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) 

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts, both new and established, bringing the arts to all Americans. This national non-profit group gives millions of dollars to artists in many different disciplines each year to pursue their dreams of creating great art.

Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the Endowment is the nation's largest annual funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states, including inner cities, rural areas and military bases. 

The NEA budget has shrunk in recent years but they still are one of the largest supports of the arts in the US. 

The J. Paul Getty Trust  

The Getty Trust is dedicated to helping visual artists develop their art. It is the world's wealthiest art institution with an estimated endowment in April 2009 of $4.2 billion. Based in Los Angeles, California, it operates the J. Paul Getty Museum, which has two locations, the Getty Villa in Malibu and the Getty Center in Los Angeles, California. In addition, its other programs are the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Foundation and the Getty Conservation Institute.

If you want to create serious art and not just garden variety sculptures, you can apply for a grant through the Getty trust. The grants can range from a few hundred dollars up to around $50,000. As you can probably guess though, these grants are hard to get and competition to get them is extremely fierce. You stand a much better chance if you have multiple completed sculptures to show to the decision makers. 

The Small Business Administration (SBA) 

The US Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to assist, counsel, aid and protect the interests of small business concerns and also to preserve free competitive enterprise. SBA recognize that small business is critical to the economic recovery and strength, to building America's future, and to helping the United States compete in today's global marketplace.

Although SBA has grown and evolved in the years since it was established in 1953, the bottom line mission remains the same. The SBA was specifically set up to help individuals start, build and grow their own businesses. There are very strict rules about who qualifies for a guaranteed SBA loan and who doesn’t. However, even if you can’t get a business loan through the SBA, you can still find and learn valuable resources that will help you start your own business.

Friends and family  

If you have a solid business plan and some friends or family with some extra cash, they might be interested to invest into your business. It can be socially risky to borrow money from friends and family. However, if the terms of the loan are stated clearly in writing then you shouldn’t have any problems. Friends and family will also be more understanding about repayment terms and interest rates, if any.


Banks are usually the last place that people go to get money to start a small business. This is because usually bank loans have very restrictive loan standards, high interest rates and can have tough repayment terms. If you really want to start a small business and you have good credit standing then you can try to apply for a small business loan from a bank. 

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