Life of the Artist

L350: Performance creation

This course was designed to help you build a sustainable, balanced life as an artist. We provide practical tips and tools, and help you identify your artistic and professional goals, as well as the steps you need to take to achieve those goals. 


  • Personal Finances and Basic Financial Literacy
  • Day Jobs
  • Taxes for Artists
  • Starting a Non-Profit (Should I?)
  • Resume Workshop
  • The Business of Being an Artist
  • Budgeting for Your Life and Your Projects
  • Fundraising; and Strategic Planning
  • Fake Grant Panel: practice writing a grant, and get a peek at how a grant panel might evaluate your application behind closed doors

All of the HPI faculty members are working artists who have built sustainable lives for themselves.  Most of us own homes, many of us now earn our living solely doing our art, and many of us have children. We teach by example and share our stories around the informal edges of HPI, in addition to the specific focus of the Life of the Artist course.

Life of the Artist is taught by Amy Smith, who has over 20 years of experience doing financial management in the for-profit and non-profit worlds. She has served on many grant panels, previously served on the board of Dance/USA the national dance service organization, and has been teaching financial literacy and taxation workshops to artists for years (including with Creative Capital).