Artwork for podcast The Thriving Artist
Setting Up an Art Business for Scale
9th April 2016 • The Thriving Artist • The Clark Hulings Foundation
00:00:00 00:51:51

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Despite our playful double entendre, the business of securing commissions requires taking proposals and contracts seriously. Large-scale artist Molly Dilworth explains the challenges of both producing such works and operating the professional side of the business for scale. Molly’s geometrically inspired site-specific installations across the United States highlight invisible structures and hidden motivations. Her insights on a range of topics from proposals to contracts are crucial:

Creating Large-Scale Works

  • Making big paintings to be seen by Google Earth
  • Special challenges of large-scale work
  • Dealing with outdoor work and site control (e.g. timing, weather, and location)
  • Technology and remote art creation [see also a previous broadcast]
  • Using under-appreciated spaces, everyday spaces, accessible spaces

Operating the Business for Scale

  • RFPs, proposals, and the business of finding commissions
  • Contracts and when you get paid
  • Ensuring clients pay vs. getting burned
  • Contingencies and budgeting for materials, mishaps, and take-home pay
  • Getting a lawyer
  • Responsibility for maintenance and limits of liability
  • Contracts as a conversation
  • Dealing with damage and insuring the work


  • Molly Dilworth is currently a fellow in the first year of the Tulsa Artist Fellowship and. on April 23rd, will unveil her sculptural commission for a new Denver Light Rail station at 40th and Airport.
  • For more information on Molly, visit