The Art Biz ep. 141: Worrying About the Economy with Elaine Luttrull

We’ve spent many months worried about inflation and a possible recession that may not ever happen. It would be terrific if we didn’t have to concern ourselves with such things, but the economy affects everyone’s business in one way or another.

Painting by Heather Robinson
©2022 Heather Robinson, Diving. Acrylic on canvas, 30 x 40 inches.

Today’s guest on The Art Biz is Elaine Grogan Luttrull of Minerva Financial Arts, a company devoted to building financial literacy and empowerment in creative individuals through education and coaching.

We recorded this episode several months ago when the economic landscape seemed a little bleaker than it does now, and Elaine’s insights are timeless.

This is a lesson in economics and how your art business is affected by the larger economy. We define and discuss inflation, recession, the Consumer Price Index, and Gross Domestic Product. We talk about your revenue mix, why selling lower-priced items might not be the way to go right now, bundling, and raising your rates and prices.

I know you’ll raise your money IQ when you listen. Here’s my conversation with Elaine Grogan Luttrull.


📄 This Week's Assignment

Your first action for the week is to look at your expenses and see where you might be able to save. I suggest keeping a list of all ongoing subscriptions as well as regular expenses and review it every so often.

Your second action is to check out Elaine’s $15 course on inflation and recession by following the link below.

Join us in The Art Biz Accelerator

for busy artists who like knowing there is someone nearby to help


  • Defining inflation and its effect on every aspect of pricing. (1:50)
  • What exactly is a recession and what role do rising interest rates play? (5:35)
  • The impact of these economic factors on artists. (12:48)
  • Combating uncertainty with effective business strategies. (15:32)
  • Your target client in times of economic uncertainty. (20:05)
  • Opportunities that are presented in challenging times. (24:16)
  • Consider potentially terrible ideas to get to the good ones. (33:03)
  • Seven strategies for artists to use during inflation and recession. (33:04)


Elaine Grogan Luttrull Quotes

“Inflation is not always a pleasant topic. It’s scary, it takes up our brain space, and it’s a distraction from what we really need to be doing creatively in our businesses.”

“All of the strategies we typically think about for coping with the uncertainty of the arts are suddenly being impacted too.” 

“Think carefully. Do your research and talk to peers about how things feel in the art market right now.”

“When the market is doing interesting things is the moment to really focus on the community aspect.”

“Anything we can do to reassess and tighten our spending without compromising quality or making our lives harder is a really good strategy right now.”

“Artists are better than pretty much anyone else at navigating uncertainty, so we’ll navigate all of this as well and keep making really incredible work too.”

About My Guest

Elaine Grogan Luttrull, CPA-PFS, AFC® (she/her) is the founder of Minerva Financial Arts, a company devoted to building financial literacy and empowerment in creative individuals through education and coaching. Her workshops and presentations have been featured nationally by groups that support the arts, a variety of state and regional arts councils and commissions, and colleges and universities where creative students thrive.

Elaine spent 10 years in academia, teaching at the Columbus College of Art & Design and serving as the Department Head for Business & Entrepreneurship from 2014-2018. Before that, Elaine served as the Director of Financial Analysis for The Juilliard School and in the Transaction Advisory Services practice of Ernst & Young in New York. Elaine is the author of Arts & Numbers (Agate, B2 2013), and she contributes regularly to industry guides, including those from the Center for Cultural Innovation and the Joan Mitchell Foundation. She also serves on the boards of the Short North Alliance and Healing Broken Circles.

Follow Elaine on Instagram @minervafinarts

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