Are artists non-profits or are they small businesses? Many artists are confused because they work with so many non-profit art spaces that they begin to identify with the non-profit model. Artists also receive grants, which causes the artist to think they are non-profit – regardless of the type of grant or the grant rules. Artists are also supported by government funds. The reality is that few individual artists are or qualify to be a non-profit.
This means that artists should have a business plan, should examine their markets and should do some level of promotion – i.e. advertising. There is always a tension in creating work that speaks to a need or a cause – but also sells. If your goal is to only create conceptual, performance-based work that might not be purchasable or collectable – consider how you are going to survive and thrive in that model.