Contract Agreements All Artists Should Know About

by Catherine Watts

The performing and visual arts often require a great deal of collaboration. Many creative professionals believe that contracts are only necessary for their biggest projects and will frequently skip drafting agreements for the smaller ones. But it’s actually the small jobs that have the greatest chance of causing avoidable and inconvenient problems.

What Is A Contract?

A contract is a document that is used to protect all parties involved in an agreement. A contract isn’t necessarily a thick document with lots of hard to understand legalese. It can be a simple outline of the terms and conditions under which an artist will work. The terms and conditions will normally specify what the scope of the work and any limitations, deadlines, and any contingencies in case of unexpected changes and potential misunderstandings.

Most Common and Important Types of Contracts for Artists

-Booking Contracts

-Billing Contracts

-Employment/Hiring Services Contracts

-Distribution Contracts

-Assignment of Copyright Contracts

-Commission of Artwork Contracts

-Licensing Contracts (Foreign and Domestic)

-Sponsorship Agreement Contracts

-Releases/Indemnification Contracts

-Merchandising Contracts

-Investment Contracts

-Promotional Agreement Contracts

-Performance Contracts

-Digital Rights Contracts

-Confidentiality/NDA Contracts

-Music Publishing Contracts

-Recording Contracts

-Co-Writer Contracts

-Band Agreement Contracts

-Radio Broadcasting Contracts

-Photographic/Video/Film/Audio Recording Release Contracts

-Artist-Producer Contracts

-Royalty Agreement Contracts

-Agent Contracts

Why Do Artists Need Contracts?

It is very important for artists to have contracts. Contracts allow creative professionals to know what they will be doing. A written agreement will also help artists to protect their rights. If not careful, when an artist sells their work or signs with an art company, they may be selling the rights to their intellectual property.

The clarity that a contract can provide will help an artist and all other related parties to both prevent and solve any problems that can and possibly will arise. A contract stands as the objective document to fall back on. If it is an option, an artist should have a contract drawn up by an attorney who understands the art industry and your specific interests. If hiring an attorney is not an option, there are plenty of templates that you can use.

Contract Template Resources

NOTE: These sample contracts are for checklist purposes only. You use these contracts at your own risk. Hathart will not be held responsible for any unfavorable outcomes associated with the use of these contracts.


Hathart is a social networking platform where performing and visual artists meet, and our multifaceted site will provide the resources you need to find the right collaborators for your next artistic endeavor.

We provide a jobs database, a classifieds section for selling your supplies, a place to upload portfolios and receive feedback, and an excellent way to find other artists with whom you can collaborate. If you want to connect get your work noticed, please register for free at



Please follow and like us: