Do great work. Get paid what you’re worth.

Learn to apply simple and practical principles to get organized, grow your business, and stay true to your art. The missing manual for every creative freelancer.

  • The entire online book
  • Digital access to this title in the Holloway Reader
  • Bookmarking, highlights, and expert commentary
  • Downloadable PDF for personal offline use
  • Shareable access links when you purchase for others

Art for Money

Up Your Freelance Game and Get Paid What You’re Worth

by Michael Ardelean

Art for Money is a small and mighty volume that covers the essentials every creative freelancer needs to know about making a living and growing their business—in under 100 pages.

You might be a photographer, engineer, writer, designer, makeup artist, or any kind of freelance worker, contractor, or consultant. Or maybe you have a company job but dream of working for yourself. Chances are you’re interested in creating and a little unsure about billing, proposals, calendar management, how to set up an LLC—and if you can do it all yourself. Have you ever wished creatives like you had a coach, companion, or career center to turn to? The ten short chapters of this book are for you.

Michael Ardelean packs 13 years of creative and business experience into this short book, distilling everything he’s learned about thriving financially as an artist. Art for Money will teach you:

  • The benefits of freelancing
  • How to know if establishing a business is right for you, and how to do it
  • How to price your work
  • How not to feel guilty about charging what you’re worth
  • How to write a professional proposal
  • How to build fantastic client relationships—and what to do when relationships are difficult
  • How to get paid on time
  • How to network and grow your business

Art for Money is approachable, actionable, and written for creatives by a creative who’s seen it all. You’ve already figured out how to be great at what you do. If you’re ready to become financially successful, too, the time you spend with this small book might be the best investment you’ve ever made in yourself.

I reached out to Mike for help… Then he sent over the book you’re about to read. After that, my income tripled.” —Angela Fink, an early reader

Rachel JepsenEditor
Cody ComrieIllustrator
About the Author
Michael Ardelean
Intro Limited
Michael Ardelean has always worked at the intersection of art and money. Having grown up bored and broke in suburban Detroit, Michael knew how to get a lot out of a little—streamlining processes and shaking off the baggage of life is his guiding philosophy. His first career, as a pro BMX biker, inspired him to share this outlook and his strategies with others struggling to design a comfortable life around their passion. He moved into merchandising, with a VP role at Alternative Apparel, followed by several years managing a design studio. Michael then began helping creative freelancers with the business end of their work as a consultant. Today, he runs his own recruiting firm, Intro, with the goal of improving organizations (like Madhappy and Buck Mason) by empowering individuals. His passion is advocating for artists of all kinds by helping them make their unique talents financially viable.

Featured Reviews

I didn't know what a scope of work was until 2013. I wish I would have had this book in 2003.
Michael Carney (Creative Director, The Black Keys)
I reached out to Mike for help, knowing he’d built several ventures across multiple creative mediums, and he said “hold tight.” Then he sent over the book you’re about to read. After that, my income tripled.
Angela Fink (Creative Director at Search for Space)
If you want to stop worrying about money and stay focused on your work, read this book.
Harrison Boyce (Director and Photographer)
Michael’s insight was the kick in the pants I needed to take my business to the next level. He made me reevaluate how I was thinking about finances and the value of my work. And the format makes it fun and easy to read.
Jen B. Peters (Illustrator and Graphic Designer)
I’m all creative and almost no business, so I found Art For Money to be an easy-to-follow guide and reference when taking on any new client or project. It’s great to have this at my fingertips when I’m in doubt. It’s like having a partner who’s constantly making sure I get the full potential out of my work.
Cody Comrie (Designer and Artist)
No BS, I’m a little jealous that everyone will have the cheat codes to lessons that took me ten years to learn.
Anthony Yamamoto (founder, AKY Creative)
Art for Money is the Porsche 911 of self improvement books. Lightweight, good looking, easy to drive, and fast as shit.
Jordi Hays (founder,
I’m a co-founder of a design agency with 40 employees—and still read this book annually to brush up. It holds up every time!
Ben Bator (Chief Innovation Officer, Lafayette American)
This book covers many topics, but the message about building confidence in your value—that alone is worth the purchase.
Matt Miller (Photographer)
People don’t talk about the business side of art. I would’ve killed to have this info when I started my film company.
Andrew Jackson (Director)
★★★★★ Simple, concise and really easy to put into practice. You can tell a lot of intention went into writing and editing this book. Where other "Freelance" guides are long winded and filled with fluff, Art for Money gets straight to the point.
Matthew Jung (Amazon reviewer)
★★★★★ Must read for freelancers!! Highly recommend this quick read to anyone who is looking for guidance in the world of freelancing. As a freelancer myself, I found some parts very triggering but very relatable. The tone the author set was very straight to the point and I will be referring to this book for future projects.
Huseyin E. (Amazon reviewer)
★★★★★ Fast track years of painful experience with simple truths. After 15 years in the industry, with 5 years of operating my own creative agency, this touched on so many hard lessons learned over the years in a refreshing to-the-point, conversational manner with just the right amount of human stories and incredibly helpful specific examples (e.g. operating agreements, SOWs, invoices) and a quick black belt in verbal judo for communicating effectively. If I had to sum it up in once sentence: No one knows what they’re doing, so you prob should. Here’s the basics, which is 80% of it.
Scott P. (Amazon reviewer)
★★★★★ Changed the way I look at work. This book really opened my eyes and changed my perspective on how to charge for work, how to think about work, and how to actually work. Highly recommended for anyone self employed, freelancing, thinking about freelancing, or thinking about quitting a bad boss. This guy’s a genius!
(Amazon reviewer)
★★★★★ Great read and insight for anyone in a creative profession. Myself, being all creative and almost no business, found ‘Art For Money’ to be an easy to follow guide and reference when taking on any new client or project. It’s great to have something at my fingertips when I’m in doubt, to give me insight on the best path forward. It’s like having a partner that can get the full potential out of my work.
(Amazon reviewer)
★★★★★ So useful! Glad I found this book. ... The author provides genuine advice and tips, backed up by real world examples, that are applicable to anyone who creates a form of art. I will definitely be leaving this book on my desk to return to at different points in my freelance journey.
Jackie (Amazon reviewer)

What People Are Saying


Table of Contents

My Mess Is My Message
Release Your Guilt
The Benefits of Freelancing
Price Your Work
Determining Target Revenue
Determining Retail Value
Creating Your Quote
Should You Just Bill Hourly?
Offering Discounts
Writing a Good Proposal
Touch Points
Phases of Work
Pricing Structure
Scope Your Work
Final Fees
Client Contact
Create Your Contract
Proposal Checklist
Doing The Job
Set Alerts and Deliver Early
Stay Organized: Systems, Tools, Apps
Get Your Money
Forming an Entity
Banking, Collecting, and Saving
Client Relationships
The Happy Client
When to Fire a Client
Be as You Wish to Seem
Network Like Hell
Build Your Team
The Last Word
Reading List

Get lifetime access now.

The full book, interactive and searchable. Plus all future updates.
Instant lifetime access
  • 70-page online book
  • Digital access to this title in the Holloway Reader
  • Bookmarking, highlights, and expert commentary
  • Downloadable PDF for personal offline use
  • Shareable access links when you purchase for others

Why pay for an online book?

At Holloway, we imagine a place on the web where depth, quality, and high-value writing are the norm. A place where experts’ ideas are accessible to anyone. Where thoughtful, inclusive, and well-written resources win over quick takes, self-promoting blog posts, and content marketing.

We believe you, the reader, know the difference. It’s the 2020s. You recognize sites riddled with ads and clickbait headlines. Deep and comprehensive resources take expertise, time, and money to build. By buying access to this title, you’re supporting a place online that makes longform reading a pleasure—and allowing us to pay authors, contributors, engineers, and editors who build and improve them. Holloway is a new and powerful way to publish. We hope you’ll join us on the journey.

Does this sound like you?

Why do I see so many creatives, frankly less talented than I, making far more money? Shouldn’t I be compensated according to the quality of my work?
I love creating but I really wish the business side ran itself. If I wanted to do paperwork, I’d be an accountant. Can I just have my cake and eat it too?
I actually enjoy running my freelance business, but I feel like I’m not getting as many clients as I should. How can I build a bigger client base?
Every time I deliver a great project, I’m certain I’ll be landing a repeat client for life. Then they never call again. What am I doing wrong?
I have no idea what to charge for my creative work. I have trouble making ends meet, but I had just accepted that as part of being creative. How do I determine what I’m worth, and how do I convey that to my clients?
Is there a way to earn more money without compromising the quality of my work or having to take on clients I hate?

Learn more.

Enter your email for more details, updates from the authors, and free samples from the book.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What exactly am I buying?

    By purchasing a title on, you get full digital access to the book and all other resources that come with it, for unlimited use by you. That means you get lifetime access online for that title on the web, using the Holloway Reader. In contrast with Kindle and other ebooks, this also includes future updates from the author or editors. Finally, depending on the title, you get additional digital resources like PDF downloads, documents, spreadsheets, or audio clips! If you purchase a bundle, you get all additional resources for each title in the bundle.

  • What is the Holloway Reader?

    The Holloway Reader lets you read and engage with books bought on Holloway. Many of our readers call it the best reading experience for books on the web—you use it right in your browser, on desktop or mobile. In contrast to ebooks and paper books, online content in the Holloway Reader is always up to date, including updates when changes to the content are made, like responses to reader questions, new data, or new developments. It also lets us experiment with what the future of the book should look like, offering features you won’t find in Kindle or Apple Books.* It includes expert commentary in the margins and offers bookmarks and highlights, instant definitions of technical terms from a glossary, instant previews of links and footnotes, and a powerful search capability only available on Holloway titles—and we have a lot more on the way.

  • Are there any discounts?

    We do offer discounts if you select a bundle or more than one title during checkout. We also offer student discounts to individuals with a valid .edu email address.* Before a book is released, it is available for pre-order at a discount. By pre-ordering a title, you’re supporting us and our authors in their work and you may get a note from the author, early access, or other perks.

    Finally, if you sign up on our email list, in addition to excerpts and updates about our titles you’ll get any occasional special offers (infrequently—we don’t want to spam folks!).

  • Can I buy Holloway titles as a gift?

    Yes! You can purchase and instantly share lifetime digital access for any title in the catalog. You can do this for a friend or a small group by selecting the number of invites you want to purchase during checkout. You’ll also get a receipt, so you may easily expense it if it’s a business purchase.

  • Can I buy Holloway titles for my team or my company?

    Yes! It’s just like a gift for a few people, as above. For example, if you purchase 5 invites, you can forward the invite link or invitation email to the 5 people on your team.

    We also offer additional options for team access for companies, groups, and classes. Use the team access form (just 3 questions) to set this up and get full pricing information or contact

  • I have more questions!

    Don’t we all. Check the full FAQ. And we’d love to hear from you at

Art for Money
Instant lifetime access

The Designer’s Bundle

Three essential Holloway guides to nurture your creativity and your career.

$85 value

Other Titles

Readers of this book also purchased these titles

Holloway Guide to
Equity Compensation
by Joshua LevyJoe Wallin
Stock options, RSUs, job offers, and taxes—a detailed reference, including hundreds of resources, explained from the ground up, for both employees and managers.
Holloway Guide to
Remote Work
by Katie WildeJuan Pablo Buriticá
A comprehensive guide to building, managing, and working with distributed teams.
Now Available
by Soundarya Balasubramani
Admitted is a proven, comprehensive guide for students in any country looking to enter graduate or undergraduate programs in the U.S., Canada, or Europe. Used by thousands of students worldwide, it offers a unique combination of practical advice, mental frameworks to make better decisions, personal anecdotes, a philosophical touch, and illustrations to support and encourage you along the way.
Art for Money
by Michael Ardelean
Essential principles for every creative freelancer on how to win clients, stay true to your art, and grow a business you love.
Ask Me This Instead
by Kendra Haberkorn
Why should only hiring managers and recruiters decide your job destiny? Be empowered at every step of the hiring process, understand your own skills and priorities, and find the company that can give you what you want. No matter where you are in your career journey, it’s time you were in control.
Now Available
Security for Everyone
by Laura BellErica Anderson
You don’t need deep technical knowledge or deep pockets to secure your startup or growing business. From your personal laptop to the people, data, and systems of your company, this comprehensive resource offers low-cost, scalable security solutions to help you protect what matters most.
Stop Asking Questions
by Andrew Warner
The comprehensive guide to hosting better interviews for podcasters, salespeople, entrepreneurs, and more. Lessons from a veteran podcast host with 2,000+ episodes.
Keep in touch.
We’ll send early announcements of new books from Holloway, free excerpts, and offers available only on our email list.

More Holloway Titles

Now Available
Now Available