The "small friends"
Whether you are an artist, a writer, a filmmaker or a musician, a key element of your gear should be an attorney on retainer who understands your business as an artist.
Why? Unless you are an expert on contracts, copyright, trademark, licensing, tax, business law for small businesses or any of the other problems that lurk around the edges of your artistic life, you might not know that you need a lawyer until it's too late.
My own lawyer, Blake Iverson of Friedman Iverson, saved me from one of my "bright ideas," which could have sparked potentially embarrassing, tedious and expensive litigation.
When I launched susan-cooks, I wanted the blog's wallpaper to be a photograph of some of my 800+ cookbook collection. Blake said "NO!" and pointed out that the copyright holder of each one of those books could have sued for infringement. While not a likely scenario, I have slept better for having avoided it.