Friday, October 13, 2006

Get Your Sh*t Together

During the recent talk on collecting art at iMOCA this last Wednesday, the discussion about how important it is for artists to keep track of their work was brought up. Keeping track of your work can be a dreadful task and quite time consuming. From signing and documenting the works, photographing each piece, keeping accurate sales records about who bought each piece and where it went, etc. All of these things are now becoming important for an artist to do as a part of the business of being an artist. While it would help if you have a gallery or dealer that would do all this for you, or even an assistant, it is more often the case that we have to do this type of work ourselves.

There are a handful of professional software packages that are designed for especially this purpose and for use with galleries. The down side to a lot of this software is that it costs a lot of money. Often the price is hundreds of dollars and upwards of over a thousand. While in the long run that may not sound like a bad investment most of the artists I know would rather spend that kind of money on more supplies instead. That said, while I was stumbling around the net awhile back I came across an artist run business that has designed a similar software for artists that is much more affordable and full of plenty of other information that artists may find useful. Check out Getting Your Sh*t Together, a tracking software for artists. Though I have not personally tried the software yet (I plan on buying it soon) it sounds like a good thing to help you stay organized. The best part is that it is much more affordable than a lot of the other similar software. The current price on their software is just $90. Maybe it can be helpful for you to.

1 Responses to “Get Your Sh*t Together”

Anonymous said...
October 13, 2006 at 3:11 PM

Great post Scott!

Here's a pretty simple system I use to track artwork and sales.

(1) 9 x 12 envelop for ORDERS by year
(1) 9 x 12 envelop for RECEIPTS by year
(1) Binder for RECORDS of each individual buyer and print by year
A few cds of digital photography of my artwork.

I do all the packing and distribution so I have "Delivery Confirmation" on all shipped artwork. I print the "Confirmation Slip" from the carrier's website and attach to the Order Forms.

I also do my promotion design, press releases, and website (something I learned as a former graphic designer.)

I've been asked to represent and manage other artists but it is hard enough to find time to do artwork while managing the business side of art. I often find myself managing at all hours of the day.

An assistant may be a good idea if one can afford it like you mentioned or if that person is readily available.

In the words of John Mellencamp "I'm not an artist. I'm just a guy with a lot of tenacity. I have the ability to not quit. Most people quit on everything too soon. Most people simply don't have the ability to get things done, and that's the difference between me and most people. I don't quit."

I think "discipline" is an important factor in getting things together.

Art is a tough discipline.


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