Systems That Help Artists Work Smarter, Not Harder

Systems That Help Artists Work Smarter, Not Harder

Guest Blog by Artwork Archive

It is difficult to stay organized as an artist. As creatives, we tend to juggle a dozen tasks at once. Whether it is keeping your social media up-to-date, shipping artwork to your gallery, or maintaining track of the price of each piece, it is easy to get lost in the chaos.

This is why you need a system.

Art inventory systems are a simple way to get organized, save time, and manage your art career with ease. These programs help you keep track of your art, so you can run your business more effectively.

Before choosing your art inventory software, you need to understand what to look for. Take a look at these twelve features that help the growth and success of your business:

Does it track basic details?

At the very least, the basic details you need to be able to keep track of for each piece are the inventory number, title, date of creation, medium, dimensions, price, collection, images of the artwork, a description with your art’s story, and any important notes you may need to consider.

You will need this information to seal the deal with clients and buyers, and your art won’t always be right there in the studio for you to reference.


Does it track locations and exhibitions?

If you’re going to run a successful, organized art business, your art inventory system needs to be able to track your inventory, not just compile it.


Being disorganized does you no favors when it comes to the professionalism of your art business. That’s why it’s absolutely crucial for you to know the locations of your artwork — and not just galleries. The same goes for exhibitions, competitions, and anything on consignment.


Does it track sales?

If you are trying to make a living as a professional artist, of course, you want your art business to be profitable. So, a good art inventory management system will be able to track the sales of your artwork.


Features to look for? Tracking sales from particular contacts and locations and the ability to print invoices so you can stay on top of your income. Your tax accountant will thank you.


Can you manage your client contact information?

With a gallerist's info here and your babysitter's info there, lumping in your art business contacts with the rest of your phone or email contacts can get messy quickly. Instead, look for an art inventory software that lets you fully utilize your contact list for your business.

Your software should allow you to see who your top buyers are and what they’ve purchased. It should also allow you to group, sort, and filter for more control, and even create address labels for your correspondence.


Does it provide insights?

How do you expect to propel your art business forward without a strategy? A good art inventory software will go the extra mile to provide you with insights like which gallery is selling the most, your production and sales over time, and the worth of your entire inventory—so you can make more informed decisions about your art career.


Can you create reports?

First and foremost, you’re an artist. You should be focusing on your art, not worrying about how to make and format reports for your galleries and clients.

Find an art management software that can use your inventory list to create professional-looking inventory reports, portfolio pages, gallery labels, invoices, consignments, and more with the click of a button. You should be able to choose which

information is included to customize your report to specific projects. Clients will be impressed, and you will be back to the studio in a flash.


Can you manage your schedule?

A solid art inventory management system will have the ability to take your location and competition dates and create a schedule. That way, you can keep on top of all your important to-dos and never miss a deadline.


Is it user-friendly?

Again, you’re a professional artist. Your passion is what led you to this career. You shouldn’t have to spend hours upon hours sitting behind a desk trying to figure out a software program instead of in the studio.

A worthwhile art inventory software should make running an art business easier—not harder—so look for a system that’s easy to use and recommended by other artists.


Is it cloud-based?

This is a crucial feature that is often overlooked. Using a system that stores your data on the cloud is the only way to make sure that all of your hard work and provenance records aren’t gone forever if your computer is ever lost, stolen, or broken. Plus, it should take care of automatic backups so that your data is always safe.


Can you export your information?

You never know when you will need a hard copy of your inventory list. Make sure you get a system that can export your data to a CSV or Excel file so you can keep a local record. It’s just another way to ensure that your art inventory is always safe.


Is the software going to last?

Businesses come and go, but you don’t want your records to go with them. Search for an art inventory program with a steady amount of users and a high level of customer satisfaction. If other artists are loving the program, that’s usually a good sign. Then, check into the founder’s background and mission to feel out the longevity and commitment of the company.


Is it shareable?

These days, having an online presence is everything. So, wouldn’t it be amazing if your art inventory software doubled as an online gallery to market your art? That way, you don't have to put all your information on multiple platforms. Find a program where you can choose which pieces and details you wanted to make public and what information you want to keep private.

Why not put all those entered pieces and details to good use with a program that creates a professional-looking profile page online that you can instantly share with potential buyers. It’s even more helpful if you’re able to link to your other website and social media accounts. A page like this will come up in search results, so more interested buyers can find you.


What’s the bottom line?

Choosing a system that goes above and beyond the basic inventory needs of your art helps you manage your art career successfully.

One system that allows you to do all of the above is Artwork Archive.

With the mission to help every artist make a living doing what they love, Artwork Archive serves thousands of artists with it’s intuitive and reliable tool for art management. It’s powerful features allow you to stay organized and conquer your business, so you can focus on the art.


art comes alive

Known as the “Academy Awards for Art,” Art Comes Alive (ACA), ADC's annual art competition and exhibit, is embarking on its 10th year of helping artists get their work in front of art-industry professionals such as interior designers, art galleries, private art collectors, and corporate collections. Each year the art competition gets bigger and better, and this year over $300,000 in awards will be given to artists through gallery contracts, purchase awards, publishing contracts, and more!


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