Artists often want to become more business-like. For example, you know you need to keep good records, but don’t do it because it might require tasks like making a spreadsheet, a very “left brain” process. If this describes you, think about creating artist-friendly business practices.
Danielle, a mid-career artist, still didn’t have any system for keeping records. Random receipts and other pieces of paper got lost, or ended up in the bottom of an old purse, or floating around in the trunk of her car. She knew she needed to keep this stuff together, but couldn’t find the energy to do it.
She decided to develop an “artist-friendly” record keeping system, one that would be easy and maybe even fun to use. Her system had to be visible so she would remember to pay attention to all those little scraps of paper.
Danielle created a beautiful box, decorated with ribbon and sequins, with a cutout in the top where the papers could go. She placed the box just inside the door to her studio, as a visual reminder to go through her purse and knapsack (and check the trunk of her car!) and put all the scraps in the beautiful box. At the end of each month she transferred the information to a simple bookkeeping ledger.
Her records proved critical when a gallery lost seven of her paintings last year. It turned out she had the records to prove when and how the paintings were shipped, which made it easy for the gallery to discover that they had accidently been put in storage during a recent move.
Danielle’s artist-friendly solution gave form to an abstract idea: keep good records. See if you can use your visual imagination in a similar way.
Mary Edwards, Ph.D
Career & Life Coach for Artists
“Left Brain Skills for Right Brained People”
As an artist coach, I bring a unique combination of business knowledge, art world experience, and professional coaching skill to my practice.