When you’re an artist, you’re self employed. You probably have a day job. Your time in the studio, your creative time is really, really precious.
There’s so much admin involved in being an artist – managing and tracking applications, submissions, sales, your paintings and marketing. There’s so many things you have to do apart from the creative side. I’m not into perfectionism. I just want to do my art business admin tasks as efficiently and quickly as possible so I have more creative time in the studio!
These are my top tools I use every day so I can spend less time on my laptop and have more time in the studio.
Artwork Archive is specifically designed to manage all aspects of an art business. I think it’s amazing. It’s really easy to use, it’s intuitive and visual. You add images of your paintings. If you don’t have a website, you can also use it as a sharing platform. It makes tracking my inventory and doing my accounts very easy.
I use Artwork Archive to:
- add images of paintings
- can be used as a website to showcase work
- track sales [commission, where the sale was made etc]
- track other income [e.g teaching]
- track expenses [under artist friendly categories e.g. framing, shipping, supplies]
- save collector’s details
- track when paintings are in exhibitions, consigned elsewhere
- add locations for galleries and exhibitions
- create labels for exhibitions
- create limited edition prints
- create certificates of authenticity for paintings and prints
Evernote is a group of post-it notes, notes to myself on both my laptop as well as on my phone. Notes are searchable by any keyword, which makes it really easy to find again, rather than trawling through notebooks. I use it for my time management, my to do lists, my Instagram posts, all my notes, including my notes for this podcast!
I love Canva, a graphic design programme, which is on my laptop as well as my phone. I use it to create Instagram posts and all my graphic design needs, including this podcast cover. It’s easy to use their templates and make minor adjustments. I can design an Instagram post very quickly on my laptop and then post it from my phone when I’m uploading it to Instagram.
I check it every day to manage sales, enquiries, open calls etc. My tips to prevent email overwhelm:
- I move emails into folders as I read them so I can easily find them again [e.g art sales, art expenses, art submissions]
- I put a flag on any email I need to action [e.g processing a sale] and remove the flag once I’ve completed the action [e.g. posted the painting].
- Curate emails. Unsubscribe to any mailing list that doesn’t add value
I try and use my phone as a resource and not as a distraction.
I use my phone to :
- to take photos and videos
- to play music
- to post on instagram
- to access Canva
- to make notes on Evernote
- for phone calls and texts.
- It’s ok to be unavailable to carve out time to concentrate. I often have it on silent
- I mute WhatsApp images
- I use ‘do not disturb’ mode when I’m in the studio or recording a podcast episode ( it’s on right now!)
I use MailChimp for my email campaigns.
I have a simple Excel spreadsheet to track important things like upcoming submissions.