Art is a business, and like any business, it is necessary to keep track of expenses as well as income. I have been searching for a comprehensive program for my art business for years. Currently I would recommend QuickBooks to track your expenses and income. While there are some all-inclusive programs beginning to be developed, I have usually found some flaw in the program; either they were hard to use, or had an incompatible photo program for thumbnails of my art, etc. There are a couple of new companies with programs designed for artists out on the internet (see links below)Here are some links to potential art software sites along with what information I have on them:
you can simply use an excel spreadsheet to track income and expenses but it is very time consuming. For expense tracking, QuickBooks, while a little on the expensive side is pretty user friendly and easily transitions into tax software programs such as Turbo Tax when it comes time to file your income tax. Unfortunately, I have heard rumors that it doesn't mesh as well with Apple products as it does PCs.http://www.thepracticalartist.com
Yes, Virginia, at the moment I am actually using three programs to track my art. QuickBooks for income and expenses, two excel spreadsheets to tell me where my art is at any given time; (Current Location Report and Painting Information Sheets) to track awards, income from each painting or prints made from it, and a photo file with different sized images of my art for various uses (webpage, large-sized prints, and specific sizes for on-line show entries). For Photo Editing I use Photoshop Elements because it is less pricey than the full Adobe editing program and as a painter, I really don’t need the maximum amount of bells and whistles you get with the full Adobe Suite.
I can’t say this often enough; back up your data!
You should keep three types of photo records:
A photo log with both high- and low- resolution photos of your work, kept separately from your desktop computer. A working copy can be kept on the desktop, but be sure and back up your files each month onto a separate disc or jump drive.
You will Also Need:
· A program that tracks income and expenses.
· A record of each piece of art created and its disposition or current location.
o Keep back-up copies of these items in a separate place, And up-date your back-ups monthly. Once your records are lost due to computer crashes, natural disaster or any other reason they are gone. For this, you can purchase separate auxiliary drives that have as much memory as a desktop, or you can back your stuff up into a version of the cloud. There are a LOT of cloud backup systems out there now. Automatic systems such as I-Cloud, and manual systems like Dropbox. None of these are free and If you can’t keep up the payments I don’t know how recoverable your records might be. Check them out.
Posted by Gail Daley. Posted In : Business Development