Art Biz Breakthrough

I am a little behind in posting this but I wanted to share my experience with some professional development I recently participated in. I am always trying to improve my art and my art business. The art world is always changing, and I think it’s important to stay innovative and connected with what’s happening. Everything from the latest encaustic techniques, what’s new in art marketing, to time management apps. I recently received a grant and want to put the money back into my art and art business so I decided to attend an art business conference. A couple of weeks ago I went to the Art Biz Breakthrough conference in Golden Colorado put on by Alyson Stanfield. Alyson is an art business coach; I have taken several of her online courses and read her book “I’d Rather Be in the Studio”. There are a lot of business coaches out there, Alyson is one of the most professional and consistent ones I have come across.

Now that I have had some time to really think about and process the experience I am really happy I attended. Overall it was a positive and motivating experience. One of the main things I got out of the conference was meeting and talking with so many other motivated artists. Everyone was there because they want to improve and grow and those are great people to be around. There were artists who were just starting out to super stars who make 6 figures and everything in-between. I really met some fantastic people and felt so supported and encouraged.Art Biz Breakthrough

The conference also reinvigorated me in my art business. Sometimes all the non art making stuff can take a lot of your time and really block you. Newsletters, blogs, inventory, marketing, social media, packing and shipping, photographing artwork, ordering supplies, networking and the list goes on and on. Being at the conference helped me to focus and motivated me to beef up my business practices.

Now that I am back I have ordered new business cards with images of my artwork on them and signed up for and started using a new online artwork inventory system.  I have a lot more on my To Do list but I think that’s a good start.Business Cards

So did I have a breakthrough? Kind of, there were lots of people who had big breakthroughs and epiphanies throughout the conference. I didn’t have anything that major it was more a slow percolating, ahhh, that makes sense experience. Sometimes it was a duh Shannon, you know this so why aren’t you applying it.

 

 

 

The Business Side of Art - Keeping Track of Everything

No artist likes to deal with the paperwork or the business side of creativity. The fact is, it is a necessary evil if you actually want to exhibit and sell your artwork. More and more artists are self represented and independent. More and more galleries are relying on artists to do a lot more than create their artwork. So I think it is time for me to take the plunge.

The longer I create and the more I sell the more apparent it becomes that I need a good art business management software system. I have many steno pads with inventory info scribbled down, spreadsheets created that I attempt to maintain, several versions of my resume all saved in different places and lots of file folders stuffed full of important paperwork. Although the initial start up will be lots of work I am confident that once I get everything in one place and managed by one system my business burden will be a lot less.

While doing some research online I came across a few different Blogs that were really informative in terms of comparing the different software systems. While I know there will be no perfect one, there are a few that I think will work. What I would really like is a cloud or web based system that I can access from anywhere on any devise. Maybe one day

This is a great post from 2011 that compares the pros and cons of 7 different software systems. It even has some screen shots.
http://erinsparler.com/blog/2011/03/software-for-artists/

This is a pretty old Blog from 2007 but still has some relevant info
http://blog.natdickinson.com/2007/12/back-to-business-art-business-that-is.html

One thing to note is that these programs are not for bookkeeping/ accounting, that’s a whole other software program L

I will keep you posted on which one I choose and how it works out.