Artists are notoriously unorganized.
Many would say that it just comes with the territory of being a creative, that the spontaneity breeds inspiration.
But, is being unorganized really helping your art business thrive? You can have all the creativity in the world, but if you can’t remember which gallery has what piece or find the contact info for that interested buyer, then you won’t be selling much art.
Half the battle of being a professional artist is simply staying organized. Only then can your art business be effective and allow you to make a living doing what you love.
To help set you up for success, we’ve rounded up five easy ways for artists to get organized. Take a look:
Write it down
Between creating art and running a full-fledged business, who could possibly remember everything just off the top of your head? Forgetfulness does you no favors when it comes to your art career. That’s why one of the best ways to stay organized is by writing down everything. And, we mean everything.
Start by writing down your goals and to-do’s. Prioritize them based on importance, and assign each task a deadline. Then, reference this list all the time. It will keep you on task, and you’ll never forget what needs to get done.
Next, write down the details of each new piece you make—dimensions, materials, the story behind your art—and all the other important business details like client contact information, competition dates, or expenses. Keeping these details organized will help you become more effective when talking to buyers and running your art business.
Keep track of what you write
We know what you’re thinking, “Now what am I going to do with all the stuff I write down?”
Take organization to the next level by using a cloud-based system like Artwork Archive that keeps track of all these details online so you never lose them.
Input everything from your inventory and all of your artwork’s details, to contact information, locations of your pieces, event dates, sales and expenses, and more. Then, you can easily generate professional reports and schedule your to-do list where you’ll receive a reminder email every week to help you stay on task.
Instead of combing through stacks of paper, spreadsheets, and Post-it notes, you can access everything instantly. All that time that was previously spent on searching for the right information can now be used for making artwork and impressing buyers.
Stick to a routine
Get organized and stay organized by developing a routine for your time in the studio. It can be as easy as taking these 6 steps immediately after you finish an artwork to make your art business run smoother.
After you’ve blocked out your time with the bigger tasks, pinpoint some windows in your schedule that you can devote to basic organizing. Whether it’s sorting through emails after lunch or taking ten minutes at the end of the day to clean up your workspace, this extra effort will go a long way.
Designate a place
A sure-fire way to stay organized is by making sure every paintbrush, every piece of mail, or finished artwork has a designated space to call home in your studio.
If you need to, find some cheap shelving at a local thrift store or garage sale. Store supplies where you can find them in clear plastic boxes or break out the label maker.
Tools you use often should be easy to reach. Try making a peg board for your studio tools. Pegboard organization has a few big benefits. You can easily see and put back all your tools, they are easily accessible, they use space wisely with vertical storage, it's an inexpensive solution and the best part—it adds a beautiful and personal touch to your space.
And once you’ve finished using that apron or sponge, get in the habit of putting it back in its rightful place immediately.
Even emails can be stored in specific folders to help you stay on top of things. When everything has a place, it’ll be easier find what you’re looking for—allowing more time to create art.
Get rid of what you can
Sometimes the designated space for something is in the trash or recycling.
Maybe it’s time to detox your studio of harmful chemicals. Do you really need to keep that business card when it’s stored on Artwork Archive or that charcoal pencil on its last leg? The less clutter you have, the less you have to organize and the freer you’ll be to create.
A great solution? Donate your extra supplies to organizations making a difference through art.
What’s better than an organized art business?
Nothing. When everything is organized, you’ll be able to run your art business more effectively than ever before. You’ll be able to keep on top of projects and deadlines, give buyers, gallerists, and collectors the information they need to work with you, appear more professional, and have more time for making art.