Wendy Franklin is a full-time fiber and mixed media artist. She is a passionate and enthusiastic user and advocate of Artwork Archive due partially to the fact that it helps her immensely in managing her art business and partially because she no longer feels the need to cry and kick the printer when doing labels. 

A Day in the Life of an Artwork Archive Artist

Thursday morning—noon.

The city is glorious and crowded—people are everywhere. In some mysterious way, Chicagoans never fail to look stylish and I always immediately second guess my frumpy Indianapolis wardrobe as soon as I arrive.

The seven new artworks that I have in the backseat of my car are now hopefully dry now and my Artwork Archive inventory sheets next to me on the seat. They rest comfortably under the approximately one thousand other items that I realized were must-haves after numerous trips back into the house.  

After circling the block a few times I find a nice pull-into parking spot. I don’t parallel park. It’s not that I don’t do it well, it’s more along the lines of, “I don’t do it at all, ever.” I am one heck of a parallel stopper, though. An exorbitant $4 an hour parking fee later I am ready to haul things into my gallery.

This gallery holds a special place in my heart because they were my first gallery. During my initial appointment, I went in with really bad art and really good chocolate chip cookies. They were gracious enough to give me helpful feedback and smart enough to keep the cookies. I went back to my studio and worked away. Eight months later, I made another visit and brought marginally better art and the same really good cookies. Years later the owner admitted to me that he hadn’t remembered my art at all, but he did remember the cookies. (Young artists out there, pay heed. You can get there by talent or by baking. The choice is yours.)  

By the time the third visit rolled around, they kept all the art and all the cookies and I was effectively launched. I still bring them cookies from time to time. Never forget your roots.

I gather as many pieces as I can and begin to haul work down the street and into the gallery. Once everything is lined up against the wall and the decisions are being made, I get out my inventory sheets from Artwork Archive. I have two inventory reports with me. The first is one that I generated using the new work I am delivering and the other is what they still currently have at the gallery that I got in a matter of seconds by going into the Locations, choosing the gallery, and printing off their current inventory.  

Easily print out inventory reports and tear sheets from your "locations" tab in Artwork Archive. 

We will work from both to establish a good body of work for them to keep. It’s helpful to have the existing inventory sheet on hand as this does one of two things. First, with some items in storage, it acts as a reminder of what pieces are on location.

Second, it is a nice assertion that I, too, am keeping track. My Chicago gallery is incredible to work with and meticulous with their record keeping so no worries there (in fact I get a little lazy with them)  but I find it is especially helpful with new galleries to help set the tone of the transactions as being professional and deliberate.

For those out there who are wondering whether or not it’s worth it to get a yearly subscription to Artwork Archive, consider this very important fact: one discrepancy, one little snafu over who is in possession of your precious piece by a less than scrupulous gallery (and they are out there!) and you could have paid years of having Artwork Archive as your go-to program. It’s not worth the hassle, it’s not worth the angst. If you do it right from the very beginning and you will not be sorry.  

Typically when I visit the Chicago gallery we have a shuffling of work that takes place—new work is added and older pieces returned. Occasionally a gallery will request a full switchover and that’s great too. I am always happy to bring “new” work back into my Indianapolis market. When that happens, I try to make the most of it and send out a quick newsletter with a link to my updated Public Page with the subject line something like, "I am so excited to have work from Chicago back in my home studio!”

Wendy Franklin's Public Portfolio on the Discovery Platform. 

Let’s take a little break and do a little dance party about the Public Profile on Discovery. If you’ve used it, you’re dancing!  I see you there and you’ve got the moves. It is genius

Before using the Public Page I would carefully and painstakingly knit together a hand-made PDF for a gallery, designer or client that inquired about available artworks. It would take hours, going through image by image to make sure I have everything in place before sending it on its way.

Now, after discovering the genius of the Artwork Archive Public Page, I simply email back with a link to my Public Page and get immediately back to the studio.

There are a multitude of ways to make the Public Page work for you that I could go into, but for now, it suffices to say that it can be your new best friend.   

Before I leave the gallery to hit Michigan Ave we sit down and talk prices and titles. Since the gallery has its own system I copy my info from the inventory sheet onto their sheet and make notes of my own. Then with a quick hug, I’m off to do some shopping before returning to the gallery the following evening for an opening.

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