“It’s important to have a system in place...I know each step I have to do after painting, which makes the business side a lot smoother.” -Artist Teresa Haag

So, you’ve finished an artwork and it’s sitting in its rightful place of honor. You feel a sense of accomplishment and pride. Time to clean your tools, clear your work surface, and move on to your next masterpiece. Or is it?

It’s easy to put off art business tasks, but according to artist Teresa Haag, “It’s important to have a system in place.” Teresa knows “each step [she has] to do after painting, which makes the business side a lot smoother.”

When you finish a work, follow these six easy steps to keep your business running beautifully and find buyers for your art (all after smiling, of course).

What should you do when you've finished an artwork? Click to tweet this infographic.

1. Snap Photos of Your Art

Take a photo in good light to capture a true representation of your artwork. Make sure you have a decent camera, take the image in natural light, and edit if necessary. Lisa McShane edits her images right in front of the originals, so she knows they look right. Take photos of any details, framing, or multiple angles, if necessary.

This simple step helps with promotion, business organization, and will be a lifesaver in the case of an accident.

2. Input the Details into Artwork Archive

Upload your image(s) into your inventory management system and add in the appropriate details like title, medium, subject matter, dimensions, creation date, inventory number, and price. These pieces of information are crucial for you, as well as gallerists and buyers.

Not sure where to start your art inventory journey? Take a peek at our step-by-step guide.

Here’s the fun part!

3. Add the Piece to Your Website

Proudly display your new artwork on your artist website and Artwork Archive Public Page. Remember to include any necessary information—like dimensions—and share some thoughts about the piece. You want buyers to view your newly available work, so the sooner it’s up, the better.

Next, promote your art to the world.

4. Publicize Your Artwork in Your Newsletter

If you use a site like MailChimp to create your newsletter, be sure to slot in your work for the next one as soon as you’ve finished it. MailChimp lets you create your artist newsletter in advance and send whenever you’d like.

If you just send a regular ol’ email, make sure to make a note to include your new artwork in the next e-blast. You can flesh out the rest of your newsletter with these nine fun ideas.

5. Share Your Piece on Social Media

Write some tweets and Facebook posts about your new piece. We recommend using a free social media scheduling tool, so you can schedule all your posts at the same time—then you won’t forget later!

You can read about scheduling tools in our article “How to Save Time on Social Media”. Instagram is a great platform for artists as well, so don’t forget to snap a photo for that too.

Looking for more marketing steps?

6. Email Your Collectors

If you have collectors you know would be interested in the piece, email them! They may have bought a similar piece in the past or always ask about a certain subject.

One of these folks might purchase the work straight away, so you have nothing to lose by sending a quick email with a portfolio page attached—you can generate one right from your Artwork Archive account.

Thank you to Artwork Archive artist Teresa Haag for sharing her workflow with us and contributing her ideas to this article!

Share with other artists what to do when you've finished an artwork. Click to tweet this infographic.

We Want to Hear from You!

What does your workflow look like after you’ve finished a piece? Tell us in the comments.