Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Art management software

Here's an update of the watercolour of 'downtown' Flatrock.  I'm still building rock shapes and colours and as the rock is quite detailed, this could take some time.  So while I paint, I think.  This can be good and can be bad.  This time I'm thinking about organization.  That usually happens when I can't find something.  I swear to myself that I will become completely organized.  Of course that doesn't happen and so the cycle begins.
One of perhaps the less interesting, but very important aspects of art is tracking what you have created, what you have sold, who to, for how much, who bought it, exhibitions, donated pieces, etc.  It is vital from a business perspective as well as marketing and archival purposes to track this information, but we don't tend to do it well or consistently.  Its often a scramble to pull information together, find who has what as well as locate images, etc.

I know I'm guilty of this. I've used Excel spreadsheets for most of my tracking of production, sales and marketing but don't always keep on top of it as I should.  I presumed that some clever souls have created a solution to my dilemma in the way of software that would make the task easier and keep my tracking visible and in one place where I could access the many arms of information about my art that I need.

So I'm on a quest to find an effective, reasonably priced software package that will do this.  I've tracked down a number of options for artists to use and will be busy reviewing them and road testing a few also.  Here are some of the software packages for artists that I found.  Note: they are not in any order of preference

If anyone uses any of these software packages, I would love to know which one and whether you would recommend it to others.

Pricing for these software packages varies from $30 up to $170.  Each package varies in what it offers in management capability from basic inventory control to creation of CDs and catalogues for gallery presentations as well as invoicing.  

Of course once I decide on one of these packages then I need to push myself to keep it updated.  Let's hope that the beauty of having everything in one spot, combined with a routine will help.


Rose Welty said...

Love the colors in this piece Jeanette. It will be worth the time. :-)

I use Flick, have for a while now and have recommended it to others. I have even managed to keep up to date with it - routines and automated numbers help with that. I had trouble with one upgrade and got prompt and helpful customer service. It's not the slickest looking interface and some of it is clumsy, like old technology, but it meets my needs.

Jeanette said...

Thanks for the recommendation about Flick Rose. I noticed that Tina Mammoser had a testimonial on their website. I must contact her about it.

Jennifer Rose said...

really liking the rock textures :)

I'm horrible at keeping track of things, really should get one of those programs in the future. will be interesting to see what people have to say about any of them

Anonymous said...

I was researching this last year, and got hung up on it. Didn't really want to pay $100+ for something that I might not find useful. At that time my son gave me a copy of Bento, and I just need to see if it is useful. I have a 3x5 set with the information but even that is not current with the latest exhibition info.
For me it is going to be a must this year, I simply can not keep the information of even the titles in my head anymore.
Alyson Stanfield has an earlier review of 3 or 4 of them you might check that out. You might ask her if she has any current reviews.
You have encouraged me to tackle this one, Jeanette

Rachel Murphree said...

The colors and detail in this are beautiful. living in the desert, I find myself staring at rocks and mountains often and their beauty, and you look well on your way to capturing their beauty in your part of the world!

Jeanette said...

Rocks are quite interesting to paint, so many colours and textures. Yes, I need to buckle down and really get organized this year Jennifer.

I'm in the same boat Robin. I really need to have some structure around my inventory, sales and exhibition. I'd be interested to know how Bento works out for you.

Yes I saw the previous reviews that Alyson Stanfield had. Perhaps I will get in touch and see if there's anything new.

Rachel, such worlds apart between desert and the ocean, but similarities too I'm sure. Rocks are endless fascinating, if not time consuming, to create.

Yelena Shabrova said...

It comes along beautifully, Jeanette. Rocks are such fascinating subjects to paint and draw!

Can't be of much help with the software. I had trial runs with everything on your list except Flick! and ended up building my own system in Microsoft Access. While asking for opinions if useful indeed, you may find that installing trials gives a better feel if a particular software is right FOR YOU and the way YOU run your art business. I ran into limitations with each of them, hence a custom solution. Good luck on your search!

Jeanette said...

Thanks Yelena. Yes, its likely best to do hands on with the programs to see how they work. Lucky you to be able to create your own solution!