Keeping Records: The Stress and Mess

Episode 173 · April 10th, 2021 · 31 mins 39 secs

About this Episode

There probably are a lot of artists who are able to keep accurate, up to date records of their inventory, sales, expenses, materials, and contacts. They have systems that are efficient and neat, and any information they need about their art careers can be easily retrieved from a file. Then there are those who fail miserably at organization, and whose records--if they exist--are in total confusion. A question about the location of a certain painting, or the need to put together images of work for a presentation is cause for panic. Are you somewhere in between these extremes, or do you identify with one or the other? Today we take an honest look at the challenges of recordkeeping for artists.

Rebecca and Ross fully admit that their own record-keeping needs improvement and offer a few tips along with recognizing their downfalls. The first step is noting what is not working. Where the cracks appear is where data can, and probably will, fall through. This can include failing to note the details of sales or when a work of art is moved between galleries, not taking or filing photos for each piece of art, and allowing confusion in terms of titles or the fact that certain works have been purposefully destroyed or worked over.

Messy records create more and more issues as time goes on. Once an area of record-keeping has been neglected, it becomes harder to know where to start with bringing everything up to date, and the project of going back into old records to organize them correctly can seem enormous.

To approach your own record-keeping, recognize what does work for you and be open to new systems that may be easier to maintain that what you've been using. You can certainly have a satisfying and productive art career with a few holes in it, but if you can avoid this stress, it’s a good idea. We hope this episode will inspire those of you who have the need to organize—and those of you who are on top of it all to feel very good about that!

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