Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Taking inventory

I want to tout the wonder that is Flick!, an inventory software designed especially for artists.

Even though I am a super-organized person, for most of the 13 years I have been painting professionally, my artwork record-keeping has been sloppy. My studio storage shelves and flat shelves for works on paper were like black holes; lots of stuff was in there, and I never knew exactly what. I kept meaning to address the pressing problem of what was where, which became readily apparent whenever I received inquiries about my artwork. But I was so excited about the act of painting that I just kept making work and stuffing it into any available nook or cranny once I was finished.

Finally I decided to try and get it together. Having spent years as a secretary at MIT, I prided myself on my ability to create tables in Microsoft Word. So I tried setting up a series of tables and typing in all the pertinent information about each work of art I had on hand. But it was difficult to make each little section the right size for the varying types of information I needed to keep track of -- titles, sizes, prices, etc. Plus I kept thinking of new and necessary categories after each table was finished, so I'd have to go back and make painstaking alterations. Also it took so long to import images, since the software wasn't really made for that purpose, that I soon gave up.

Luckily, the wise and generous painter Rebecca Crowell came to my rescue. Rebecca told me that she had had good luck with a software designed especially for artists to keep track of their inventory, so I went to their website and clicked around a bit. It seemed easy to use, and since it only cost $30 to buy, I went ahead and made the purchase.

I'm so glad I did! Since this software was created with artists in mind, there are handy fields for all the unusual information that only artists need, from varying dimensions to provenance to calculations for the artist's take minus the gallery's percentage. What has really worked for me is that I can create and print out inventory reports that group the work by size and include a photo of each piece (images can be quickly and easily uploaded). So when the phone rings and someone is asking about a particular piece or series, I can quickly and accurately look up exactly what I have and give complete information about it. And whenever a new series is finished, it only takes a few minutes to update my records.

I highly recommend Flick! Here is their website.


Lynette Haggard said...

Catherine, thanks for this! I had previously downloaded the trial version and forgot about it, so will make an effort to try it again.

Catherine Carter said...

Lynette, I found it really helpful, and affordable at $30.