Want to hear a confession? I used to keep my inventory of paintings and sales on Post-It Notes. Yep, I admit it. When I started this "system" Excel was about the only platform in use and I couldn't stand Excel, so color-coded Post-It notes in a folder was my system. You can only imagine how well that worked. But today we have lots of options available. I got wise and became a professional (actually it's easier than the color coded Post-It notes)! No matter whether you are currently using an inventory system or aren't at a stage in your career to spend money on an inventory system , there is one SIMPLE and FREE option (up to 2 GB) that you should consider and not just as a way to track inventory. DROPBOX!
This is a great way to get started if you have no system or worse, my Post-It note system in place. It's also the best way to have your images all in one place with all relevant information. Don't be intimated. It's as easy as attaching an image for an email.
Dropbox can serve as an inventory platform as well as a way to share images with your gallery(s), interior designers, etc. Instead of attaching huge files to an email or just sending them to your website, you can customize a set of images for a targeted audience and send them a link to view. So professional.
Once you've built it (which takes no time) it will be so easy and efficient!!!
Here's the 15 Minute Challenge
Sign up for Dropbox. Pick 5 images of paintings that you have created (include at least one that was sold, donated, gifted or destroyed) and follow these steps:
- Add folders (i.e. 2016 paintings, collectors, etc.) to Dropbox
- Upload images to the correct Dropbox folder. SIDE NOTE - Name your painting images (from your computer) in this manner... TitleSizeMediumSupportYearcreated - EXAMPLE:Yellow12x24OilLinen2016. *If you don't know how to name your images on your computer, click here.
- Take a sold, donated,gifted or destroyed painting and rename the image in the Dropbox folder by right clicking on the image. You will see a drop down box. HIT rename. Then simply type in the changes. Example: Yellow12x24OilLinen2016Sold.
- Create a simple word document to list your collector information: List the name of the collector(s). If it is a gallery sale and no collector name is available, list the gallery. Include the title of painting purchased, price and date of purchase.
- Save this form to your Collectors' folder in Dropbox. You can then add your collectors' emails to your MailChimp or other email marketing services at your convenience.
- Drop your price list into a Dropbox folder for easy access.
- Add the Dropbox app to your phone and/or tablet. That way your images are always with you.
You're done! See how easy this can be. Everything at your fingertips in one place. No more searching to find the image, to track down the size, medium and location (is it available, destroyed or sold). All that is left is to start adding more paintings as you create and sell them.
While this isn't the long term answer for inventory management, it gets you started and will carry you through your career as your "GO TO" place to find all your images and information.
NOTE: If you are represented by galleries and need a way to keep track of what painting is where, create folders for each gallery including one for your studio. Then as you send or receive work to and from your galleries, just place a copy of the image in the designated folder and you know the exact location of any painting. I do suggest, however, if you are represented by galleries that it might be time to invest in an inventory tracking system but Dropbox can bridge that gap.
If you have any issues that you are trying to tackle, drop me an email and let me know. If I use your suggestion for one of my 15 Minute Challenges, you will receive a 30 minute free phone call consultation with me.
Check our monthly Art Muse Contest. Great cash prizes, opportunities for gallery representation and exhibition plus other cool prizes.