Being an Organized Artist
This article is to bring you the behind the scenes of an artist that sees her career in a whole other level.
In the 7 years that I have been doing this professionally, I am still learning about the business side every day. One of the biggest challenges and the most important for success is being organized. I have many binders and note books where I classify different important information.
If you can start this right from the beginning it will save you hours of sorting through papers and it will allow you to know where a specific contact number is when you need it!
Here are all the different aspects of my artist’s life that I classify and keep thoroughly organized. I feel this list could really help other artists but also any other person starting a small business.
– Emails: This is the most important. Every time someone emails me in regards to my art, give me their business card, when I work with someone on a project, etc.. I enter their email in my database. I also organize them in subcategories: by countries/continents, artists that work in the same theme, partners (corporate businesses, marketers, advertising& communication people, relevant associations-this is in case I want to organize an event one day, these people would be part of the team building)
– Galleries: When I travel I always walk into galleries, exchange a few words with the curator and if I feel my art could be of interest I keep their card. Also when I find online artists that I like, I write down which galleries they have showcased their art in.
– Events: When I see festivals, events or conferences that are related to the themes that interest me, I write them down. This is what I call “building my family” in the world. That way I know who does what in my field.
– Media: I have hundreds of names of magazines, from small local ones to large printed publications that talk about themes that are in my line of interest. I regularly submit my artwork to their editors offering that they use any of my images to illustrate their articles or that they write an article on my art and life journey.
– TV Shows and Art Directors: Again when I see something touching, interesting, intelligent, I write them down. I feel that maybe one day it will be appropriate to submit my work to these venues.
– Blog and Facebook: Sometimes an idea for a post or blog entry comes across my mind when I am painting or doing other things. Instead of jumping on the computer -which can become a major distraction- I write down my ideas on a specific note book.
– Notebook: I have a note book where I keep track of important phone calls and any other important information that I come across, planning, ideas, printer quotes, references, store and gallery research, etc…. I travel everywhere with this book so instead of having pieces of papers flying around that are bound to be lost, all I need is to turn the pages of the notebook to find everything.
– The last thing I organize is my sketches. I always thought it would be great to have a sketch book that I carry everywhere so that I could see the evolution of all my ideas, but the reality is that my ideas always end up at the back of an envelope, a restaurant napkin or the side of a brochure. I find it actually fun to see the history of where my images came into my mind. So I have two binders: one with the sketches of paintings that are now done, and one with sketches that still need to be born on a canvas.
To finish, I would like to say that it is also good to keep computer files organized and cleaned up regularly… but I would be a hypocrite if I did… I really need to spend an afternoon sorting through many CV’s, artist statements, applications and image files! Oh well, I guess I needed to write this article to remind myself that I still have work to do before I become that perfect organized artist!
You might also want to read this article on Renee Phillips’ Artrepreneur blog with tips from artists on the same “How to be organized” subject http://reneephillips.blogspot.ca/2013/04/artists-share-tips-to-save-time-money.html
And to see more about my artwork visit: www.artbygaia.com