• Brian Sholis

Why tracking your artwork matters

No one dreams of becoming an artist because they want to manage a small business. But keeping track of artwork details, production expenses, consignments, and sales not only gives you cover when confusion arises—it also helps you take advantage of unexpected opportunities.

First, the confusion: do you know whether your consignments have expired? Or whether you’ve been paid for all of your artworks your dealers have sold? Or if you’ve previously used a title that you want to give a new work? With Valise, you can answer questions like these instantly.

Second, the opportunity: have you ever run into a curator or dealer on the street and been unable to easily follow up with images and information about your work? Has your dealer ever called to say, “A client is asking for a work like this one, but about half the size. Are any available in the studio?” With Valise, it’s easy to turn chance encounters and unexpected queries into new relationships or sales.

Too many artists get overwhelmed and ignore this work, or outsource it to galleries or others. The danger in ignoring it is that you fall behind and important things—knowing where your work is, keeping track of your finances—become painful. That makes it more likely you’ll fall even farther behind. And no matter how good your business partnerships are, something unexpected might happen. In a long career, it’s almost inevitable that something unfortunate will happen.

There’s no substitute for having a clean and complete copy of your records. Valise makes it easy to stay on top of the important details and saves you time spent fussing with obsolete databases or searching desperately through old files.