Saturday, November 8, 2008

Artwork database software

Today I've been scouring the Internet for an accounting program geared towards artists and their artwork. A while back I checked out QuickBooks and Microsoft Money. Microsoft is now offering their Accounting 2008 Express Edition, but it doesn't do inventory. Microsoft Money Plus Home & Business appears to offer inventory tracking and customers. Same goes for QuickBooks unless you buy their Pro edition.

I could build my own database with Access or find some Excel spreadsheet template as I had started to do months ago, but it appears there are some refined database programs out there for artists to consider first.

Art & Craft Business Organizer
Art Affair
Artlook for Artists
Data Tracker for Crafts
Artist's Butler

I've examined pretty much all of these above and while the Flick! interface is sleek, I'm finding that WorkingArtist 3.0 and Art Affair offer the richest features. Unfortunately they both feel like an old Windows 95 application.

In paticular I'm wanting to track not only my art and various editions, but also other products and supplies such as the frames I use to present my ceramic tiles. I'm not so concerned about getting every magnet, glass tile, canvas roll, and glue dispenser in there but I'd like some amount of breakdown to figure my costs and profits.

I think I'll give one or two of these a go and report back but would love to hear from others. I'm gearing up to sell my framed ceramic tiles and images on canvas under a new domain and business named Rose City Artworks at The name and domain are secured, but the business plan and other components are still under construction. My goal is to get into local shops and elsewhere through buyer and artist reps with the tiles and continue with smaller runs of the canvas art.

Again, your thoughts and experience are appreciated if have other database applications to consider. Once I get familiar with some of the fields and table relationships in these artist-specific database apps I'll consider building something or configuring Quickbooks or Money, but I'd much rather be shooting photos and creating art!

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