Studio Organization and Business Advice

In the October 2011 issue of The Artist’s Magazine, Stacie Seuberling’s serene pastel paintings are featured. Learn how Seuberling organizes her studio and how she plans the business aspects of her career in this bonus article.

Last Light (pastel, 18x24) by Stacie Seuberling

Studio Organization and Business Advice

by Stacie Seuberling

My birthday comes at the beginning of the fourth quarter of the year, so for me it’s the start of my new year—a good time to reflect on the year just past, and set goals for the upcoming year. It’s important to be organized and in control of the business side of being an artist. Try taking the fourth quarter to assess the current year and set new goals for the new year. Consider the following items and create a check list to use.

Create a budget and consider supplies, studio rent and utilities, travel, insurance, show fees, framing costs and membership dues. Review your finances for this year to help make estimates for next year. This also gives you a head start on taxes.

Create a system to track your work, photograph each piece and note size, title, medium, price and location of each piece. Make sure you update this whenever you sell or change the location of a piece. If you have too much inventory, now is the time to consider a holiday sale. Too little inventory? Think about how to increase your output.

Create a website, or at least consider it a goal, if you don’t have one. In today’s art world it’s a must-have. Review and update your print material, business cards, bio and statement. Try printing an image on card stock and on the back include your contact information or upcoming events or exhibitions. Think about the competitions you may want to enter in the next year (check out The Artist’s Magazine for upcoming competitions). If you’re represented by a gallery, assess how this has been in the past year. Do you need to look for a new one? If you don’t have your work in a gallery, research other galleries to find a match for your work and what they expect for a presentation.

Consider taking a class or workshop. Begin your own independent study or research of an artist you admire. Try working in a new and different medium.

Clean and organize your studio or wherever you work and keep your supplies. Create a system to keep track of supplies you like by brand and where you purchased them. Replenish what you need.

You just put a lot of information together—now would be a good time to write down some goals for the next year. You’ll be amazed that just by creating this list of goals, you’re halfway to reaching them.


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