Wednesday, December 5, 2007

More on Business Software for Artists

Since my posting of a couple of days ago on business applications for artists, I've started getting contacts from some of the mentioned companies inviting me to review their software. I've already noted that there are no web reviews I have been able to find, and I can imagine it is probably difficult for these niche developers to get independent evaluations. I'm kind of psyched to do some reviews; with few exceptions most of these art management applications have trial versions, and I can imagine people are looking for advice in this area.

Hopefully I'm not getting in way over my head with this. From a technical standpoint, I have a lot of career experience that would help me judge whether each is a well considered, well implemented piece of software. From an art professional standpoint, I unfortunately have limited experience with the business processes of marketing art-- I'm a fairly smart guy, so hopefully I can bridge this gap with some good sense. Another limitation of mine is, having spent a twenty year span working in Information Technology, I probably have a slightly higher than average tolerance for complexity and ugly interfaces. But I am also a "the glass is half empty" kind of guy, which should help compensate. Rest assured, if I see warts you'll know about them.

I'd like to get feedback from readers concerning the features they think are most important in a business application for artists. I find myself a bit torn about whether it is better to have advanced accounting, invoicing, and inventory management in the art management application, or if it is better to have a simpler application that focuses on cataloging art and managing client lists with a dedicated accounting application. A couple of these applications even incorporate calendars and goal setting tools, and I am curious to find out whether these really add value or are just gilding the lily. I hope to develop a features matrix and have some reviews by later this month.


Anonymous said...

Hello Nat,
I've just come across this blog in my search for accounting software for artists. My new Vista operating system is making it difficult for me this year as my old business software no longer works. I don't mind paperwork but take away the horrible numbers please!

Most artists are familiar with certain formats (Photoshop, Paint, GIMP) these icon based tool systems would be a good place to start. Artists are visual people and most appreciate not having to read a bunch of tags. To me the most important aspect is having an all-in-one like Quickbooks Premier so I can open it up and get all my paperwork out of the way in as short a time as possible. Icing on the cake would be design customization. So that my invoices, etc. reflect my art. Thanks for your time. I'll keep dreaming about it.