June 13, 2007

Consignment Data

Catching up with Paul Dorrell's blog this morning and see that he and I are thinking alike with his advice on preparing consignment sheets for works being left at galleries. One of the first things I did with my first Windows 3.1 computer (a short lifetime ago) was learn how to keep inventory info on MS Works Database. Through much trial and error (story of my life) I converted several ledger books of earlier inventory to appropriately named columns and fields and learned how to sort it a dozen different ways. From that, I can extract certain works and print out records and consignment sheets. It also gives me a record of each gallery, what they've sold and when, plus track a certain piece through various galleries, important because I like to shuffle them around to keep inventory fresh... wouldn't want to mistakenly return an unsold piece a year or so later... how embarrassing!

I added a comment to his blog post, noting similarities and differences (comment #3.) I might add that although I have this massive database that continues to serve me well, I'm sure there are newer programs which would do a better job... and include a photo of the work for easier reference. But the thought of dealing with the logistics of such a move is mind boggling! I do keep inventory image files (high resolution .tifs) in folders by year, so if I check the database, the inventory number tells me what year the painting was created and the folder the image is in. The inv numbers are simple: 2007-47-A/C ... the last letters indicate the medium as in: acrylic on canvas, or whatever.

Apparently there are quite a number of artists who are not keeping good records of their work, or at least are not presenting a properly prepared info sheet of works they bring in. This is what I'm told when my galleries thank me for being prepared with the details they need to have. It's good to have my own records rather than depend on whatever a gallery decides to use in the way of receipt... which might even be overlooked; it happens! I use a three-hole punch for all gallery papers, each with it's own three ring binder. Email correspondence is kept in gallery folders on computer. I can trace my work back through the years to the beginning of time. Granted, there are a few voids and some images are still waiting for slides to be converted to digital.

Entertaining thoughts of switching to a Mac with the next computer upgrade... does anyone know if I'm going to be able to transfer this data to their system? That would certainly be a game stopper if not.

Above photo appeared in a local decorator mag a few years back... rather overdressed, don't you think?


CMC said...

I keep my inv in Access.(overkill) but I wanted to include images. You know how long that lasted when I got busy :>/
Anyway...knowing nothing about Mac's, I figure that you would have to look up what format the Mac database you choose needs to import and then export the existing database in a suitable format.
That's what I had to do when I went from Works to Access a long time ago. You'd think MS would have made it easier since they made both programs.

John said...

Trying it trasfer Any MS data (Access etc) to MAC can be a nightmare and may not work at all. Stick with PC

MMComstock said...

All Macs now will run MS stuff under Windows XP. Like my ol' man, however, you're likely to find yourself seldom bothering to boot up that side.

Transferring stuff from a Windows computer to Mac OS (or from one Windows computer to another Windows machine) isn't great fun, but once you get there (and you can), and get settled on Mac, you won't have to worry again. Should you later upgrade to a newer Mac, you just connect one to the other and let 'em rip. Everything transfers without effort.

The nightmare John notes is a PC thing.

Key: all Macs now have capacity to run Windows in addition to Mac OS; so your ability to transfer anything will be the same as if you were to transferring it to a new Windows machine.

Have fun, Karen.


CMC said...

yeah...but Margot, wouldn't you have to then re-purchase all the windows software? Who wants to do that? I'm ticked off at MS right now due to the fact that they decided not to update my Office 2003 anymore (after 3 years of it being okay)...saying my key is no longer acceptable to them.

KJ said...

Hey, Margot... was hoping I might catch you in my net ;-) So far I'm just looking into the future, to the time when decisions will have to be made. Wish I'd made the move last time I updated but the unknown can be frightening, even when everyone says "Come on in!" Nice to know you're there for my personal support team... and nice to know that my data can move with me. Thanks!

KJ said...

Cheryl, I never upgraded to MS Office so haven't tried the upscale aps offered there. Just doing very basic stuff, keeping it as simple as possible. KJ

Christina said...

Karen, anyone, do you know -- is there a difference between MS Works Database and Word Excell?

KJ said...

Best guess from here is that Excel comes with MS Office and Word is just an entry level freebee that comes with cheap computers. And that would be my set-up. Bet Cheryl and Margot would know.