Resolve to Cover your A’s: Art, Assets and Archives
January, 2016 | Tip of the Month
It’s January. You have likely made great resolutions to advance your art career in 2017, but here’s one resolution every artist can quickly check off the to-do list in less than an hour!
Resolve to visually record your art business inventory. Let’s get started!
“I would recommend to any artist to do a yearly inventory of tools and materials. The time you will save and peace of mind earned will be well worth it,” says New Jersey wood carver Jode Hillman regarding his insurance claim after a 2013 woodshop fire.
- Take pictures or shoot a video of your business property and its contents. Include every angle of your studio, inside and out. Don’t forget any nooks, crannies, and inside closets and drawers.
- Narrate the video as you film, if you like. If photographing, include the make and model of any major tools in the photo saved file names.
- Transfer the resulting video or image files to your computer and organize, then upload them to “cloud” storage (or directly from your cell phone if that is your image recording device). Services such as box.com, Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud and OneDrive offer free storage as well as paid accounts..
- Recording more detailed information about your art business assets is a good idea. Once you have created and safely stored the visual record, consider creating a list of the items along with their purchase date and value. As a computer spreadsheet, this too can be stored in the cloud with the image files.
There! You now have a safe record of most of your business assets. Congratulations! Do this every year at the beginning of the year. and if you make improvements to your studio or invest in new tools during the year, add images of those to your cloud stash as you go.
Now that you have a digital record of your “assets”, here are some next steps to continue your preparedness efforts.
- If you don’t have business insurance, use the resources at CERF+’s Studio Protector to help you get business insurance. It is unlikely that your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance will cover your business assets. Basic liability and property coverage is affordable for most artists
- Do an annual review of your business insurance if you already have coverage
- View our studio inventory section for more ideas on creating and keeping records
- Create and maintain a more detailed inventory of tools and equipment and create an inventory system for your artwork
- Identify and secure safe storage for (and duplicates of) career and business related documents
- Download free inventory spreadsheet templates from CERF+
- Take steps to reduce the risk of fire destroying your studio
- Disasters can happen. Be prepared in case one comes close to home
- Create a disaster preparedness kit