Updated database software for artists

From an old post, I wanted to update the list of software below was designed specifically for artists’ special needs. Unfortunately, I can’t recommend one of these over the others. (Maybe you can!) Artists seem to be all over the map as to their preferences. However, I can tell you that not all are available for Macs, so Mac users will have fewer choices.

Art & Craft Business Organizer
Artist’s Butler

And I just received an email about GYST.

New June 2009: A recommendation for My Art Collection. The recommendation was for inventory. I can’t tell that My Art Collection has a great system for keeping track of contacts, but it might be worth exploring.

Many artists who use Macs have been very happy with Bento. It’s not just for artists, so it requires formatting.

You want software that can store all of your inventory as well as your buyers and network. Think about what else you need for it to do, like print mailing labels and export data and . . .

Amazingly, most of these are unattractive. I don’t know who they thought they were making them for, but they’re not visually appealing. I have used FileMaker since my early days in the museum. You can make it look however you like, but it requires a lot of setting up whereas the others come ready to use.

Related post: Things to look for in artist software

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7 comments to Updated database software for artists

  • Hi Lisa, Are we allowed to ask an art related question? I looked but didn’t see a specific place for that. thanks, paula

  • I’ve used ArtWorks for about 8 months now, and it suits my purposes despite being designed more for galleries. I print out the reports and use them as inventory sheets at shows, which makes it easy to track what’s sold. I also like the ability to enter customer information into the system once a piece is sold, and the ability to arrange pieces based on my own filters–2007 clocks; Ancestress series shadow boxes, etc. I chose ArtWorks because of its relatively low cost, and have been satisfied with its performance for my business.

  • Michelle: Thank you for sharing your experience. Paula: Lisa who? If you have a question that you would like addressed on the blog, please see my policy: http://www.artbizcoach.com/consulting/personalpolicy.html

  • Does anyone have a system that includes a mailing list plus an email list that can send out group emails? I got a mailing list (it’s called personal mailing list) that has emails included in the listings, but the only way to send an email on the system is to one person at a time. How frustrating! Christine http://passionforpainting.blogspot.com

  • We have solved the platform problem by creating the world’s first web-based system for artist records management. No database lock-in either…you can download any of your data to excel (for labels, lists, mailings) by pushing a button. Features include automated Certificate of Authenticity printing and numbering and the ability to track both originals and limited editions. Consignments and transactions are both recorded by Gallery, Patron, Artist, and Edition.

    We want feedback from artists to improve our service.artist-patron.com – records management for artists is the website.

    Thank you for this most useful discussion.

    David McNab.

  • […] “FileMaker Light” and requires formatting, but I’m told it’s quite user-friendly. There are other options, but I narrowed down your choices based on what I’m hearing in the […]

  • I’d like to recommend GYST too – it’s based on File Maker, but the big plus is that it comes packed with tremendous resources for artists, broken down into areas like Legal, Business, Studio Stuff, Time Management, Exhibitions . . . very extensive and useful info. I took the GYST class here in LA, and would also highly recommend that as well. Outstanding. I purchased Bento, but have switched to GYST. Available at GYST-Ink.com