Sometimes it is easy to forget you are a business, especially if you aren't showing up at 9 am everyday to unlock the doors and usher customers in. Recently a friend who had shown my work in her space, confessed she had "borrowed" one of the paintings from the show and hung it in her powder room home for an event. It wasn't a room that was used frequently and until a guest had mentioned that they liked the painting, that she remembered it was there. The funny thing was, I didn't remember it was there either. In fact, I would have never known it was missing from my collection had she not mentioned it.
When we enter into business, we need to take it seriously. I realized I had never put together an inventory list, or kept good records about my work for any of the shows I had participated in. It made me think about my role as an entrepreneur. This particular incident wasn't a big deal, and of course this was a friend, someone I could trust, but over time, we forget things. Had this been a gallery, where pieces often get stored in the back amongst many, many pieces of art and possibly long forgotten, I could have easily lost a piece of art, which in the end translates into money to me.
The confession made me take a hard look at myself and as an artist, ask myself if this was just a hobby or a business, and if it was a business, I needed to start acting like one. I think we can all take a look at whether we are taking our business seriously, and make sure we have proper systems in place for protecting our assets and keeping track of inventory and other things that are important.