Colourful Contemporary Art

I am a professional artist and art teacher.
I paint the tenacious bits of wild that defy human activity in a manner inspired by
my fascination with fossils and designed to make the viewer look deeper.
Studio visits by luck or by appointment are welcome.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Paperwork Blues

Like many creative sorts, I don't love paperwork.
I've learned though that a bit of organization can go a long way toward alleviating the blues.   In 2008 when the world of the working stiff and I parted ways rather abruptly, I decided that I'd never again work for someone else.  I floundered around for a bit, and then I took the self employment training offered by Employment Services.
This was one of the best things I've ever done for my self and my art, even though I was given an extremely hard time by the guardians of the gate ( artists are not seen by this government program to be in a viable business) I graduated so to speak, and have never looked back.
The program was focused on helping you define what it is you as a business want to accomplish, and how to get there, and THAT takes us to paperwork.
I'll be the first to admit that although I'm not that tidy, witness: my studio. I am very organized,
artists studio, Robin Baratta, Belmont Ontario Canada
which helps.  I take Friday mornings as my administrative time. I have different tasks on a list, that I work through. Website maintenance, marketing aka facebook, blog, newsletter, and mailings, invoicing, sorting, recording and filing are all on it, and I make sure I get to each at lest once a month.
When you break the administrative stuff that has to happen down into manageable jobs, and set aside a specific time on a regular basis, it's amazing how much easier it all becomes.  

For sorting and filing, I keep all of the business related receipts of each type in a large envelope with a sheet of lined paper stapled to the front, as I put the receipts into the appropriate envelopes I record, date, place of purchase, item, hst and total. If I do this once a month it takes very little time, and makes putting my business taxes together for the accountant a breeze.
I do this for the various utilities, vehicle expenses and fuel, art supplies, teaching supplies, office supplies-think printer paper and ink, membership fees, show fees and expenses etc.  Talk to an accountant or bookkeeper for a list of what to record.
In case you're asking your self why on earth you'd want to bother? Let me say, even if you don't file as a business keep your receipts and a good record. If all this is this a hobby that you spend more than you make on, you may never have to worry about any of this. If however Rev Canada ever comes calling, and they've called on a few artists I know, the onus is on you to prove that you didn't make money, and if you have a good year, and actually do make money, you need to be able to prove how much, because Rev Can, has a habit of assuming everyone is a bad guy, and will assess you at what they think you might have made, and believe me, they think we make lots of money....
An artist I knew even had his estate reassessed, and his heirs were hit with a huge bill, so please, take an hour or two on a regular basis, do some paperwork (bleck)  and protect yourself.

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