One of the many things you do not learn in art school are applicable, logical and practical ways to manage your art business - and there are SO many things to learn. Since much of what I know I have gleaned from other artists, (check out Maggie Stiefvater's blog to laugh and learn), I thought I would share some of my "boring non-art-making crap" that nonetheless, might be helpful to some of you.
Maybe since I had to buy, hunt and gather mass quantities of school supplies for a fourth grader last week, I had my own school supply fever (I'm sure I have OCD, though!) It has been on my To Do list for some time to sort, inventory and reorder colored pencils and now was the time. Fortunately, I had just been to the CPSA Convention and took a class from Linda Lucas Hardy, where I not only learned some great art-making techniques but I also learned some "product manangement" techniques as well.
First of all, I have squirreled away all of my pencil stubs since I started using colored pencils many, many years ago and had them stored in a large plastic container. But (trick from Linda), I decided to glue pieces together to make what I call a pencil "rehab"; and since new colored pencils run $1 or more, I'm sure I've saved myself quite a bit of money. I had tried using other glues before, but they never worked well, but Linda swears by Super Glue Loctite Gel, which I can also say, too, does work.
After working for several hours, here are my "new" pencils. And since I do draw and demo on location frequently, I was also able to put together a 96 piece travelling set (complete with those precious Deco colors!)
Linda's workshop, I purchased a palette guide - what a great tool! She has done a lot of work to help you compare and categorize your pencils and has included lots of other great tools as well. I highly recommend that, if you use Prismacolor colored pencils and a lot of them, you contact Linda to purchase this guide.
To organize all of my art business needs, I swear by notebooks. I use them for tracking my shows, competitions, finances, sales, inventory, and now my pencils. I put Linda's chart in plastic sleeves and use a fine dry erase marker to track brand new, working and rehabbed pencils. I'm sure this will help me get a handle on what I need and save me some money.
Let me know if you have a unique way of keeping track of your art supplies!