Just looking into mycake.com, an online book-keeping tool recommended by Binita Walia @Tspaceinbetween (of Myideasbook)


Online book-keeping and benchmarking. Costs £149.99 + VAT = £179.99 per year

Cheaper than an accountant… but still more than I have to spare at the moment. The webiste uses Kashflow software, so I might try a free 60 day trial of that first: http://www.kashflow.com/landing/indexb.asp although the first two months with mycake are free to help with cashflow, which is thoughtful. It is set up for teeny creative businesses, so I guess they would have thought of that!

Interestingly, they say they show you how you are comparing to others in the sector (anonymously of course!), I am also attracted by things being backed up and reminders for overdue invoices.

I have always done my own tax return/accounts before with basic excel spreadsheets, but am finding that my income & expenditure are becoming incresingly complicated. Add to this a year or more of being completely absorbed in a heavy works load and I am a bit of a mess in my paper-life.

Think it might be time to look at getting some help!

Anyone have any other recommendations for how they cope with accounting?

Also via Binita, a free e book: The 5 big mistakes creative people make with money: http://lateralaction.com/moneymistakes/

The 5 mistakes being these:

1. Burying your head in the sand

2. Doing the bare minimum at the last minute

3. Not charging enough

4. Working with crap clients

5. Letting expenses get out of hand.

Hmm, I seem to be guily of 3/5 of those!


Well, the exhibition is up and I think it went ok…. I am in the obligatory black hole at the moment, feeling a bit dazed and empty and also like I’ll never have any ideas ever again. That’s not strictly true as I have already found myself reaching for a notebook whilst trying to get to sleep.

But generally I am pleased, especially with the catalogue. The book was part of the exhibition budget as it cost far too much to print for YSP to actually make any money from selling it. This is something that forms a vital part of career development: providing me with a document that can be used as a legacy of the exhibition and to support future applications.I think it costs around £3,500 to print the edition and personally I would rather have this spent on a book than wages, especially when I consider how much work and expertise went into laying it out etc. It sells for £5.

Thanks to Rachel Howfield for coming along to the opening, brilliant to meet someone in the flesh that I feel like I know fairly well just through Artist’s Talking.

(How embarrassing – just interrupted by water-meter man. His look of horror at the piles of boxes and cardboard in the front room did make me blush a little).

I also just wanted to add this link, a piece by Alistair Gentry on the excess of artists. This has come up before, especially in Hans Abbing’s ‘Why Artist’s are Poor’. It’s funny. I especially like suggestion #7:

Eliminate every situation in which an artist is expected to be an underpaid teacher, social worker, daycare nanny or some combination of the aforementioned. Eliminate the very idea that artists are meant to fulfil these roles.


In the section titled ‘First against the wall when the revolution comes’ various groups are mentioned, including artists:

[4] Artists. The ones who stab other artists in the back, the ones who work for nothing instead of demanding proper pay, the ones who care about nothing and nobody but themselves. Compliant artists who never complain no matter how badly they’re treated, because they’re scared of blotting their copy book. The liars and plagiarists.

I concur.

1 Comment

The Money Vacuum phenomenon.

I have just realised why artists are often out of pocket on projects (one reason among many).

When close to the opening of an exhibition something happens and we start to throw money at it. Extra fast postage, having something made because you’re out of time, getting things made/printed just in case, even though if you had time to really think, you’d know you didn’t need said things. etc etc.

Before you know it, you’ve spend a fortune because you want the thing to be right, or the best it can be.

I knew this already of course, but I think I’ll remember it next time. My behaviour will probably stay the same though.


Thanks to those people who got in touch about lost artwork and things. Interesting that no one did it publicly, but understandable, especially when some have not resolved the situations. That also applies if you want to work with that organisation again too I guess. A bit worryingly, seven people replied and not one had been reimbursed in full and five had not received anything or are still in dispute. Seems like a situation where artists hold none of the power.

Also, before I disappear into install next week, I wanted to put this invitation out into the ether, but especially for any bloggers who might live in Yorkshire and fancy popping in to the opening!

Yorkshire Sculpture Park


Private View Invitation

Private view
15.07.11 / 17.30–19.30 / Bothy Gallery

YSP warmly invites you to the private view of
Emily Speed: MAKE SHIFT

MAKE SHIFT is the first solo exhibition by Emily Speed, including new sculpture, installation, drawing and photography made in response to YSP’s built environment. Emily’s work explores the temporary and the transient through reference to architecture and the body. She examines buildings, both literally and metaphorically, as physical shelters and as containers for memory, bound with the history of their occupiers.
RSVP online or call 01924 830579

Emily Speed Study Day & Picnic
06.08.11 / 11.00–16.00 / £4 / Book online

Supported by Design Centre North

I think I am due a post about what it has been like working at YSP as I’ve never worked anywhere like it or had this amount of support before. The curator asked if I would mind writing a little bit about how it has benefitted me – to put the case forward for continuing to support smaller scale shows by emerging artists. Honestly, I could write an essay. If all big institutions did this for just one artist a year, I honestly think it would change the amount of mid-level opportunities massively.

But enough for now… I still have some more work to make!


Getting Screwed.

Apologies for my absence. Times are busy and my brain is feeling like a jumble sale.But, I wanted to flag this issue of galleries not handling work very well.

Unfortunately last year, a piece of my work disappeared while it was at CUBE Gallery. Luckily, we had filled out a condition form and they had no problem accepting blame. It did take some time (9 months), but I received around half the sale price from them as compensation, a compromise for both os us but the best solution. Despite their willingness to cooperate, this was a really stressful thing to have to deal with, especially asking for money. So what do you so if the gallery refuse to admit blame and won’t have any part in helping you out after they damage work?

A friend recenty posted an angry scribd post about such a situation – expensive prints getting damaged and the galleriest refusing to accept blame. Making things public is difficult too – it leaves you with a strained relationship (if you even want to work with that person again!).

Has anyone been in such a situation before, and how did you handle it? Did you have a happy outcome?