Monthly Archives: February 2022

Stock Keeping Units (SKU)

Extract from my SKU register

I used to sign and date my paintings and keep a photographic record of the image but, other than such a simple action, I kept no other details. My first sale, an oil painting, was decades ago but I never felt the need to keep formal records until 2019.

I had an Etsy store that I maintained until the end of 2019 but closed it down as a result of moving to Brazil at the start of the pandemic – exporting items from Brazil has attendant bureaucracy so I now have a separate Etsy store aimed only at the Brazilian market.

In support of the Etsy store I used to record items using SKUs. It then occurred to me that I should apply such a record to keep track of my paintings. I began this October 2019.

What is an SKU

A Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) is merely a record-keeping system that can be applied to any inventory eg household goods, car fleets etc. I have two: one for non-painting items sold on Etsy and the second for my paintings and fine-art photographs.

I keep the record digitally using One Note (free software from Microsoft) as I use One Note for other uses, including my agenda, on a daily basis. I can also access or update One Note from any device and even while travelling.

The key elements of my register are:

  • SKU reference number *
  • Title of the artwork
  • Date of completion

* My SKU format is ASG-00001, where ASG refers to my painting / photography (Alan Skyrme Gallery) and the number run from 1 to (theoretically!) 99,999.

In addition I also record a series of details that buyers may like to have:

  • Medium
  • Support
  • Size

Finally I keep information that I like to track

  • Sale price
  • Reference number of the photograph of the artwork
  • Support pictures
  • If prints are available (I have a few paintings that are for sale as prints, or only as prints)
  • Sales channel ie Etsy, Saatchi or direct / commisioned
  • Social media posting
  • Status (sold, reserved etc)

Regarding One Note

I am not sponsored by anyone, but just love this software. I used it years ago when I ran a consulting unit with small teams around the world dealing with operations in dozens of countries. it was possible to have several team members work on a report concurrently. Ideal.

Since then I have used it for my own personal projects, maintaining a diary, keeping notes, tracking my paintings and other items for sale, household inventory, planning trips etc

I have run courses on using One Note so if anyone has a question about the software I should be able to answer it.


January Update

Wrinkled Hornbill (Rhabdotorrhinus corrugatus)

A busy month that has flown by.

My register of completed work indicates that I produced 48 paintings during the month, though that level of productivity is due mainly to a focus of lots of small bird head portraits. I tend not to worry about the number of paintings I produce, my main objective is to enjoy the art.

Two of my paintings in January were of birds created in acrylics using a palette knife on 30 cm x 40 cm canvas, the others were painted in watercolour, though 6 of these incorporated the use of Indian ink.

All but 8 of the 46 watercolours were, like the Hornbill above, approximately A6 in size (15 cm x 10.5 cm or 15 cm x 12 cm). As ever, the majority of subjects were birds or bird heads though I did a few landscapes and florals.

Campo Flicker (Colaptes campestris)
Great Blue Heron

The Shootstock website is still being updated as I held off to ensure the January paintings were all incorporated.

Paintings will, shortly, be uploaded for sale on Saatchi or my Pipra Rosa Etsy store.

Thanks for following. Check me out on Instagram – I post daily.