How Big Is Your Stack? It’s A Double Challenge to Get It Right.

Asking how big is your stack is not a personal question.

So, don’t take me wrong. You have stacks. I have stacks. We all have stacks.

We all have all kinds of stacks.

In this post, we’re talking about stacks of inventory and stacks of income. I ask the question about the size of your stacks because you must have them on an even keel to grasp and maintain success. By that, I mean having stacks in a balance rather than working to build one as large as possible.

Now is the right time to start thinking about where you’re at with these crucial parts of your business. The most efficient way to operate is to keep them in balance. It is sometimes a tricky challenge to achieve a balance of inventory and income.

Focus and Execute on These Things for Ultimate Success

Like all business owners, you need many things working right to attain the success you desire. As a visual artist, these things need constant attention. Your business livelihood depends on you creating a steady supply of:

Live Your Best Artist's LIfe
Live Your Best Artist’s LIfe
  • Art that appeals to your buyers
  • Regular exposure to potential buyers who like your art
  • Cash flow to make your business profitable

If the stream on any of the above items is at a trickle, you have a problem. You are out of balance. The most typical problematic situation looks like this:

Not enough income - how big is your stack

Too much inventory and not enough income is stressful both emotionally and financially.

Answer yes to these questions, and you are well on your way to success

  1. Is your marketing working so you show your art to qualified buyers on a regular basis?
  2. Does the art you are marketing have commercial appeal to your target audience?

Balance Is Critical… in everything you do!

Your art, your life, your finances, your relationships, even your ability to stand on two feet require balance.

When you dial in making the right art and finding enough buyers, so they are both contributing to the health of your art business; you get a chart that looks like this one:

The Guide to Art-related Careers
Learn about art-related Careers.

Balanced income vs. inventory

Just as with excess inventory you can have out-of-balance issues with too much income.

It’s easy to understand why some artists might think having a chart of their business like the one below is a good thing. We all want money, and most of us can use to have more than we have:
Not enough inventory - how big is your stack

There is a problem from having too much income without enough inventory.

Without enough art, it becomes increasingly harder to satisfy your buyers, collectors, and galleries. If your inventory is insufficient, it is nearly impossible to maintain a constant flow of sales. The ideal to strive for is to get and keep a balance of stock and income.

Want to know what is the glue that makes all this work?

It’s simple. The glue is buyers. Without them, your inventory stack grows, and your income stack dwindles. In the three things mentioned above that every artist needs to succeed, buyers are the middle item. That’s not random. Buyers hold your art business together. They make it grow, or without them make it fail.

Making Art, Exploring and Finding Outlets for Your Creativity Is Essential

I would never discount the importance of the art because it is the essence of your business. Without it, without your creative energy and vision, you could be selling widgets. That you are creating a business around something that comes from your vision, imagination and ambition are what makes the art business so alluring. I get that.

I also get that if you want to gain the recognition you deserve and to enjoy the financial rewards that are possible from making alluring art that you need a business model worthy of your art. That’s where I come in. My business model is helping artists succeed in the business of art.


The Guide to Art-related Careers
Learn about art-related Careers.
The Guide to Art-related Careers
Learn about art-related Careers.


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  1. Thank you Barney ! Sure it is important for the artist to do balance between his stack (inventory ) and his income .
    If the artist can not go out to find gallery or buyer or a collector , what can he do to sell his art works ?

    1. Hi Laila, that is a good question. The answer is the artist has to find a way to get her art sold or distributed. You do not need to go physically. You can use email, blogs, websites, social media, the phone, and postal mail to gain notice for your work. Another option, but it’s rare because so few are around, is to have an artist’s rep show your work for you.

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