Artists: Working Special Jobs

September 15, 2010


As an artist I have had the opportunity to work some special contract jobs. Contract work is for a specific purpose and requires tracking your time and materials. One of these jobs was to produce a copy of a prototype for the purpose of shooting a commercial for t.v. That job had a very short timeline, (needed it yesterday). Prototypes are worth a LOT of money. They are the culmination of many dollars spent on research and development, the ultimate result, if you will. Anyway, that job was to create a replica of the xBox 360 wireless earpiece in time for the scheduled shoot. I had to track my hours, materials and cost of same for invoicing.
Most recently I was contracted to replicate a twin stone for a ring repair, again requiring time and materials tracking for invoicing. So this issue of time tracking can come up often even just for pricing your work. How do we do that? I know that as an artist I just want to be free to make the work but getting paid for your work is important, too.

So to this end I’ve been researching time tracking software and apps for mobility. I was pleasantly surprised at the array of stuff available for both the iPhone/iPod and computer. There are monthly subscriber services, stand alone software, apps and a variety of features that include exporting info in HTML, Quickbooks, Quicken or Excel formats, invoicing, email invoicing to customers and more. Online services include Freshbooks with a free companion app, Minibooks and Harvest as top choices with many layers of features. Top listed apps include Time Logger and Time Master.

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