As a working artist, getting paid for your craft is crucial. If you're creating invoices in Microsoft Word, Excel, or on paper today, Skynova's invoice template will help speed up the process and take your business to the next level.

Skynova's professional template even allows you to edit, print, or download as a PDF directly on the page. You can send it to any email address online, no download necessary. And, as a bonus, you'll see when your client opens your invoice. All of this results in a speedier and smoother payment process — and more time to focus on your creative work. If you're an artist, check out the template we've made below just for your business:

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How to Create an Artist Invoice

Let's face it: Bookkeeping probably isn't your favorite aspect of being a professional artist. After all, few people pursue careers in the arts because they enjoy administrative chores.

Whether you are a freelancer or own a small business, you deserve prompt payment for your work, and it's essential to stay on top of what you're owed. Thankfully, with Skynova's free invoice template, you won't have to spend much time creating and sending invoices.

Simply follow the steps below to generate a professional artist's invoice that you can send to any client. By eliminating the hassle of invoicing, we'll let you get back to your creative passions.

  1. Add Names and Addresses for Your Business and Client

    Obviously, invoices should indicate the sender and recipient. If you conduct your artistic business under your name, enter it in the "Your Name" field accordingly. If you operate under a separate business name, put in there instead. Do the same for the client's name, ensuring that you're addressing the invoice to the right person or company.

    In the "Your address" and "Client address" fields, it may be helpful to add additional contact information below the street address. For example, providing a contact phone number and/or email address may facilitate future communication about the invoice if necessary. Before sending your invoice out, double-check that all the information you've included is up to date and typo-free.

  2. Enter an Invoice Number

    In managing billing for your work as an artist, you'll need a simple means to identify and track specific invoices over time. Creating a unique invoice number for each bill permits you to distinguish a given invoice easily from all others in your records.

    With our free invoice template, each new invoice you create will be given an automatic number, and our system automatically prevents any duplication problems.

    Early in their careers, some professional artists are wary of generating an invoice number that indicates their inexperience (such as "Invoice #001"). If this is the case, start at 501 or 1,001, instead — as long as you can keep track, the starting point won't matter.

  3. Determine and Enter Your Invoice and Due Dates

    To recoup payment within a reasonable time frame, you'll need to include a clear due date on your invoice. Sure, being assertive about payment deadlines can sometimes feel uncomfortable. But don't let the transactional nature of doing business dissuade you: As an artist, you are as deserving of timely payment as any other professional.

    In this spirit, it is important to communicate the payment terms and timeline before you get to work so that you and your client are in full agreement. For example, many artists request payment on a "Net 30" basis, meaning that payment is due 30 calendar days from the date of the invoice.

    You can adjust your payment time frame to reflect your needs and that of your clients, but make sure you're transparent about these expectations. Additionally, when entering your payment due date, make sure you've calculated accurately, avoiding late payments and other unwanted surprises.

    A note about the invoice date: Typically, you'll input the day that the invoice is created. If you finish a piece on a Saturday but don't create an invoice until Monday, it's common practice to use Monday as your invoice date. That's an incentive to send invoices promptly and a great reason to keep things quick with Skynova's invoice template.

  4. Enter the Cost of Your Supplies (if Applicable)

    In many cases, artists charge for the supplies and/or materials they use during a given project. If you plan to operate on these terms, communicate this to your clients in advance. When it comes to invoices, surprise line items are never welcome.

    Our invoice template allows you to identify and itemize as many supplies as you see fit. You can select the individual unit price (how much one item costs) and the quantity (how many you bought), and we'll automatically tally up the total expense.

    For professional artists who include the cost of supplies, it can be challenging to decide how specific to be. Will you charge for each paint or brush you purchase, itemizing them individually? For these small items, it might be better to include them as a group (e.g., "painting supplies").

    However, larger supply costs should probably be itemized specifically. For example, artisan blacksmiths might want to specifically indicate the cost of the various metals they use.

  5. Enter the Cost of Your Labor (if Applicable)

    Some artists work on an hourly rate, tying their compensation to reflect the actual labor each project demands. However, if you choose to charge in this manner, you'll need to be vigilant about tracking your hours accurately.

    At the end of each work period, note the number of hours performed. After completing a project, you can tally up the total amount and enter it in our invoice template. In the "Unit Price" field, enter the hourly rate you agreed to with your client. Under "Quantity," list the number of hours you put it. If you perform multiple types of work, you can also create separate lines for each project stage.

    Of course, some artists do not include supplies or hours on their invoice: Rather, they charge a flat rate for the artwork they produce. If you select this billing approach, your invoicing process is even simpler. Just select the "Product" category from the "Item" drop-down list, describe the artwork, and enter the unit price.

  6. Enter Any Discounts Provided to the Client

    One excellent way for artists to drum up new business is to offer appealing discounts to their target audience. For example, an artist might advertise a discount to followers on their social media channels or create a referral credit for clients who refer friends.

    Thankfully, our invoice template includes a handy way to incorporate these discounts with your other line items. Select the "Discount" category from the "Item" drop-down list, and then describe the discount in terms that the client will immediately recognize.

    From there, enter the amount of the discount under "Unit Price." The amount will appear as a negative number (e.g., "-50.00") and automatically be subtracted from your invoice total.

  7. Add a Note Describing Your Work and Provide Any Additional Information

    In some cases, the line items you've included on an invoice may require additional context or explanation. In other instances, you may want to remind your client of a billing-related agreement you reached previously. However you choose to use it, the "Notes" section of our invoice template is a helpful opportunity to address any potential points of confusion.

    Better yet, adding a note can inject some warmth into an otherwise dry billing document. Use the opportunity to express your appreciation for your client's business or describe some aspect of your creative process. This sort of personal touch will endear you to your clients (and maybe even encourage them to pay you a bit more promptly).

Invoicing Tips and Best Practices for Artists

Our artist invoice template can help you easily create a professional invoice, eliminating any need to create one for your clients from scratch. But to ensure fair and consistent payment for your art, you may need to do more than just send a document.

Below, we've compiled a few helpful suggestions for successful invoicing as a professional artist. These tips will help you navigate some of the trickier aspects of requesting payment, allowing you to accelerate the process of getting paid.

  • Communicate Expectations Consistently and Assertively

    To recoup payment promptly, it's important to explicitly define your expectations for payment at the project's outset. Don't wade into creative work before your client understands how much they'll be billed and your preferred time frame for payment.

    Additionally, avoid talking about invoices and payment in terms that are too casual. While it's tempting to say, "Just pay me whenever," you're probably not comfortable with an indefinite payment deadline. By being firm from the beginning, you can avoid awkward misunderstandings down the line. Plus, Skynova's invoicing software can help you keep track of unpaid invoices.

  • Include Clear Instructions for Payment

    Whenever you send an invoice for your art, make sure it's accompanied by specific information regarding payment options. Whether you accept checks, credit cards, wire transfers, or payments on digital platforms, your clients need clarity about how to pay you. In some cases, artists will also need to specify to whom checks should be made (either to them personally or the name of their business).

    You can choose to include this information on your invoice or in the email or letter you send with it. Also, if there are charges associated with certain payment methods (such as a credit card processing fee), it's nice to let your clients know in advance.

  • Consider Sales Tax in Your State

    While state laws differ significantly (and some don't charge sales tax at all), you're probably required to collect sales tax on any artwork you sell. In most states, physical artwork is considered "tangible personal property" and, thus, subject to the same sales tax that residents pay for other goods.

    Our system supports sales tax at the city, county and state level. To add sales tax, you'll need to save your invoice first.

    Note that things get a bit trickier if you sell your art across state lines or distribute your artwork digitally. To ensure you meet all state tax obligations, we recommend that you consult an accounting professional. However, as far as invoicing is concerned, just be sure not to forget about sales tax when invoicing. If you neglect to invoice for it (or to account for it in your prices), that money will come from your pocket.

  • Don't Sell Your Art Short

    Our final suggestion is a straightforward one: Don't accept less than you deserve just because you enjoy your work. While being a creative professional may seem like a privilege, you deserve to be compensated fairly for your skills.

Skynova Can Help You Turn Your Art Into Income

Making a living as an artist requires both passion and persistence. Accordingly, there's no reason to devote unnecessary focus to administrative tasks.

Save your energy for your artistry, and use our template to simplify your invoicing process. By following the steps outlined above and using some of the tips we've suggested, you'll be well-equipped to request and receive payment. And when it comes to being a working artist, getting paid promptly can mean the difference between supporting yourself and having a hobby.

At Skynova, we're devoted to helping professionals like you prosper in their dream careers. That's why our platform is built to handle all your billing and bookkeeping needs, with customizable templates, including the artist invoice template, for everything from quotes and bids to sales orders credit notes.

Take a look at our offerings, and see how many of your business tasks we can simplify today. With the busy work off your plate, you'll have more time to create.

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