Why artists should send professional invoices
A picture might be worth a thousand words, but the right words on an invoice can be truly invaluable. No one else sees the world in the way you do, and can create the same piece of art.
That’s why you need a flexible template that will detail what went into creating the original work, as well as charge for the final product. It also needs to be clear and simple enough so your clients know exactly what you should be compensated for.
An orderly, well-designed invoice also instills confidence and credibility in your reputation and personal brand as an artist.
Once you've downloaded your free invoice template, you'll need to customize it to fit your specific business. Here are the 10 key things to include on your invoice:
- Title and Description: Name the project and briefly describe what type of work your client is being invoiced for.
- Company Details: Add your company name, address, phone number, and logo to the top-right corner.
- Customer Details: Under "Bill To", add your customer's name, address, and contact information.
- Invoice Number: Include a unique invoice number to help you track down this invoice in the future. You can format this based on sequence and customer. For example, if you're sending your very first customer their first invoice, the invoice number could be 001-001.
- Dates: Include the date when your invoice has been issued and the date when payment is due.
- Line Item: Add individual line items for each unique good or service you provided. For each line item, include a brief description, quantity, individual unit price, and total price.
- Subtotal: Add up the subtotal of your goods or services, before tax has been applied.
- Tax: Indicate the tax rate applied to the subtotal. This is legally required to provide on invoices, and your rate may differ depending on where you run your business.
- Total: Outline the total amount due from the customer, after tax.
- Notes: Include any additional info your customer should know, including terms of service and payment terms (for example, payments are due 30 days after the invoice has been issued).
- Look through our attractive selection of invoice templates in different designs and colors, and pick the one you like best in the format you usually use – such as Word, Excel, PDF, Google Docs, or Google Sheets
- Download the invoice template. It’s fast and it’s FREE!
- Add your name, address, phone number, and email address
- Insert your beautifully designed logo, along with your website, and any original graphics that showcase your work
- Add your client’s name and their address, phone number, and email address
- Generate a unique invoice number and add it to the template
- Include the date of the invoice and the payment due date
- List the works of art, or artistic services you’ve provided, and the price for each
- Add lines to customize the invoice format to include any extra charges, such as for travel, research, or for any other special requests
- If you are giving your client a lower price – add a line explaining why so your client knows they are getting special price for your art
- Calculate the price, including applicable tax, and enter the total
- Include your payment terms, such as the methods of payment you accept
- Make sure you add a note at the end, such as a thank you. A personal touch shows you would be excited to work with them again!
- Save a copy of the invoice, and send it to your client!
When is the right time to send an invoice to your clients as an artist?
The right time to send an invoice varies with the type of art you have created. If the client has selected your artwork at a gallery or art show, full payment is usually asked for at the time of purchase.
If you are working on a commissioned piece of art that will take many days, or weeks to complete, and requires materials or supplies, you can ask for payment up front, or for a percentage of the estimated cost up front.
Whatever payment cadence you choose, make sure it’s clearly noted on each invoice, and clarify what portion of the final ‘cost’ has been paid to date.