When we are first starting out as artists we might do a painting a week or even over several weeks. We are unsure of ourselves and think it will take forever to “get good enough to sell”. But since we love what we are learning, we keep working and before we know it, we have stacks of paintings and drawings that are really quite good.
Once the decision is made to start entering work in shows and selling work at venues, it becomes necessary to keep track of your art. Most venues and shows do not want you to show the same pieces over and over. So what do you do?
There are several ways to keep track of your inventory.
BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING ELSE, TAKE PHOTOS OF YOUR WORK.
· Make one “clean copy” of your photo in which you have cropped all edges to show only the artwork
· If the work is framed, make a second photo showing the frame*
· Have a folder in your Photographs on your computer labeled ART PORTFOLIO and divide it into categories – either Portraits, Landscapes, Still Life, etc. or if you create in series, the titles of each series – ex. Botanical Series, Travel Series, etc.
· WHEN SAVING PHOTOS, BE SURE TO NUMBER EACH WORK and Label with it’s number and title
You should have both a photo record and a written record of each finished piece.
*Photos showing frames are used when providing a portfolio for set decorators/designers
#1 If you prefer to keep records on your computer, use an Excel Spread Sheet with the following:
Number(same as Photo #) Title Size Medium F/UF (framed/Unframed) Sold Location (where in your studio) Year
Be sure to update this list when something is framed, sells or gets moved to another location.
#2 Keeping track of where you show your work can be done on the same inventory sheet by skipping lines between each work, or with a separate list. Here’s a sample of a separate list kept in a notebook.
Each painting has a separate page but if you don’t show frequently you could have several similar works on a single page.
#3 A very simple way to keep track of showings is to use an Index card and tape it to the back of the artwork. Just be sure to remove it before entering the art in a show! These could also be kept in an Index Card File Box.
DO YOU HAVE A DIFFERENT WAY OF KEEPING UP WITH YOUR ART? SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.