Art Inventory Part 3: Insane Inventory

Art Inventory Part 3: Insane Inventory

Here are a few more ideas to send your inventory outta this world. Flaunting your inventory to other artists when it is this detailed is going to make some jaws drop with the amount of information, thought and organization you have put into your inventory.

  • Label in the header or footer in your document when you last updated your printed version so you know how long ago you last updated your file. I type mine in a light grey colored font so it isn’t distracting.
  • Consider updating your inventory once a year. I update it every January. If you really want to get busy, try updating it twice a year, every six months. Once you have one body of work inventoried, start with the next body or work of media until you have all of your art categorized in your inventory.
  • If you wish to get technical, you can list if you have both high and low resolution images, or where you have the images saved on your computer. I also include who professionally documented my work and include the CDs in my inventory binder for easy access to the file.
  • Remember to have hard and digital copies of your inventory. It has been recommended to have 3 copies, one hard and two digital. One digital should be stored away from your studio or computer. If your computer or studio were to get stolen, damaged or ruined, you would have another safe copy in another location. This other location can be on a digital back up system stored online or simply saved on a USB drive
  • Organizing your inventory: Sort your inventory in a manner that makes it easy to access necessary information. For me, alphabetically is the easiest. I have a tab for each letter of the alphabet to sort my pieces, then I also have a table of contents in the beginning. Other ways include sorting by year, exhibition, series or medium. 
  • Make sure you can update your inventory as changes occur! Maybe keeping a word document is not for you, but consider using Excel or Access which has cells and forms to simply input information. There are also numerous artist computer software that you can purchase to also use for your inventory. The key is to keep it simple and user friendly. You won’t update your inventory if it gets complicated. Most artist inventory software packages cost money and often have many more options than necessary. The images of my inventory above is two years of documenting and updating, so start small and update from there.
  • Print off some blank inventory sheets so you can pencil in the information as you make new works. When time comes to update your inventory again, you don’t have to pull together your art and your measuring tape to remember the dimensions and details of your pieces.
  • What other inventories can you make that assist you? Don’t bother making inventories just for the sake of being overly organized or to distract you from the studio. Consider inventorying the artwork that you have previously made and stored away or forgotten. I created a blog inventory because twice I lost my entire blog website content and spent numerous hours recovering the material by hand and plugging it back into a new blog site. I learned my lesson and now save my blog posts in a word doc both digital and hard copy then download the digital copy onto a disk. I have one disk each month I blog. I label each CD and store it in a three ring binder.


Have any more thoughts or tips on inventories? Have a great inventory system you would like to share? Comment below! 

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