Artist Getting Organized: Download a FREE Artwork Inventory & Sales Example
by Daric Gill
Whether you are an artist or a collector, at some point your collection will need organization. If you haven’t found a system that works for you or you are just beginning to get your inventory under control, this article is for you. The following article will describe who might benefit from this type of system and how to use it.
Who Is This For?
There are different options for different people. My system is best for exhibiting artists or collectors who specialize in one-off original artworks or limited editions with an interest in logging information about their artwork, price, and exhibition history. Examples: printmakers, painters, sculptors, collectors, furniture designers, etc.. Artisans who produce large numbers of items may be more interested in a retail store inventory manager that focuses on the price and quantity of an item in stock, size variations, and order history.
Below are descriptions of each section of the document. I created this in Numbers and exported it for Excel. The top row is a brief description, the second row is an example. Remember, you can always delete or add columns to suit your specific use.
Piece counter (#): Number of artworks in this list.
Image: A small thumbnail or screen-grab of your artwork keeps things easier at a glance.
Series or Catalog Number: Numbering each piece of artwork with a cataloging number is good for record-keeping, placing work in a series, and/or security against unauthorized copies.
Title & Description: “Title”, material. Height x Length x Width (if applicable). Date created. This info is handy for applying for shows, creating labels, or quick reference. Feel free to separate these into separate columns.
Not Sold, Sold, Donated: Check the appropriate box, type “TRUE”, or color cell to signify if it has not been sold, it is sold, or it was donated.
Purchaser, Date sold: Who is the person(s) that bought the work? Name and/or other applicable info. Date work was sold.
Retail Price History: Artwork may have changed prices over the years. This is a running list of the different price points it has been listed as.
Retail Sold Value: If sold, how much did it sell for at retail price? This is the total amount before any commissions or fees are taken out.
% Artist Commission: Galleries and exhibition opportunities often take 20-50% sales commission. Keep track of % that the artist earns in this box. If no commissions were taken out, the artist makes 100%.
After-Commission Sold Value: How much did you get after commission? This should be an automatic calculation in the form, but just in case: Retail Sold Value x Your Commission Rate = Post Commission Sold Value. Remember, when multiplying percentages, use the decimal form. Example: 60% = 0.60.
Split Sales: Sometimes people buy work in 2 or more payments. These are called split payments. Enter if it was a Split Payment or a Whole Payment here. Also, what were the payment amounts? Example: if a total of $600 was paid by 2 payments, you’d write Split Payment, $300, $300.
Where Has It Exhibited: Keep a running list of all the places this artwork has shown. Include any of the following info: Title of the show, Gallery Name, City/State/Province, juror, etc.
You can find more free articles like this on my Artist Resource page. My mission is to provide free and accessible tools for artists, educators, and enthusiasts. I encourage you to share and refer people here as often as you wish. Naturally, these articles take many hours to thoroughly research and write. If you’d like to support me as an artist and advocate, please consider donating whatever you can. Thank you!