It is difficult enough creating artworks, but managing an up to date catalogue raisonné can be both tedious and something most artists simply don’t do; even though they should.
Obviously if keeping track is one thing, losing track is worse. Surely! So, however tedious the idea of keeping notes up to date might be the consequence of not is profoundly worse.
Staying on top of where things have ended up is relatively straightforward for the average artist when considering pieces which have not sold, but the point here is to maintain information of where the body of work is spread out. Who bought what and for what price. Have workes been resold? Where are they physically located now?
This might seem like a waste of time, but when you are trying to curate an exhibition of your work, it is invaluable. You will not need to panic, you can get in touch with long lost collectors and most will be honored to have something they own in an exhibition of your work. You never know, but by reconnecting with them, you might end up with another commission!
No doubt many of us think we know where all the important pieces are, but there is a difference between thinking you know and having it written down, just in case.
This is also important for legacy issues where your estate includes the copyright to your body of work for between 70 or 100 years after your death, depending on where you live. You loved ones will need a carefully organised system detailing where the originals are kept, which printers deal with limited edition prints of which pieces, where the master electronic files are stored. All of this is crucial if the model of art is to work for you and your descendants after you are gone.
Like many professional artists, you probably lose count of the ‘small’ pieces you sell every year and you probably don’t even count your sketchbooks or details as part of the ‘body of work’, but it is.
Some folk make lists and even lists of lists, so if you are one of those types of brains; this idea should be childsplay.
All of this does not have to be a mind-melting issue or something you lose sleep over if you spend some time on either a basic inventory MS Excel document (remembering to mention its location in your will) or an easy-to-install software program like Art Systems or FileMakerPro to help you get a grip quickly and easily of your collection.
Anything you do here will help your lovedones try to understand you more, know where your work is and formulate a plan in your memory.
Any of these methods assist you in keeping the data relating to your collection in one place.
Your collection is an asset which you are in control of and has a life after you are gone.
The only thing is that once you start it, you must remember to keep your collection updated! But anything is better than nothing.
With ArtMarketDirect.com artists are able to take control of their own careers, list their own pieces for sale to collectors and undertake their own fulfilment of orders.
The only stipulation on ArtMarketDirect.com is that the work you list is your own and is original. Where prints are for sale, we ask that all image copyrights belong to you and that you are legally disposed to sell the pieces you have on offer.
The site is FREE to use with only 10% sales commission OR for those willing to bet on themselves with only a nominal subscription (from less than £1/month) to upload unlimited artwork and very low 3% commission on sales. If you are a creative ArtMarketDirect.com is the best option you have.