Cataloging Your Work 

“Cataloging is a tedious but important part of being an artist. If you are thorough, it will save you a ton of time and help you in many ways.

When I complete a painting, I do several things to catalogue it.

The first is to take a high quality image. That image is stored in a file called “high res images.” These images come in handy for prints, advertising, websites, and when galleries or customers request a good picture to look at.

The second step is to create an image with basic information that I can put into my cataloging files. This information includes title, size, and medium. It could also include year if that is important to you. The files these images are placed in include “available work,” “sold in 2018”, “Gallery ____,” etc.  If the painting is in my studio, it should be in the “available work” file. If it is at a gallery, it should be in the folder that corresponds to that gallery. If it is sold, I move it to the “sold in __” file. All of this helps me when I get questions about availability of work or if I am just wondering where something is.

The third step is to take the basic information image and add more information that helps me and my galleries, but is not necessary for people who are looking at my website. I add price and catalogue number.

The last step is to create a spreadsheet with title, size, medium, year, catalogue #, purchase date, purchase price (this can sometimes vary from the original price depending on agreements with galleries), purchaser (if sold at a gallery you might not be privy to this information), and any other information you think is important. Keeping track of customer addresses so you can send Christmas cards is always a good idea.”

-Justin Wheatley

“The Best thing I did was invest in a program called Filemaker. It allows me to make something like a spreadsheet, but you can make the squares different sizes (for notes or an image of the painting) I can add details about buyers, where it’s been, what subjects it falls under, where it is currently, if it’s sold or available and then run queries on any of that information. I have another page in FileMaker that keeps track of all my contacts for mailing lists. My favorite part is I can export any of those things to a spreadsheet or to make labels (for shows or mailings). It saves me so much time not having to retype everything, And without much effort I can find everything I’ve ever painted and see an image of it plus every detail about it.”

-Stephanie Hock