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Get organized! A quick and easy art inventory

This post is for artists looking for a professional solution to keep an inventory of their artwork. I use Microsoft Excel, but you could also use Google Docs or Numbers, so this technique is free and pretty painless.

To begin, I used this tutorial to make the basic inventory:

If the video doesn’t load properly, here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kl-jgdl0fnQ

As you build your inventory, be sure to use low resolution images, otherwise the excel document becomes too big and performance slows down.

As I used this method, I made a few modifications to better fit my needs and to make using it a bit more efficient. 

In each record, I add the following headings:

  • Exhibitions: List any exhibitions where the work has been shown.
  • Place: If the work is at a gallery or has been sold, write that here, including the name of the collector and city/country.

To speed things up, I replace images rather than deleting and entering another. This way the image goes in the right place and doesn’t need to be reformatted again. To do this, right click on an image  and select “Change Picture.” I use this method on each tab after I copy it and in the master inventory sheet.

Also on the inventory sheet, I add hyperlinks to each thumbnail. This way, when you click on each image, you instantly go to that image’s tab. To do this, right click on an image, click “Hyperlink,” select “This Document,” then scroll down to the tab number and select it. Click “OK.” When adding new images in the inventory, you can copy and paste images, replace each image, then right click and select “Edit Hyperlink” to change the links to each new tab number.

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