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Creating An Art Inventory

Portrait of Amie Digital Painting
Portrait of Amie Digital Painting

Last week I began work on creating a comprehensive inventory of my art. My first pass is to create my inventory in a spreadsheet format using OpenOffice Calc. Subsequently I expect to migrate to a database format using MySQL.

Previously my art inventory system was quite informal and inconsistent. The only formal inventory I had was of those limited edition prints that had been either exhibited or sold. That inventory, maintained in spreadsheet format, was necessary in order to provide each print a unique inventory number for use with the Certificate of Authenticity that accompanies each of my original prints.

Separately my only other inventory consisted of the information associated with the web pages for the art that is on my web site. As of this writing there are a total of 58 of my works of art exhibited on my web site.

My initial pass at an inventory wound up with 107 items being cataloged – which does represent a substantial portion of my formal output. By formal, I mean art that is destined to be framed, exhibited, sold. Excluded from this process is:

  • the net art I’ve created to illustrate my web site and blog posts (see the Web Art Gallery for some examples of this art);
  • wallpapers I’ve created for sharing (see Free IPAD Algorithmic Art Wallpaper Gallery);
  • art I created as a part of experimenting with different styles of digital painting.

This inventory made it very obvious that I have much work to do in getting my art into my web art gallery since just 58 of the 107 artworks, 54 percent, are currently exhibited on my web site. And of course my inventory is not yet complete.

The initial fields of my art inventory spreadsheet are:

Painting Title
Artwork title
Gallery Directory
Directory name on hard drive of the gallery directory.
Artwork Directory
Directory name on hard drive of artwork directory inside gallery directory.
URL
Address of the gallery page – empty for art not on web site.
Date Created
Date artwork created.
Subcategory
Photographic, Digital Painting, 3D Render, etc.
Paper Type
Paper type to be used for original limited edition prints.
Edition Size
Maximum umber of original prints to be produced.
PPI
Pixels per inch setting for printing
Pixels Wide
Image width in pixels
Pixels High
Image height in pixels
Inches wide
(calculated PPI * Pixels Wide)
Inches high
(calculated PPI * Pixels High)
Matted Size
Used to determine frame size needed.
Square Inches
Size of art in square inches (calculated inches wide * high)
Price
Print Price
Price/in2
(calculated Price/Square Inches)
Notes
Comments as needed

Once complete, my goal is to convert the two spreadsheets – the main inventory spreadsheet and my Certificate of Authenticity spreadsheet – into two tables in a relational database so that I will be able to cross reference the two.

The Illustration

The digital painting used to illustrate this post is a very tightly cropped version of a larger painting created as a test of a digital painting program that I have been working on. Titled Portrait of Amie it is based on a photo of a friend.

Closing Quote

Composition is the artist’s method of organising a subject, of deciding what to put in and what to leave out in order to make an effective picture. – Mary Acton

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