Making an Inventory

With regards to legacy planning,  perhaps  the single most important thing an artist can do is to create an inventory early on in her career.  If you’re just beginning your career, this should be relatively easy–but even if you’re not, there are a number of tools available to make the process relatively stress-free. And, it you don’t feel comfortable using a computer for your inventory, even a handwritten version would be a great benefit to your legacy. In any event, you should make sure to include the following information in the inventory:

  • Name of the work
  • What kind of art it is (i.e. a painting, installation piece, etc.)
  • Where the art is (i.e. is it still in your possession, or displayed/sold?)
  • The year you created it
  • Materials used in the work
  • A picture of your work

While we do not specifically endorse any one of these tools, here are some options that you might consider: Do-It-Yourself Inventory Form

Open Source Software

  • ABC Inventory Software (Although this is primarily designed for small- and medium-sized business  this program can be readily configured for artists’ use)


  • Know Your Stuff (Again, this program is not specifically designed for artists, but still is a useful tool for basic inventory management for items in your home and elsewhere)

III Microsoft Excel

Inventory List   Paid Software


Working Artist