But what about actually documenting the work??
DaVinci kept a note book but that was more of an idea book and many of us have those.
The documentation of antiques that were originally bought, repaired, sold again and again is called provenance.
And art historians will try to document a piece of art - a painting perhaps, by building a file on who the artist is, where the painting was done, the subject matter, and the materials: canvas, paints, frame, etc.
BUT DO YOU:
- Take not only process pictures but a final picture;
- Write down the materials used;
- Keep design drawings;
- Track how much time it took to create and to finish the piece;
- And what all of that cost?;
- What it was sold for;
- And most importantly who you sold it too?
I know many of us will never have our work in museums or have it appear on the Antiques Road Show as a great piece of art; but what if it did... possibly some time later a descendant might appear with your documentation and then finally all your work would be revealed and unknown items identified around the world as lost works of art!
Here is what I do.
I have a project sheet that I can print out and fill in with:
- Start and End Date;
- Title of Piece;
- Materials Used;
- Task List with task name, start/stop times;
- A place for notes.
- I then have places to add up costs - material and labor (which is time multiplied by the hourly rate) plus overhead
- Places to calculate the wholesale and retail prices base upon the total cost.
I then staple a few pictures to the project sheet which I then slip into a glassine sleeve which is put into a notebook and when it sells I add a copy of the invoice to the sleeve.
I also keep all of my process pictures on an external HD with each project having a folder named Year-Month-Title. This is so IF I need to refer back to any pictures i can easily find them.
I now have a complete set of documentation.
I shall confess that in the beginning I only took pictures, then I started the project sheet, I then added the pictures and recently I have added the costing bit and attaching the invoice. Some pieces I have made and sold I have no record of at all but hopefully in the future, since my makers mark is on it, it will appear on ARS and be noticed as a lost piece of art that has been found.