The Importance of Documenting your Artwork

Art is sustainable.

After a piece of art is created it gets sold, donated, gifted, or passed down, but rarely does it end up in the trash. As art changes hands from artist to grandmother to thrift store to collector, the story of the work can become blurry. Much of the documentation behind famous works of art has been done by family members, art historians, and auction houses and in some cases speculation about the intention or history of the artwork is the best they can offer. The meaning of the piece gets lost in translation and in some cases the artist can become forgotten.

Authoritative information around a piece of art is only as good as the documentation behind it and it needs to start with the artist. At ArtMoi we encourage artists to take control of their stories. We want artists to become the custodian of their work; they are, after all, the ones who know it best. And we want to make the process as easy as possible.

Here are just a few things to consider when documenting artwork:


Nobody wants to spend hours doing data entry. Start the documentation process as soon as the artwork is finished. First, take a photo. If you have a smartphone or tablet you can immediately upload the picture to your ArtMoi account. From there you can add as many or as few details you would like or come back to it at a later time.

Don’t forget the story

The story behind a piece of artwork is just as important as the art itself. What were you feeling? What was happening in your life at the time? Why did you decide to create? What is happening in the world? The story is imperative to proper provenance documentation of artwork.


Proper and thorough documentation of your art collection makes for quick appraisals and is necessary for insurance purposes. Size, location, notes about the condition of the artwork, and past and up to date appraisal values (if applicable) are just a few of the important details you should have documented for each of your artworks. Don’t forget you can create your own custom fields to customize your ArtMoi account based on your exact needs. You can also utilize Pro-Storage to store extraneous documents related to your collection: certificates of authenticity, appraisal documents,


There are many ways you can document your work. You might have a book you use to keep track manually, a spreadsheet, or, if you’ve been at this a long time, you might have a box of CD-ROMs or floppy disks. However you choose to document, it is important to remember how quickly technology changes and how your process of choice might become obsolete in just a few years, making it very difficult to work with or access at all. ArtMoi combats this problem by using cloud data storage. Your records exist outside of any tool or program required to display or edit that information. You can access your work on ArtMoi from any device that uses the internet — which we dare to say isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

ArtMoi is committed to keeping artists connected to their work throughout their lifetime and beyond. Don’t leave your legacy up to guesswork. Whatever your choice of documentation tools, remember you are in control of the future of your work.

Join our Newsletter

We have some important tips and information to share with you about how select and use the right tools for running your online projects.
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

5 Questions You’ve Always Wanted To Ask A Video Artist

By kerkness | April 3, 2018

Michelle chats with artist Marianne Burlew about her artistic process and what it’s like to be a video artist today.

9 Massive Abstract Sculptures to Inspire and Amaze You

By kerkness | May 29, 2015

Art doesn’t need to shout. It can barely whisper and still touch your soul. But sometimes art makes a big statement in public to get your attention. Here are some giant abstract works of public art found in ArtMoi Public. We’ve got some classics and some we’re sure you’ve never seen. Click each image to see more details […]

Our Experiences with Art are Changing. Is it for Better or for Worse?

By kerkness | April 3, 2018

The art world is an industry that has been entrenched in traditional methods and ways of thinking for centuries, but it is no big secret that the art world is rapidly changing.

Best Practices for Personal Online Security

By kerkness | January 1, 2020

Important information and tips on how artists, galleries, and other art institutions can protect themselves from online predators.