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What analogue documents you need to protect for your art business

These records are the paper, slides, print photos, and other items (but not your art itself) that are essential to your art career. In the 21st century, more records are stored in digital form (see Protect Your Assets > Digital), but most artists still have a substantial record of their art, their career and their business in analog form. These may include:

Career-related documents

  • Résume
  • Artist statement & bios
  • Work samples (slides, digital images, recordings, tapes, DVDs, CDs, scores, etc.)

Business-related documents

  • Contracts and agreements (sales, licensing, commission, loan, consignment)
  • Invoices and receipts
  • Current working documents (budgets, applications, image files, etc.)
  • Visual documentation of your studio (photo or video)
  • Artwork valuation (bills of sale or appraisal)
  • Correspondence (electronic and hardcopy)
  • Financial records (accounting and payroll)
  • Tax records (property, income, sales)
  • Inventory
  • Legal documents
  • Lists of suppliers and vendors (including shippers)
  • List of contacts (collectors, customers, agents, gallery owners, art dealers, show producers, etc.)

Archival materials

  • Notes relating to your creative process
  • Grant applications and awards
  • Correspondence
  • Press
  • Flyers, postcards, catalogs, chapbooks, one-of-a-kind or last-of items, etc.
  • Portfolios
  • Releases