I find that during the actual process of making art, I need to be crazy, free, and have no schedule or rules. That's the only way I can capture those fleeting inspirations and keep my artwork from becoming rigid and stale. See, here I am working with no restraint and no shoes either.
But AFTER I create my work, I know that it's a good time for checklist-type organization to come into action. It's like having a crazy wild and free Gollum do the art, and then have organized, methodical Smeagol come out to do the record-keeping.
But on a completely non-fantastical note, if you wait until you've created 823 works, this important process is going to be a huge hassle. So take my advice and do it after each completed piece.
This is my method that works best for me. Modify it and make it work for you!
IMMEDIATELY UPON FINISHING
1. Sign & stamp the piece. (Of course not everyone uses a stamp.)
2. Sign and date the piece on the back.
3. Prepare the piece for framing. If you will not be showing the work, you might want to hold off on framing it. But let it be known that waiting until the last minute to frame your entire body of work will eat your lunch (and your wallet.) Here's one of my pieces being framed.
MAKE A RECORD OF YOUR WORK
1. Photograph your piece with good lighting, or hire a professional. Make sure you get a high-res image at the end. (300dpi at least.) In the past I've scanned my paintings one 8.5x11 piece at a time at stitched it all together in Photoshop. Whatever it takes to get a beautiful large image that truly represents the work.
2. Make a note of the title, dimensions, medium, and price. Keep this list somewhere handy so you can refer to it when you need. You could even cut out the info and tape it to the back of the work so you don't have to do it later.
3. Make a certificate of authenticity. This step is optional of course if you don't do COAs. However, since I do for every original piece, making the COA at this step is easiest so you don't have the "oh, crap, I forgot" moment later on. Here's a sample COA.
SHOW OFF YOUR PIECE!
1. Make some smaller-sized images from your high-res image. For displaying on the web, your image needs to be only as big as you want to see it on the screen, and 72dpi. Don't put 300 dpi images online. Not only will it take longer to download (can you say annoying?) but someone could steal your high-res image and print it to sell. (worst case scenario, of course)
2. Update all your social media with the photo and info of your new piece. Upload to FB album. Twitter about it. Blog an image of your piece with some detail about what it means to you. Pin it on Pinterest. The list goes on... just use your favorite media, and don't feel stressed if you don't hit them all!
Well, I hope this little organized list helps you. Now I'm going to go feed my Uruk-hai.