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pixelscapes
01-20-2005, 07:28 PM
I know digital prints are a sore point for people pulling prints by hand, but I know this is the absolute best place to get opinions and advice on numbering.

First, some background:

At the moment, I'm making original archival digital prints. I waffled over whether I'd classify them as monoprints or a variable edition, and I settled on variable edition since there are 12 using that same black image. For example, see this hibiscus (http://www.beware-of-art.com/gallery/mono/2004/2004-11-20.htm).

After printing them, I "strike the plate" by destroying my digital source file. As for the prints, I tear the edges for a nice deckle effect. Then I usually do some overpainting with acrylic and inks.

Since I consider these 12 prints to be my originals, I number them 1/12 VE, 2/12 VE, and so on. VE stands for "variable edition". It seems more descriptive than marking them all 1/1, even though there's only one of each color.

Since the digital file is destroyed, I scan those originals in and use the scan to create the pictures on the web, any reproductions, etc.

My question:

If I want to sell signed reproductions in an OPEN edition, is there anything special I should write alongside my signature to make it absolutely clear that it's an open edition?

For the reproductions on paper, there's a white border, so I have room to include a tiny copyright message like this:
"Radioactive Hibiscus" reproduction, © 2004-08-25 Jen Gagné
Those presumably doesn't need further clarification.

But what about my reproduction prints on canvas, or prints on paper with no border? I can't include that message on the front, so all people will see is the image and my signature, which could be mistaken for an original.

I'm hoping you'll have some suggestions. I was thinking of various options...
Jen Gagné, N/¥ (infinity symbol)
Jen Gagné, OE
Jen Gagné, open edition (but that's a lot to write with paint!)
Jen Gagné, repro

Of course I can put a more verbose message on the back, but I don't want to mislead people who only see the front.

-=- Jen "Any ideas?" Gagné

Diane Cutter
01-21-2005, 07:43 AM
Hi, Jen, welcome to the Printmaking Forum.... I checked out your website. Very nice, indeed.

I can see your dilemna... at first I wanted to say these flowers are mixed media. But they are not. They are indeed hand-manipulated prints, one of a kind. Like a monoprint (not monotype), there is a matrix which other things are added (color, brushstrokes). And in true printmaking fashion, you are destroying the plate after the original run is finished.

It seems to me that you are on the right track with the VE markings. On your open editions on canvas or paper with no borders, I think you are going to have to give your 'verbose' explanation on the back. Interested buyers will be looking on the front and back. I would keep the information simple on the front with just your name (and possibly copyright and year).

How are you selling these? Are they together in the same venue? Can you separate them out into 'originals' and 'reproductions' where buyers can see the vast difference between the VEs and the repros?

I would probably handled it more from the other end by stressing that your VE's are truly 'one-of-a-kind', unique with no way to exactly reproduce them.

We just recently had a similar discussion in another thread: http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=237484
You might have already gone through it...

Please, those of you lurkers that do original digitals... step in and tell us what you would do...

Diane

sassybird
01-22-2005, 12:46 PM
Hi Jen, it is good to see you again. I believe Diane has covered everything. Are you showing your digital prints over in the digital forum? If so I will have to go take a peek.

Sunfilly
01-22-2005, 06:45 PM
Welcome Jen,
I absoultley love your work. :clap: The way your display them in jewlel cases is really cool too.

pixelscapes
01-24-2005, 09:03 PM
Aww, thanks for the compliments, everybody. :) Diane, I do separate them by original and reproduction -- take a peek at my eBay store (http://stores.ebay.com/Original-Art-by-Jen-Gagne) for example. When I start printing on canvas I'll have "originals on canvas" and "reproductions on canvas" too.

I try to stress the original aspect of the VEs in their own listings. Maybe I should also say something for the reproductions like "While a reproduction can never exactly capture the color and detail of the original, they're an affordable alternative" blah blah blah...

I appreciate the crosslink to that other thread about reproductions -- I just replied actually. It's familiar ground, the whole "can digital prints be original?" issue. I already decided what I think and the basics of how to present myself honestly... but I'm still finetuning, hence my original question above. :)

I think I'll take this approach:
1) Scan my originals BEFORE signing them with the 1/12 VE. That way, my reproductions won't have a confusing or misleading double signature.
3) Since I still haven't found any universally understood shorthand for "reproduction", I'll sign the reproductions with my name and something like infinity/infinity, just to clue people in enough for them to investigate. I'll have the brief explanation on the back along with the copyright notice.

-=- Jen "And hello again Sassy! :D " Gagné

timelady
01-25-2005, 04:24 AM
Hi Jen. You're the one I'm always thinking of when I stand up for digital printmakers. :)

There's an artist in my building who does variable editions with a metal or collograph plate. Each is inked differently but she does number then 1/1. I've always thought this was a teensy bit misleading, but not wrong per se. I think 1/1 VE would be perfectly acceptable. So would 1/12 VE (unique) if you want to go that route.

Most open editions I've seen are not numbered or indicated. OE seems like a good term, if it's not official already! :) I think as long as it's clear on the labelling, the tag or sign with the title, your name, medium, etc, that's it's an open edition then that should be fine.

Tina.

Diane Cutter
01-25-2005, 06:21 AM
...Most open editions I've seen are not numbered or indicated. OE seems like a good term, if it's not official already! :) I think as long as it's clear on the labelling, the tag or sign with the title, your name, medium, etc, that's it's an open edition then that should be fine...
Yes, Tina, open editions are official, according to my copy of the "Code of Ethics for Original Printmaking" put out by the Conseil quebecois de l'estampe, authors Nicole Malenfaut & Richard Ste-Marie, 2000:

"In the case of editions left open from the start - ie no pre-set limit - artist must number identical prints in order of impressions using while numbers expressed in Arab numerals, thereby indicating that there is no predetermined limit."

So in other words, an open edition title would look like this:

1 "Title of Work" Artist Name - (copyright) Date
2 " " " " " "

I have also seen the numbering as such: 1/u, 2/u, 2/u etc. The 'u' is unlimited...

Diane

pixelscapes
01-27-2005, 09:31 AM
Hi Jen. You're the one I'm always thinking of when I stand up for digital printmakers. :)
Tina, as always, you rock. Champion of Jens and responsible digiprinters everywhere! Or at least here! And that's a lot of people! :D ... at least I hope it is...

I guess I can see why your friend would use 1/1 since it's a painterly approach. I've had people suggest the 1/1 approach to me as well, especially since I hand-embellish on top of the print, but it just didn't feel quite right. The 1/12 VE is much more ethically comfortable for me, and it also should make things absolutely clear!

I would hate for some collector to come to me and say "Hey, you said you deleted this digital file, but I see that other cat print looks exactly the same except the color, and they're both marked 1/1. What gives?"

I'd rather they assume my prints are LESS unique than they actually are, than assume they're MORE unique than they actually are.

Yes, Tina, open editions are official...
I think she was referring to whether the abbreviation "OE" was official, not whether "open editions" themselves are acceptable.

I have also seen the numbering as such: 1/u, 2/u, 2/u etc. The 'u' is unlimited...
#/u is interesting. And it makes sense... "109/u" seems a bit more descriptive than just parking a number there like "109". Hmm. I'll probably go with that.

Thanks everybody, for the advice and comments!

-=- Jen "Whee numbering honestly!" Gagné

pixelscapes
02-15-2005, 09:48 AM
It's been a few weeks, and I'm waffling AGAIN about numbering. I'm cringing at having to paint tiny, complex text like "109/u" or even longer numbers on a print. The signature's bad enough! And do they really need to know the difference between "108" and "109"? Then again, I'm probably getting a bit too ambitious, thinking I'd ever sell more than three digits worth of prints. ;)

Plus it gets weird when I consider I could have a "108/u" for two different reproductions from two different siblings of the original monoprint series. In this case I worry the number could be considered misleading, since there are actually 216 (or more) hypothetical prints out there.

So, I think I'll stick with some approach that's less numeric, since they aren't limited editions anyway. But, I'll keep thinking about it. I'll also still be sure to mark it as a reproduction. That seems to be the most important part.

Also, if any of you are interested, I finally worked out the technical end of how I'm going to handle those canvas prints I mentioned earlier. I posted a thread about it here, with a photo:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=250963

-=- Jen "Confuse-a-Jen" Gagné
http://www.beware-of-art.com

vhere
02-19-2005, 05:24 PM
I do digital imagery that is created totally within the computer and I keep my edition sizes very small - not normally more than 20 - so they are numbered 1/20 etc

I purposely haven't gone down the reproduction route so that there is no confusion - my digital images are all 'originals'. It does need a lot of explanation re the difference.

pixelscapes
02-20-2005, 10:56 PM
Right, from what you describe, that sounds like a normal limited edition of 20 original prints. Since you're not making reproductions, nothing to worry about!

-=- Jen "But you probably already knew that..." Gagné
http://www.beware-of-art.com

vhere
02-21-2005, 05:24 PM
I think 'reproductions' is stretching it though for digital prints - it must devalue your original edition.

I wouldn't buy a print like that if I knew that it would be sold in 'reproduction' as well.

Do you sell many?

Sunfilly
02-22-2005, 12:23 AM
I do digital imagery that is created totally within the computer and I keep my edition sizes very small - not normally more than 20 - so they are numbered 1/20 etc

I purposely haven't gone down the reproduction route so that there is no confusion - my digital images are all 'originals'. It does need a lot of explanation re the difference.

I do digital art as well, but can consecutive prints be an original in digital art, if it is the same as the first? I thought the first would be an original and any printed after that would be a reproduction of the original. Oh boy it gives me headaches just trying to figure this out LOL!!!