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  #16   Report Bad Post  
Old 11-16-2006, 05:47 AM
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DBSullivan DBSullivan is offline
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Re: How to Produce (and Sell) Prints of your Artwork

Hi Gang!

Thank you all for the wonderful responses! The only thing I get "paid" for writing this article is your glowing remarks, and knowing that I might be responsible for encouraging someone to do something that could change their life; that literally sends chills down my spine. So at this time I'd like to say, "no........thank you"!


_______________________________________



JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT CLASS WAS OVER


Before I get to my replies to everyone, I'd like to continue the "lesson" on selling prints. (I just couldn't help myself.) Actually, I saw an opportunity to provide you with a few examples of some things I mentioned in the article, as they're currently happening right in front of your very eyes.

At the end of the article, I mentioned about giving prints away for the purpose of exposure. A perfect example of this philosophy is the article itself. Think about it. It took me just as long to complete as one of my original drawings. (100 + hrs) And what did I do with it? I gave it away. I didn't give away the original; that's still on my hard drive. I didn't give away the rights; I continue to retain them. I gave away copies! And what is the result? Exposure. I've had more visits to my website in the past day than I've had in a long time; many more than I ever got when I did my foliage tutorials. And some of those visitors will ultimately share my site with their family & friends, and so on. (Go ahead, admit it. You went to my site, didn't you?)

But, in this case, the exposure doesn't stop with me; my article also promotes the Pen & Ink forum, as is evident by the unfamiliar faces who've already responded to this thread. I'm certain that this article is being mentioned throughout WetCanvas, and folks who hadn't visited our little forum are now doing so. (thanks guys!) And to think, all of this happened simply by giving something away.

So, does this mean I have a hidden agenda? No. At least, no more than anyone else who posts an example of their work on WC. After all, why do we post our work? Most of us do it to share, to get feedback, and to know that our work is being seen by others. The difference between this and anything else is "subject matter". I just mentioned that I had more hits on my website with this article than I did with my foliage tutorials. That's because I stumbled onto something that has more appeal to a broader audience. After just one day, I can see that this article's subject matter has "an edge" over my foliage lessons. This is exactly what you need to do with your prints.

On another note: as well as this article seems to be doing here at WetCanvs, it would be a complete flop if I posted it on a "computer tech" forum. Similarly, you'll need to match your specific work with the proper venue.


MY EXPERIENCES CONTINUE


When I started writing this last year, it began as an innocent little explanation about offset printing. I only began writing it because I was familiar with that particular printing process. But everytime I wrote about a topic, something else came along that needed explaning. I knew about some of them, but had to research the rest. Well... long story short... I learned just as much from this article as you did (or will). In fact, this whole experience has forced me to re-think some of my philosophies about prints and different printing processes. But more importantly, it's awakened my desire to revitalize my local marketing (which is long overdue). This leads me into a topic that needs mentioning:


STAY PRO-ACTIVE IN YOUR ENDEAVORS


Don't ever allow yourself to ever settle in. After a period of time, you may reach a point when you have a variety of prints at a few different locations. You'll be comfortable with the relationships you've developed with shop owners, and you'll be enjoying the print sales. When that happens, it'll be very easy to sit back and relax. Don't do that! Did you ever wonder why Coca-Cola spends millions and millions of dollars each year on commercials, when everyone on the globe already knows about it? They do that to maintain their presence to the consumer. If they didn't, we'd all wind up buying Pepsi, because they'd still be running their ads, and we'd forget about Coca-Cola.

I haven't had an order from my best-selling shop in almost three months. I took a walk through the store the other day only to find a diminished supply of my prints. There was hardly anything there. I immediately got angry and left the store before I showed it. All the way home, I kept thinking, "If they sell out of something, it only makes sense to re-order. Isn't that the point of having a store?" Blah, blah, blah! After an hour of blaming them for not re-ordering, I realized that it was my fault. They have dozens of artists' work in that shop, and I haven't made my presence known in quite some time. They simply forgot about me.

In light of this, I'm planning to become pro-active again. I've decided to update/re-vamp my price list, and make my presence known to my current shops, as well as approach some new shops that opened in the past year. Ive also decided to try pushing a few prints with different subject matter. As I pursue these new endeavors, I will gladly keep you updated with the outcome of my efforts.

Which brings me to this: It would be great if any of you would share your "print experiences" (successes or failures) throughout this thread, just as I will do. It will give folks the opportunity to see what works (and what doesn't) for other artists in different circumstances. Besides, you're going to need to tell someone about "your first order"... it may as well be us.


_______________________________________




Paul - Thanks so much! Your comments really made my day! I couldn't have asked for a better "first post" to this thread. I think the drawings of Kalk Bay are a great idea, and I wish you the best of luck with that. I hope you'll let us know how it works out.

Chris (seejay) - I don't know if I've mentioned it yet, but it's great having you back. I've seen some of your recent posts, but haven't had the time to post. (as you can see why). As for reading this in one sitting, keep in mind that I read it about 15-20 times in the past week, going back over it, re-wording, editing, etc. I'm sure you can get through it once!

Chris (Jakeally) - Thank you! I appreciate your kind comments. And thanks for "tackin this to the top". To me, that's like a distinguishing honor!

mudslinger - Oh, if we didn't have to work... the world would be a much better place! I'm going to compile this entire article into a single pdf to make it easier for folks to save to their pc. First, I have to convert all the images; they were optimized for web viewing which doesn't work well in a pdf. Thanks for the great response.

Robert - If anybody around here knows anything about large format drawings... it would certainly be you! So... what about those Kinko printers? I've never been to a Kinkos in my life, therefore I have nothing to offer. If you have any experience with them, and you'd like to share it, then this is the place my friend!

Val - Thanks, buddy! Your comments, as always, are so appreciated! And I imagine that book of yours is gonna soon need a thicker binder. When I pasted this into MS Word, it came out to 35 pages! And sleep easy??? i'M NOT SO SURE. Among other things, I've got a Christmas card to get started!

Monica - Thank's so much for the gentle nudging and hint-dropping... over and over...throughout the year... again and again. Ah yes, I couldn't have done this without you! btw - I listened mostly to Pink Floyd when I worked on this... that's why it rocks!

Jazz - Thank you for the thoughful remarks. I really appreciate them. And I also peeked into your website and I need to say, "WOW!" You call yourself a newbie? I think your work is excellent! I absolutely loved your water series. The drips are really cool. They'd make awesome prints! (btw - my heart's in Ireland too)

Dean - Thanks, bud! Always appreciated. And you know... your work is a perfect candidate for prints; that way you could destroy the lives of many newlyweds at once!

Smoki - You're welcome, you're welcome, you're welcome! And now it's my turn. I don't think you realize how much of a part you played in this article getting done. It was your thread that provoked me to get off of my butt and finally finish what I started. And since your thread, I doubled the content, and added the images. I had you in mind the whole time. So, thank you!!!

(everybody, let's have a round of applause for Smoki! )

Ben - Thanks for your nice comment. I certainly hope this information helps you.

Dan - Thanks, buddy! You know, oddly enough, one of my favorite songs is "Time" from Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon". Lol! I feel your pain! However, it's my turn to remind you not to let life pass you by. Your work is way too good to not allow it to "find new places to take root". Of all people, you should be able to relate to that analogy.
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Old 11-16-2006, 01:05 PM
mebo mebo is offline
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Re: How to Produce (and Sell) Prints of your Artwork

I am a fan of your foliage tutorials, and I really appreciate your work on this new article.

Thank you for taking the time.
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Old 11-16-2006, 02:09 PM
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boundstaffpress boundstaffpress is offline
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Re: How to Produce (and Sell) Prints of your Artwork

This is invaluable.

I have been formulating so many of these ideas myself. So nice to see this all in one place.

You have done a great service to us all.
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Old 11-16-2006, 03:38 PM
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Re: How to Produce (and Sell) Prints of your Artwork

Dave, this is absoltely incredible information!! I have to agree, and would think, this article, coupled with your tutorials would make a "must have" type of book. I don't think I will have the patience to wait for the PDF I probably will be cutting/pasting till tomorrow to print, lol.

Very nice, and thank you so much. Hmm now where are the pieces I did?

Bob
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Old 11-17-2006, 01:23 AM
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Re: How to Produce (and Sell) Prints of your Artwork

Wow! Dave, you are something else! To take the time to give all this information to help others ...What can I say. I have been looking for a while for any info on how to get started making prints of my work....I could not have asked for more! and all the selling tips ....the icing on the cake!
THANK YOU!!!!
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Old 11-17-2006, 08:04 PM
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Vegas Art Guy Vegas Art Guy is offline
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Re: How to Produce (and Sell) Prints of your Artwork

I saw something that caught my eye in the Dick Blick catalog. Epson now sells inks that last 50 years for their inkjet printers. I found the link so I thought it would 'give' it away for all of you. Now only if HP would do the same thing.
http://www.dickblick.com/zz189/37/
http://www.dickblick.com/zz189/37a/

I missed a link sorry...

PS And no DB I have not visited your website, but I will I promise!
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Old 11-18-2006, 02:26 AM
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Re: How to Produce (and Sell) Prints of your Artwork

Dave, Dave, Dave....AWESOME work put into this and a great read as well as a wonderful source of information. Thanks a bunch for doing such a complete write up on all of this. It's going to help many people here.
Excellent Excellent Excellent!
Ron
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Old 11-22-2006, 10:32 PM
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Talking Re: How to Produce (and Sell) Prints of your Artwork

Thanks for the GREAT article on selling your prints! I hope I'm not hijacking your thread too much, but I wanted to expand on the idea of inkjets and giclees, since you mentioned you had to do some research about it and this is my specialty. I'm a digital artist, so all my original works start as inkjet prints. My reproductions are also inkjet-based.

Once Upon a Time, there was a real quality difference between inkjet prints and giclees. Giclees were (and are) very high resolution inkjet prints using archivally-correct pigment inks, onto nice acid-free paper like 100% rag watercolor. Standard desktop inkjet printers at the time didn't have archival inks available, and couldn't feed thick, nice watercolor papers.

All this is beginning to change, however. The resolution achievable by modern desktop inkjet printers is unbelievably fine, to the point that you cannot see the individual droplets of ink.

Combine that with inkjet printer companies like Epson who make pigment-based inks that have been independently rated by 3rd party organizations, and the news gets better and better. For example, check out http://www.wilhelm-research.com ... in particular their page on Epson printer ratings:
http://wilhelm-research.com/epson/
Now, obviously these are accelerated tests, but the science seems solid and when you compare the fade tests with data real-world examples such as color photos that have faded over the decades, it seems to hold up nicely.

Not all inkjet printers or even Epson inkjet printers have great ink ratings -- and the quality of the material you print onto makes a big difference too -- so a little research is important.

Anyway, back to giclees vs. inkjets. It's now at the point that you no longer need a super-expensive Iris printer to get great results. Most "giclee" print services are using wide-format Epsons and similar printers these days, so the old distinction is fading. You can often get smaller versions of those printers which use the exact same ink and resolution, so if you'd like to print yourself at home and you're handy with Photoshop, you can.

Pricewise, the really high quality ink printers such as an 8.5" Epson R800 will cost you about $400. On some papers, that ink is rated to over 150 years of display before noticeable fading occurs.

But you can still squeak a rating of 100 years out of less expensive variants like the Epson R260, which runs about $100 to $120. Yes, it's a dye-based ink, but it still gets better durability ratings than some older pigment-based inks.

Anyway -- my point is, giclee prints are inkjet prints these days, and some desktop inkjet printers can get you that same quality. It's a good time to be a digital artist or printmaker.

P.S.: I know I sound like a shill for Epson, but I can't help it, I just love them. Also, if you're looking for a good place to get supplies like precut watercolor paper and ink and so on, try http://www.inkjetart.com -- they also give good advice over the phone and through email.
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Old 11-24-2006, 02:44 PM
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Re: How to Produce (and Sell) Prints of your Artwork

Thank you sooooo much for this article--just in time for me as I recently got my very first request for a print of one of my favorite paintings...Also, someone wants to make prints (of the same painting) for their gallery and split the profits--quick question(?); does this sound like a good idea--they have a small gallery area in their store and do their own printing. I want to get my work out there but I'm so nervous about getting started and then having problems. Thanks for any advice...

Wonderful work, btw....I used to work only in ink and pencil but then I started painting in watercolor. Think I'll try to split my time between the two more often.

Michele
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Old 11-25-2006, 02:51 PM
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Re: How to Produce (and Sell) Prints of your Artwork

Mebo - Thank you. I'm glad you're enjoying my efforts. Hopefully I'll get another foliage tutorial done after the upcoming holidays.

Justin - Thanks for your comment; it means a lot coming from a printmaker such as yourself. I checked out your site and you have some awesome work.

* * * * * * * * * *
!!!! - If any of you folks would like to see some great examples of traditional printmaking techniques (and vey well done, I might add), take some time to look at Justin's site.
* * * * * * * * * *


Bob - Good thing you didn't wait for the pdf! ...busy, busy, busy! Thanks for the nice comments... they're always appreciated. So have you found those buried works yet?

Gail - Thanks for the kind words. You're exactly who I wrote this thing for. Your work is wonderful and totally deserves to be replicated. Best of luck with your efforts!

Greg - Thanks for the link, buddy! (so have you been to my site yet? )

Ron - There you are! Good to see you pop in every now and again. So glad you like this.. thanks for the wonderful comment!

Jen - Thanks for sharing your knowledge of Inkjet printing. As I mentioned, I've only recently become accepting of digital methods, and I have a lot to learn. And please don't think you're "taking over my thread". The whole idea here is to share the proper information, and I'm certainly counting on knowledgable folks such as yourself to add whatever needs to be added. Feel free to add as much information as you'd like. (btw - you don't sound any more like a shill for Epson, than I do for offset printing or black mat board! ...it's all good!)

Michele - What great timing with this thread and your circumstances. You have what I consider to be a perfect opportunity. It seems that you have very little to risk, and everything to gain. If the gallery is going to print them, frame them, and sell them... then all you have to do is collect $$$. And if it doesn't sell, you've lost nothing. You'll still have your original, and your work will have been seen by others. You hafta go for this!

A few things to consider: Maintain control of the situation. Don't just hand them your work with a carte blanche agreement to print as many as they want. Come up with a predetermined run or "edition" (whether it's 3 or 300), and sign a contract. I'm sure the gallery will have some procedures in place, but don't allow them to have all of the control. Or more simply put.. don't allow them to take advantage of you.

I'd be interested in finding out how this works out for you. Please keep us informed.
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Old 11-25-2006, 04:56 PM
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Re: How to Produce (and Sell) Prints of your Artwork

Dave,
No, no found lost relics. but what one thing you have done here, is help me re-asses, what it is I am able to do, vs what it is, I actually want or maybe should, and through reading the how to's, I have come to a conclusion that may take some time to develope, but will be worth while.

Living in Portland, I am surrounded by character and a large sense of enviroment, which other than my cars, a lot of my work is very organic. So I think I need to marry my ability of foilage and trees, add in some of the rich culture and history here, and use my abilities there. All this time, I have been looking for the center piece to my foilage work, well, there is a ton of it here. I guess its the cant see the forest for the trees syndrome. If itll stop raining long enough, I plan on getting some visual aids, I have a list of at least 7, great pieces I could work into and that is without doing any research whatsoever, which I am sure, will uncover a bounty of ideas, I could almost never fullfill, then, I have my center, piece, I love doing this type of work, plus, these will pics locally, that are probably very marketable. I just found, (through another forum on wc), the local artist orgs, so that I can also start looking into where and what galleries, or places to look. I got all this, out of your hardwork, not enough thanx to go around.

Of course, now your going to have to look at the wips for next two years as I develop all these, lol.

Bob.
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Old 11-27-2006, 09:28 PM
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Re: How to Produce (and Sell) Prints of your Artwork

Wow! Impressive!

Another mentionable method to spread your art out is charity donations!



What an absolute goldmine of information....

I'll be using many of the aforementioned tactics for years to come!

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Old 12-02-2006, 06:36 AM
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Re: How to Produce (and Sell) Prints of your Artwork

Bob - Thanks for the comments. I don't think I've ever inspired so many folks before... this is cool! And that sounds like a great plan. You seem to have some good ideas and I wish you the best of luck.

octiigon - Thanks so very much. I appreciate the kind words. I hope this information serves you well.
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Old 12-08-2006, 02:36 PM
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Re: How to Produce (and Sell) Prints of your Artwork

Thanks for steering me to this post--I will read it and see what I need to do.
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Old 12-08-2006, 06:59 PM
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Re: How to Produce (and Sell) Prints of your Artwork

I am currently invesigating a product called pronto-plate. It can be printed in a laser printer as a litho plate, then using printed as traditional lithography techniques. For me, who owns a hand press and am trained in lithography, this becomes a much more viable option than involving a local printer.

Press $1000
Plates less than $2 per sheet depending on size
Ink and other supplies $50

I can print one at a time, or 50.

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