Helping you with the business of being an artist

Creating Prints Of Your Artwork

A piece of art that you create becomes special to you. After putting in hours of effort, inspiration, and time into a creation, you never want to see it sell for less than it’s worth. However, you understand that it could take months or even years to sell an original piece of art for its sticker price. This is why artists have made it a common practice to turn their creations into prints so they can sell them at a much lower price to many individuals, rather than just one. If you decide to produce digital copies of your art, remember that no matter what you call them, they are not original works of art. They are digital copies of your original piece of art and should always be represented as that. If you have decided that making prints is the right step for you to take the following information will get you started and will hopefully help you create successful prints that will sell out in no time.

Starting Out

Get your works of art into the computer

You can do this by either scanning the piece, if it is small enough and 2-dimensional, or by photographing the work of art. Check out our article: How to Get Great Images Of Your Artwork.

Edit the image in a photo editor on your computer

You should edit the image so it looks most like the original piece. You can use very advanced features but usually the levels and curves features will work just fine to fix any minor lighting or coloring problems you may see.

Pay attention to image size

Generally in computer photo programs 300 pixels is equal to 1 inch. So when expecting to print a certain size make sure that your image size on the computer is large enough so you print the right size and do not print a bunch of tiny or blurry images. The resolution of the photo matters, a higher resolution can scale to larger prints. Check out adobes articles about Image Size and Resolution.

After you have your image set and ready to go it is time to decide whether you wish to print your work in-home, or have them done professionally. Both should result in a giclee print which is a high quality print that cannot be achieved through a normal office printer.  

In-home Printing

Printer

For creating prints of your art you should purchase a large format inkjet printer. This specific kind of printer has small spraying apparatuses that are made to apply the ink more precisely than printers meant for printing documents can.

Ink

When choosing what type of ink to use it is important that you choose a pigment-based ink rather than a dye-based ink. A pigment-based ink will give you much more vivid and realistic to your work and life, colors.

Paper

Choosing a surface to print on is one of the most important aspects of printing your work. You have to consider what type of places your prints could potentially be hanging and how you ultimately want these prints to look. Make sure that you choose a surface that is labeled archival, this will ensure that the ink will work with the paper properly. For more information about paper type view the choose the right printing paper section of our article: —–in progress—-

Resolution

You should make sure to print using a minimum resolution of 300 dpi (dots per inch). You can edit your image resolution in a program such as Photoshop.

Although the cost of all of this material can be high, if you are planning to create prints of your artwork often, then making this initial investment can be very helpful. The cost of professional printing can grow exponentially without proper planning. This is why so many artists opt to print their own art prints. However, you must make sure that the in-home prints you create are a quality print that will be worth a buyer’s investment. If you do not believe that you can achieve this quality then you should use a professional service rather than investing in printing supplies. 

Printing Company

If you feel as though in-home printing is not for you, or may be too much of a time commitment for your busy schedule, then using a professional printing service or company can be a great alternative. When choosing to work with one of these professionals it is extremely important to first make sure that you can sell your prints. You should do this before you make the investment to get them produced. The following list of fees associated with a session of professional printing will help you understand why.

Fees you will be responsible for each printing session:

  • Color matching
  • Printer set up
  • Bulk purchase (sometimes required)
  • General printing cost (materials)
  • Shipping

All of these fees will add up and will vary based on the company you choose to use. If you cannot sell enough of your prints it is not worth getting them done. The reason to get prints done is to make money, and if you are making a large investment then you should be sure that you can make that money back as well as additional revenue. If you are confident that you will be able to afford any fees you may come across while still making money then a service like this can give you reliability and quality assurance that you may not be able to guarantee yourself if you in-home print.  

Conclusion

Whether you choose, in-home printing, or a printing service, it is important to make sure that you can sell enough prints to offset your costs. The entire point of print creation is to help you make money from your art, so figure out your demand and then work on the supply.

Sources:

http://thevirtualinstructor.com/blog/make-prints-of-your-art

https://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6540567

http://www.artbusiness.com/aprtprm.html/

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