What benefits will you enjoy if you create prints of your artwork?
On the other hand, why wouldn’t you want to create prints?
As artists and sometimes also entrepreneurs, we can often agonize over our art. Should I explore this theme? How much practice do I need with this medium before I consider myself competent? Should I offer my work as prints? What about limited edition prints? Unlimited editions? Who do I print with? Do I print it myself? What ink and paper is best?
Have I missed a few questions? Oh… yes.
A better question to ask yourself: how do I want to sell my art? (Do I want to sell my art at all?!) What do I want to feel like doing it? And how will these options satisfy those desires?
What benefits does an artist gain by offering prints?
First, you have more work to offer for purchase without pulling crazy hours in the studio. Secondly, if gives you the opportunity to share more work with more people. Without prints 1 painting = 1 collector. Now one painting could potentially have unlimited interactions. Thirdly, not only does it offer you potential financial benefit, you can offer various price points to accommodate various client/collector needs.
Then comes the question: to print or not to print yourself? You need to consider factors like investing in a quality printer and pigment based inks, the time you spend on printing, packaging and shipping your products.
Some companies focus on fine art prints while others take a licensing/royalty approach. There are specific, well-written articles out there on the topic so I see no need to reinvent the wheel. I encourage you to read: Ultimate Guide to Print on Demand by The Abundant Artist How to Sell Photographs (applies to Fine Art prints too) by The Working Artist, and this great Wet Canvas Forum thread.
So, why would an artist choose not to create prints of their art?
Some artists would rather focus on more original work coming out of the studio. Others don’t want the time commitment or the work involved: it’s hard enough making time to create!
There is no correct answer. Our entrepreneurial mindset can have us planning, thinking, over thinking so much that we fail to act. We remain in a holding pattern, working to conceive that perfect idea instead of doing the work. Ultimately, they only way you might know if it works for you is to test the idea. Try it out! If it is not what you thought, then you have your answer. You’ll never know unless you commit to a path and walk it.
Prints are a popular option for artists, which can often have us wondering: should I do this too? Don’t jump on any bandwagons. Ask yourself: what do I want from my art? What does creating successful art look like to me? Use those answers to frame your choices. No one can answer this conundrum except for you.
Be Creatively Courageous: Have you considered making prints of your art? Why don’t you? Or what made you decide to move forward? Let’s talk in the comments below.