Sunday, December 26, 2010

Thinking about prints

Some time back a friend asked if I would consider selling prints of my work.  At the time, I dismissed the idea.  The only way I was aware of to make prints was by going to a print shop and having giclees made, an expensive endeavor, or by having poster type prints made at someplace like Wal Mart, which was not the quality I was looking for.   Since then I've done some research and discovered a whole new marketing possibility - print on demand.

The basic idea is that I upload an image to a web site, which then will print (and frame if requested) the image whenever anyone wants one.  I pay a fee or commission and the web site takes care of the rest, including shipping, and sends me a check each month.  Everything from giclees to posters to greeting cards are a possibility.

Here are the two sites I am looking at: and  Imagekind is more expensive (not by much though) and has fewer options, but seems to be made more for the "serious" artist, if I can use that phrase without sounding terribly snobbish.  It is an affiliate with CafePress, so can be linked to the possibility of t-shirts, mugs etc.  That seems to defeat the "seriousness" of the art, but opens up more options.  Fineartamerica lets me sell through Facebook, create catalogues and sell greeting cards.  It's a huge site, which means a lot of potential customers, but also the possibility of getting completely lost in the crowd.  It's a tough choice.

I'm now seriously considering this, but I'd like to get some feedback from all of you.  Would you consider buying a print online?  Would you be willing to pay more for a higher quality print?  If you had an original, would it bother you if a print of that piece was made available?  Conventional wisdom states that one should sell prints only after originals have been selling well.  If I go ahead with this idea I will be going against that, but I'm hoping this will be another opportunity to get my name and artwork out there.

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