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How to Use Art Prints to Boost Your Art Business 

Reposted with permission of author, Barney Davey – ArtMarketingNews.com

 We get it—venturing into the world of fine art reproduction can feel like navigating a labyrinth. That’s why we’ve streamlined the process to make it as smooth as a brushstroke on canvas. From the moment you reach out to us, you’re more than a client; you’re a valued member of our artistic community.

“Art prints are not just reproductions; they’re opportunities. They extend the reach of your creativity, making your work accessible and amplifying its impact”. — Barney Davey

Whether you’re an established artist, freshly venturing into the market, or somewhere in between, converting your creative passion into financial sustainability cannot be overemphasized. One efficient yet potentially beneficial strategy is using art prints to expand your business avenues.
Prints, if done right, are a consistent source of income and a way to reach more art lovers since they are typically more affordable than original works. This post is an in-depth look into the world of prints and explains how they can be a game-changer for your art business.

The Potential of Art Prints
Many artists are captivated by the idea of selling original works exclusively. The prestigiousness, the singularity, the hefty price tags—all of these aspects can certainly be attractive.
However, it’s crucial to remember that this model presents significant limitations: original works are expensive, and not everyone can afford them. Besides, once an original artwork gets a new home—it’s gone forever, along with all the potential profit it may bring you.
This scenario is where prints come on stage. Reproducing your work in print allows you to sell the same artwork several times. Prints transform one sold-out piece into a license to print money. They bridge the gap between art and affordability, inviting those who might not have the budget for an original piece to enjoy your work.

The Importance of Quality
Like any other industry, the world of art operates mainly on reputation. Producing quality prints is paramount, as any substandard prints could adversely impact your reputation in the art world. Ultimately, it’s worth investing in superior printing materials and services.
Reliable, high-quality inks are a must, as is choosing the right paper. In short, you must ensure that your prints act as a faithful facsimile of the original. They should match the original in color, tone, texture, and detail as much as mechanically possible.
Remember, a high-quality print can be as beautiful as an original piece, and your customers will appreciate and value the attention to detail.

“My highest recommendation is Digital Arts Studio in Atlanta. They’ve been at the top of the digital fine art printing business for decades. And they are artists and great people you’ll love to work with.” – Barney Davey

Image Capture Is Critical
Whether using a professional service or a DIY process, photographing and scanning art can be a game-changer for artists looking to expand their art business. Whether you create digital art or work with traditional mediums, capturing high-quality images of your artwork is crucial for showcasing your talent online and attracting potential buyers.
By mastering photographing and scanning art, you can ensure that your prints accurately represent your original pieces and appeal to a broader audience.

Photographing Art to Sell
Photographing art is a crucial step in effectively selling your artwork. Whether you’re an independent artist or running an art business, high-quality photographs can make all the difference in attracting potential buyers.
For more minor works or pieces without complex features, you can carefully photograph them yourself using a good camera and proper lighting. However, hiring a professional photographer is highly recommended for more significant works or pieces with three-dimensional or glossy elements.
When photographing art, capturing precise shots from multiple angles is essential. Doing this allows potential buyers to get a comprehensive view of the artwork. Additionally, zoomed-in images should be taken to showcase the texture and detail of the piece. This process helps customers appreciate the craftsmanship and uniqueness of your artwork. Lifestyle photos can also be incorporated to give viewers a sense of the scale and how the art might look in their living spaces.
Investing in professional photography or taking high-quality photographs can significantly enhance your chances of selling your art. Clear shots from various angles, zoomed-in images, and lifestyle photos give potential buyers a better understanding of and connection to your art. So, take the time and effort to photograph your art effectively and reap the rewards of attracting interested customers.

• NOTE: There are apps now available to size-mat-frame and present your artwork in hundreds of different room settings allowing you present your artwork by showing your images in context of a potential buyers space. All you need are the high quality JPEG photo files provided by Digital Arts Studio when they scan your original artwork.

Scanning Art to Sell

Although I don’t recommend DIY scanning, some artists will do it anyway.
While desktop scanners offer a convenient and cost-effective means of digitizing artwork, they come with limitations that can be particularly impactful when creating fine art prints:

Limited Size Capacity:

Most desktop scanners are restricted to capturing images up to a specific size, often no larger than a standard sheet of paper. This limitation can be problematic for artists who work on a larger scale.

Color Inaccuracy:

Desktop scanners may not capture an artwork’s full range of colors and nuances, leading to less vibrant prints or subtly different tones from the original.

Detail Loss:

The resolution of a desktop scanner may not be sufficient to capture the intricate details of a fine art piece, especially regarding texture and depth. Glare and Reflection Issues: Scanners can struggle with artwork with a high-gloss finish or made with materials like resin, leading to glare and reflections that distort the image.

Calibration Challenges:

Managing a desktop scanner’s hardware and software intricacies can be daunting for artists who may not have the technical expertise, which includes the initial setup but also ongoing calibration, software updates, and troubleshooting. The learning curve can be steep, and mistakes in any of these areas can compromise the quality of the scanned image and, by extension, the final print.

In summary, while desktop scanners offer a more accessible way to digitize artwork, they may not meet the stringent quality requirements for fine art printmaking.

Pricing Art Prints Properly

When it comes to pricing your prints, it’s a delicate balance. If you price them too high, potential customers may pass on your work in favor of a more affordable alternative. Price them too low, and you risk cheapening your work—not to mention slimming your profit margins significantly.
You should strive to place your pricing in the Goldilocks zone: not too high, not too low—just right. Market research is essential in achieving this. Look around at what other artists are charging for similar works and weigh up the cost of production with factors like your invested time and your brand’s value.

Art Print Pricing Considerations

When it comes to pricing art prints, there are several factors to consider to determine the retail price. One of the critical factors is the cost of printing, which includes the materials used, the printing technique employed, and any additional services like framing or matting. In addition to printing costs, selling and marketing expenses should also be considered, which includes expenses related to promoting and advertising the art prints, such as social media campaigns, website maintenance, and other marketing materials. Miscellaneous costs like packaging and shipping should also be factored in. These expenses ensure that the art prints are delivered safely to the customers’ doorsteps.
Lastly, it is vital to consider the desired profit margin. Artists must determine how much profit they want from each sale and adjust the retail price accordingly. While determining the pricing, it is crucial to consider the value proposition of the art prints. Artists should communicate any unique features, such as limited editions, hand-signed prints, or unique packaging, that may justify higher prices. By carefully considering these factors and communicating the value proposition, artists can find the right balance between affordability and profitability, ensuring their art prints are priced competitively in the market.

Diversifying Your Print Offerings
Offering a range of print options is a great way to cater to a broader audience. Consider introducing prints of various sizes, with such variety, allowing your artwork to decorate the homes of customers with different budgets and spatial constraints.
You can offer prints on different substrates, like canvas, photo paper, or metal. These various media can drastically alter the look and feel of your printed artwork, providing an opportunity to expand your customer base. Additionally, purchasing your artwork framed or unframed can cater to your customers’ varied preferences and budgets.

Leveraging Online Platforms
The rise of eCommerce provides artists with an unparalleled opportunity to reach a global audience. Online platforms like Fine Art America, Etsy, and Society6 can be excellent spaces for artists to sell their work. The work these platforms do—handling everything from payment processing to shipping—can save you time and stress, giving you more mental space to create.

The Role of Effective Marketing
Putting your prints out into the world for purchase is an initial step. An effective marketing strategy is a decisive factor in the success of your endeavor. From regular posting on social media platforms to maintaining and growing an email newsletter, there are many avenues to explore. Consider leveraging limited editions or signed prints—it can draw art collectors in and create a sense of urgency around your work. Show behind-the-scenes shots of your printmaking process and tell your artistic story to engage with your audience on a deeper level.

Boosting your art business is a process that requires diversification and adaptation to changing market trends. One such avenue of diversification is art prints, which offer a profitable and scalable solution. High-quality images can significantly augment sales of original artwork, expanding your customer base and profits.
By focusing on quality, pricing your work right, diversifying your offerings, properly leveraging online platforms, and formulating an effective marketing strategy, your art business can reach new heights of success.
Artists worldwide must continue to innovate, evolve, and adapt their creative endeavors into profitable business strategies. Embarking on creating and selling prints can be the first step towards a thriving art business.

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