Print Discussion pt.1 – Why?

The artist is off doing martial arts today, so you will have to put up with a post from me today. I know, it is a shame, but hang in there with me. Today, I am going to talk about getting things ready for printing. Looking at the length of this post, I guess it is going to be a couple parts long…

So let’s start at the beginning.

Why not just sell originals?

Don’t get me wrong, owning original art has something to it that often feels different from owning a print. The issue comes down to price points. As someone trying to make a living on art, if you are only selling originals, you are only going to be able to make money while your hand is physically creating art. Since there are only so many hours in a day, there is a hard limit on how much can be created even under optimal conditions.

This means the cost of an original piece of art is going to be high for the consumer. There is just no way around that. Not only does the sale need to pay for the time to make that bit of art, it also has to pay for the materials, rough sketches, inks, and all the failed attempts that came before. It may not seem fair that you are paying costs on things you don’t get to keep… but there would be no finished art without them.

Trust me, artists want to be fed every now and then. It also tends to keep the quality up if their hands are not shaking from malnutrition.

Who wants a print?

Not everyone can/should/would afford to buy original art that is properly priced. For them a print is the best option. Certainly most of the art around my house is a print of some kind, so feel no shame in going for the less costly alternative.

Doesn’t a print devalue the work?

Is a solid gold ring devalued by being next to a plated ring? Not if everyone is honest about it. They are two separate markets. The person paying a premium for an original want to know it genuine. The person buying the print obviously would be fine either way. As such things should be clearly marked, and certificates of authenticity might be wise.

Now, I won’t say there is no one who would not buy an original because it was not the only one in existence… these people need to commission a piece and pay a little extra for the lost income that is going to be lost by not selling the work

Next time, we will talk about how to make prints.