There have been a few questions within the Thriving Artists Business School Facebook group lately about how to make prints from artwork, and where to get started making digital prints.
This blog post will touch on some of the basics of getting started with making prints from your artwork, but we go into greater depth and more detail inside the Passion to Profit programme, where I can show you how to run a successful business selling your art consistently.
If you decide you want to make prints from your artwork, there are several ways to go about it:
You can either scan the artwork in using a scanner (doing it yourself or get it professionally scanned in) or you can photograph with a good DSLR camera.
The important thing is it has to be a very good high-quality resolution – if you just take a picture with your phone, the resolution is usually 72 DPI (dots per inch) and it’s not crisp and clear enough. Your phone won’t capture enough information to turn that into a print, particularly if you want to go bigger with the print. It’s important that the actual photograph or the scanner captures enough dots per inch so you have enough information in the actual image and it’s scalable.
Consider your lighting – you’ll need some lighting to make sure that the painting is lit evenly so you don’t get any shadows, any kind of shiny bits, anything strange, any colour hues cast onto it.
You can take your paintings into a photographer/printers and they can do it for you as well.
Another option is to get a professional photographer to come out and actually shoot the pieces. These vary hugely in cost. You can find some photographers that are very reasonably priced and others are a lot more expensive. So it’s for you to do your due diligence, have a look at the quality of their work and then find somebody who is priced appropriately.
So – you have your images ready for prints and they’re excellent quality DPIs, and you’re happy with the light, with the colour balance, et cetera, and they’re nice and accurate, but what happens next?
A lot of people make the mistake of getting a run of prints made before they’ve actually started to sell them or before they know whether they are going to sell. Now, if you are a more established artist and you know your prints sell and they sell quite quickly you might be able to decide on a quantity to have printed.
But if you’re fairly new, the last thing you want to do is get a print run of say 50 or 100 prints made. You might find that you’re stuck with them, and all your profits and money are tied up in that run of prints. And you may sell a few, you may sell lots of them, but ultimately your profits and your money are tied up. Not so good for the old bank balance!
So rather than doing that, what I recommend with the students in PIP is to have a fantastic E-commerce website and use a print on demand company.
When your customer places an order, you get paid and the order gets sent straight to the print on demand company who then print it, send it to you and you can package it beautifully and send it to the customer.
That way there’s no initial outlay. You’re only paying for the print producing once you’ve actually received the money for it. It’s a much better way around until you know what numbers you are likely to sell.
Another thing to be aware of with prints is you can do limited-edition prints or open-edition prints. With an open edition obviously it’s an indefinite number. You just keep selling them continuously. With a limited edition it’s exactly what it says on the tin basically. You limit them to a certain number. Now, obviously the lower the number of the limited edition, i.e. there are only 10 of these, the more costly you can make them. If you have a limited edition of 25 or say 50, then obviously it’s not going to be quite as exclusive so your prices want to be as high.
There are some superb print on demand companies again, that I chat with you about in the programme, that have really beautiful quality papers so you don’t have to compromise on quality if you go down the print on demand route. The company I use and recommend is also able to do limited edition print on demand runs – just tell them what the limit is on that particular run and they will cap it to that.
If you get all the systems set up properly to begin with, then you can have a really lean, effective and efficient machine that takes care of a lot of your art processes so that you can spend more time in the studio creating – isn’t that what we all want?!
There are also some other wonderful ideas that you can do with prints to maximize how much you can sell them for. We discuss a lot of those things inside the Passion Into Profit programme, where you can get a step-by-step blueprint (with support) that helps you make consistent sales.
I’ll teach you how to work smarter, not harder!
So done smarter, it has no initial outlay, you’re not carrying stock, you determine how much profit is in each print, you can scale your business much easier that having to manually go to the printers, and you have a much leaner, more profitable business that supports you financially.
I hope that answers your queries about how to get started with prints from artwork. Any more questions, drop them below!
If you liked this why not check out my free masterclass here: https://ta-bs.com/Masterclass