Eat Your Vegetables | The Business Side of Art

“You’ve got to eat your vegetables.” Oh, art business, you are the vegetables to so many of us. We know we need to pay attention to it, but we’d rather enjoy the sweet taste of making art and put the business side of art on the backburner, as it were. But it doesn’t have to be that way–Barney Davey and Linda Fisler are both here to shed light on the topics that you may be skirting, such as whether or not you should use giclées to sell your art. In The Artist’s Magazine (May 2012–get your download here), Davey wrote a feature article on this particular topic, and the following is a sneak peek.

“Throughout the history of fine art printmaking, artists have reproduced their work using the state-of-the-art techniques available to them. Using today’s giclée process can result in an infinite number of prints of extraordinary quality. Giclée (zhee-CLAY; from the French gicler, meaning “to spray”) is a term describing this modern printmaking method that sends digitized images of paintings to ink jet printers to produce high-quality reproductions.

Should artists use giclees?

A skilled technician at MFA Talon Graphics checks a giclée print in progress. Photo courtesy MFA Talon Graphics

“With ink jet printing, artists can print on demand and avoid the risk of prepaying for large print runs. Additionally, giclées allow artists to offer variable print sizes, substrates and price points, all of which help satisfy the tastes and preferences of more collectors. Plus, the color range capabilities of the giclée process greatly exceed that of offset printing.

“Marketing digital prints brings the practice of creating limited-edition prints into question–an ongoing debate. (You can use the search function on my business blog, www.artprintissues.com, to find numerous posts examining the marketing of limited- versus open-edition prints, and the benefits of each to artists.)

“While the print market offers potentially lucrative secondary income for visual artists, creating giclées isn’t a remedy if you’re not doing well selling original art. A key to success in the art business is having the ability to create work collectors want to own. Ask yourself the following questions to determine whether your work is right for this market.

Is the Print Market for You? Ask Yourself:

  • Have the prices for your original works risen, causing you to lose buyers?
  • Could you have sold your popular originals many times over?
  • Are you unable to meet the demand for your originals?
  • Do you need a secondary source of income from your art?
  • Are you creating art specifically geared to the print market?

“If your original artwork isn’t selling, maybe you should first take a look at what is selling and adapt. Just as artists improve from studying the masters, they should learn by observing the business practices of top-selling artists, who find fresh ways to paint familiar themes.” ~B.D.

Join Davey for his free webinar on “Guerrilla Marketing for Artists” and Fisler for her Art Chat with “Quang Ho–Simplicity – One of the Basics (Often Forgotten). With their engaging conversations, you’re bound to take a fresh look at the business of art. It’s as nourishing for your art business as vegetables are to your health. Learn more here.

“See” you online,
Cherie

Cherie Haas, online editor**Free download! Claim Your Art Business Tip Guide to Learn How to Sell Your Art
**Click here to subscribe to the Artists Network newsletter for inspiration, instruction, and more!

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