Guest blogger Samantha Ward shares some frequently asked questions from artists about reproductions of their work, and her answers.
Q: How do I make sure the reproductions that are made of my artwork are top quality?
A: Many artists worry that reproductions, or prints as they are commonly called, of their artwork will not be an accurate representation of their original piece. However, with the proper preparation and production, reproductions can beautifully represent your original artwork, and even offer special features that original pieces can’t.
We recommend having your work professionally documented by a photographer who knows how to light your piece properly and edit the documentation. If you prefer to take photos yourself, try to use natural lighting and a DSLR camera to get the best possible photograph of your work. Make sure there is no glare or shadows in your documentation, and be sure to crop out any background. Shoot in RAW format if possible, so your file size is as large as possible. Your file size should be 300dpi and over 10MB for top-quality reproduction. For best quality printing, you should save your file in a CMYK color space.
The second step to excellent reproductions is a top-quality printer. You can shop around local and national printers to find the best price and quality for you. By using a site like Easely, artists don’t have to worry about this process. We make museum-quality reproductions that are durable enough to last for over 100 years. The UltraChrome HD inks on our artworks have a wide, rich color gamut range ensuring that our printers match the exact color fidelity of the original piece of artwork. We use the best materials at the best price to ensure that the reproductions look and feel great.
Artists can experiment by making reproductions of their artwork on a variety of materials. One of the most popular reproduction materials is a mirror wrapped canvas, which can be printed on fade-resistant canvas with archival inks. Another classic option is framed giclee reproductions – this way, a client can customize their frame and mat types, or you can specify color and material options that compliment your artwork.
More adventurous customers may order reproductions on acrylic, a slick plexiglass that stands out beyond traditional canvas and framed prints. Finally, for a unique, new look, artists can try printing their pieces on aluminum. This works by infusing dyes directly into coated aluminum sheets. Offering a wide selection of reproduction materials on an online art platform caters your art to a wide range of clients.
Q: Why would I make reproductions of my original artwork? Can’t clients just buy the original?
A: Some artists prefer to avoid making reproductions of their original artworks. Occasionally, artists with gallery representation do not have reproductions made because it lowers the value of their originals. Of course, it is an individual decision whether or not to even offer reproductions of your work, as it is right for some people and not for others. If possible, offering reproductions can give an artist an advantage in the art market.
Often times, clients who are looking for artwork for their work spaces want a huge number of pieces that have a consistent look and design. Unless you have hundreds of original pieces that are all the same size, identically framed, and in the exact framing color scheme a client wants, your original pieces will be automatically ruled out.
When you allow prints to be made of your artwork, it is suddenly available to a larger range of clients. Now buyers can pay to have your pieces with a particular frame and mat or printed on a unique material hanging for their workspace. They get to enjoy a variety of artists’ artwork while maintaining a clean, uniform design for their office space. Reproductions can also be utilized for art rental, a phenomenon becoming popular in the corporate, wellness, hospitality, and restaurant industries!
Q: How do I cater my artwork reproductions to large clients?
A: In order to cater your artwork for large clients in corporate offices, healthcare, or hospitality, it’s useful to try to imagine your pieces in large spaces. Do you have several pieces that work well in a series or triptych? Do you have documentation of your artworks that is good enough to produce a large-scale print? Do you offer a variety of print types and sizes for customized orders?
It’s also important to remember that there is no need to change your artistic style in order to be seen as a candidate for larger clients. Everyone’s preference is incredibly varied, so there is likely a client out there who is searching for the exact type of work that you create. Focus on creating series of work and getting great documentation of your pieces rather than trying to create pieces in a style that doesn’t interest you.
Samantha Ward is a an artist specializing in printmaking (focused on serigraphy and etching) as well as larger-scale installations created around musical performances by other artists. She is the artists relations manager for Easely and artistic director of FoundSound Music.