When Should Artists Make Art Prints of Original Work?

When Should Artists Make Art Prints of Original Work?

I get asked quite often my thoughts on making prints from original work. In this post we are talking specifically about giclee prints, which are essentially photographic reproductions made from scans of original paintings.

Prints seem to work best when they are offered as a less costly option than the artists original work. Many artists have original paintings that are many, many thousands of dollars and that cost is out of reach of many consumers. One approach is to make giclee prints which can be sold at a fraction of the cost of the original paintings.

What doesn’t work very well is for an artists whose work sells for a few hundred dollars to also sell prints - and I see way too many artists doing this. The problem here is that the cost of the originals and the prints are very close to each other. The prints then begin to devalue the originals, and compete too strongly with the original paintings in price. Why would you want to compete with yourself?

Making prints of one’s work is a personal choice. I don’t want to sell prints of my work, I only want to sell originals. I don’t want photographic reproductions of my work out there that have very little monetary value. I prefer to spend my money and energy creating new work rather than spending time and money reproducing old work. That’s my choice. That choice also fits into the way I want to make money in my business, and that should inform your choice also.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help determine if selling prints is right for you:

  • How does selling prints fit into your business model?

  • Is there enough separation in price between your originals and your prints?

  • Is money the only reason you want to make and sell reproductions of your work?

  • Can you see potential downsides to selling reproductions? Will selling prints hamper your ability to sell your originals?

If you'd like to learn about abstract painting, then please join me for a painting workshop: (You can view a list of 2020 workshops HERE)

  • October 4-6 Arts and Design Society, Fort Walton Beach, FL. For more information and registration contact Hanna at hanna222@cox.net. Almost Sold Out! Sign up soon!

  • November 4-6 David M. Kessler Fine Art Studio, Winston-Salem, NC. For information and Registration Click Here. Sold Out!

  • November 16-17 Art of the Carolinas, Raleigh, NC-Sponsored by Jerry’s Artarama. For information and registration Click Here. My Saturday workshop is sold out, but there are still a few seats remaining in the Sunday (Nov. 17) workshop. They are going fast so sign up soon!

  • January 9-11, 2020 Arts Alliance of Lee County, Ft. Myers, FL. For information and registration Click Here.

  • January 22-24, 2020 David M. Kessler Fine Art Studio, Winston-Salem, NC. For information and registration, Click Here. Sold Out!

  • February 1-2, 2020 Lighthouse Art Center, Tequesta, FL. Contact Holly Gizzi:.Email: holly@lighthousearts.org

  • February 19-21 Gadsden Art Center, Quincy, FL. Contact Anissa Ford. Email: anissa.ford@gadsdenarts.org

As always, thanks for your support!


P.S. If you you'd like to learn more about Color and how to use it in paintings, I have a great course called All About Color available for you:

ALL ABOUT COLOR is an online course that will show you a straightforward, no nonsense, clear and easily understandable approach to using harmonious color in your paintings.

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