The learning and sharing:
Despite all the good intentions in the world I have not written another blog post. Even though there is much to share, a lot of doing and learning as an artist that might help a few people out there starting their journey.
What I have learned about prints…
This month I decided to do prints of my artworks leading up to my exhibition and leading up to Christmas. If you ever try to do prints of your artwork, there are a few things to learn;
- How to photograph your artwork.
- That there are printers out there that will scan the artwork for you - so getting the perfect photograph is obsolete.
- Picking sizes for your prints (so that they fit in generic affordable frames for your customer) - From experience there is nothing worse than buying a lovely print and not finding a frame for it, and being too stingy to have a frame made.
- Promotional material - how to write about yourself and your work honesty but without being modest.
- Investing money into your work - taking good risks.
I work hard as an artist but honestly, it is my husbands hard work that is getting us by at this early stage. There is something to be said about being studious with money HOWEVER, spending ZERO DOLLARS on promoting work that you KNOW others are connecting with is a shame and as an artist I dare say it is a sin.
So how do you make decisions around where to spend money?
That is a killer question that I can’t answer right now and I am sure in my next blog I will be able to let you know what has and has not worked for me for the limited stuff I have done.
What I can say…
- Photographing or scanning your best work for print is entirely worth while.
- Taking bulk orders for prints (before booking a print run) is a smart way to offer prints. I have provided huge discounts to my small Facebook group for prints. They know they have 2 weeks to order together and that that they will receive their prints, signed, in a month. - This has been a better option than an online shop for me. (lower overhead, postage, merchant accounts etc) AND I get to sign the print, which for some reason is important to me. If someone connects with my work I feel like I should sign it to acknowledge that connection - but that’s just what I feel is right for me right now.
- You’re an artist. Not many people know or are connected with artists (except other artists). If you consider that and convey & respond to being ‘their’ artist they will forgive waiting times, trust them in return. Maybe it's not ideal, but it is essential if you are trying to get stuff out there at an affordable price point for the people who have supported you and who you trust to continue the connection.
- It’s your business, you are the boss. If your work is personal, if you value authenticity, if you value people connecting with your work, if you value the essence of what you are creating. Don’t compromise it. Not even for the dollar, not until you have tried... Of course find a way to make a dollar. Please strive for that because it is crucial! But hold true and continue to find a way to keep doing what feels right to you. There is nothing to prove, shake off old expectations - You are now the boss. You choose what is important.
- A little on friends - My god, good friends can make all the difference. Their faith in you that trickles through the work that you share with the world. Learn how to appreciate it. Don't brush it off with modesty. Appreciate it, recognise it and don't take it for granted.
Why I haven’t shared or blogged? Well.. I’m trying to solidify these ideas for myself as well (hence the preachy tone, it is not directed at you :). I certainly have not mastered anything here... nothing I have written or done has come without uncertainty and doubt. Life often gets in the way, and so it should… hopefully we can accommodate that too. For me, art is about trying to reconcile the beauty of the world with it’s cruelty, vice versa. It’s not easy but every moment of it is worth while.
I’d love to hear your journey! Thank you for reading mine… :)
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