Want to sell art prints but don’t know where to start?
As an artist, it may seem a bit troublesome to delve into matters like business and marketing just to sell some prints. But if you want to make a living with your art and provide a more budget-friendly option for collection to your audience, art prints are definitely a must.
In this how-to guide, we’ve compiled everything you need to know when it comes to selling art prints. Don’t miss out!
- Main Takeaways:
- Why Make Prints of Your Art?
- How to Make Prints of Your Art?
- How to Sell Your Art Prints?
- BONUS! How to Make the Best Use of Your Art Prints?
- Final Thoughts:
Why Make Prints of Your Art?
Making prints of your art allows you to reach a larger audience. After all, the original artwork can only be placed in one place at a time, and most artists are even resistant to taking it out altogether, preferring to keep it safe at home.
Art prints are different in that they are not so precious. You can take them out without thinking too much, and take out a bunch while you’re at it! Allowing you to easily connect with several dozens, hundreds, thousands, or, even, hundreds of thousands, of people with a single artwork.
Of course, you also need to think about the profits that can be gained. Depending on the scale and the selling price, you can make a lot of money from a piece of art. And this is for the long term. You can sell prints of art over and over again, different from selling the original — which can only be done once.
How to Make Prints of Your Art?
Next up, let’s get straight to the how-to tutorial for making fine art prints. For this tutorial, we’ll be referencing the video of the art YouTuber, @KelogsLoops. We recommend watching it while reading the following information.
Step 1. Select Your Artwork
The first step in printing fine art prints is to select an artwork for printing. After all, not all artwork is necessarily suitable for selling as copies.
To give an example, if you like impasto — where the texture of the painting is as important as the composition of the painting — then a lot of charm would be lost if it’s digitized for printing.
Step 2. Scan or Photograph Your Art
In order to print digitized copies of your art, you need high-quality photographs. Only if your photographs are of high quality will you be able to produce prints of good quality. Such high-quality images can be obtained in two ways:
Scan Art for Fine Art Prints
The first option to obtain an image for producing a high-quality print is to find a good scanner to scan your original paintings.
@KelogsLoops chose the Epson V600 photo scanner and printer to scan his artwork and it produced a crisp and clean image — though it should be noted that this scanner did not capture the gloss of the gold foil on the original artwork.
Photograph to Digitize Art
The second option for digitizing your original work is photography (this is especially suitable for acrylic paintings)!
To start, you’ll need to prepare a space that can be used to produce high-quality images.
Accordingly, to take a photograph of the painting he found suitable for printing, @KelogsLoops first taped his artwork onto a clean white wall.
Then, he introduced lighting so that he could capture all the relevant details appropriately.
Only after all preparations were made, did the artist finally take a photo of his painting.
Step 3. Use Editing Software to Edit Your Photo
Once you have your high-resolution photograph or scanned image, it’s time for photo editing. Most artists prefer to use Adobe Photoshop as their photo editing program, but you can feel free to use whatever photo editing program you are most familiar with.
The main purpose of this step is to edit your photograph to look like it does in real life.
Of course, while you’re at it, you can transform your image into digital art and remove some blemishes or add other relevant details.
Step 4. Choose a Printing Method
After producing the relevant digital copies of your artwork, it’s time to prepare for printing.
First, choose the printing method that is most suitable for your budget and requirements:
- Digital Printing: Most cost-effective option. It’s also most suitable for printing in small quantities quickly.
- Giclée Printing: A printing method related to large format inkjet-based printers. This is the favorite for most artists, as it can be produced in large quantities with high accuracy.
- Screen Printing: Screen printing is very expensive and laborious. It is most suitable for limited or special edition runs of your artwork. Also suitable for creating merchandise (e.g., posters, bags, t-shirts, etc.)
- Offset Printing: If you want more control in your fine art print, offset printing — which is a printing method wherein an image is transferred to rubber blankets or rollers — is most suitable. It’s also best for producing prints in large quantities.
Step 5. Determine Print Size for Selling Prints
After choosing which printing method you want to use, it’s time to decide what size you want to sell prints in. The standards most artists choose are:
- Smaller Prints: 10″ x 8″ and 10″ x 12″
- Larger Prints: 16″ x 20″
These are sizes that are relatively easy to sell, which is suitable for setting up a small art business.
Step 6. Print High-Quality Prints
Next, it’s time to start printing! There are several options for this:
Choose to Print at Home
First, if you have a high-quality printer suitable for printing, as well as fine art paper and ink, then you can do it right at home. As for what constitutes as suitable …
For printers, you can check out this “What is the Best Printer for Art Prints and Artists?” article to see some recommendations.
As for fine art paper and ink, it all depends on your needs. For example, watercolor artists prefer to use watercolor paper (e.g. PPD Inkjet Watercolor Matte Giclee Paper) so that their art print will have the same paper texture as the original artwork.
Meanwhile, for ink, you can use pigment-based inks which are known for their high-color accuracy. For a more specific recommendation, the Lucia Pro Ink set is very popular and can produce incredibly beautiful prints.
Choose a Printing Company
If you don’t have the budget or the patience to print at home, then you can choose to go to a print company close to your home.
Artist @KelogsLoops chose this option in the end. He went to the SMLXL Fine Art Printing Company for printing. Doing this allowed him to sell prints relatively quickly. After all, there were professionals in the printing company to do the work.
Choose an Online Print on Demand Services
If you don’t have any printing shops close to your home. You can choose print-on-demand services online instead. They tend to have more services, even producing canvas prints and offering fast-shipping services that will send your art prints directly to your buyer.
As for which online print-on-demand services to choose from, we recommend ThePrintSpace! Their service for artists is absolutely top-notch and comprehensive.
Step 7. Prepare Your Art Prints for Sale
After you’ve finished printing, it’s time to prepare to sell prints. This is relatively easy to do. All you have to do is check for flaws. Those with flaws should be excluded so that you don’t harm your own brand.
Of course, there are also artists who want to embellish their art prints at this stage to make it more exclusive. For example, @KelogsLoops added gold foil to his prints to emulate the original piece. You can also try to add a paper mat frame to make your print pop out. Or, you can include your autograph to make the print even more exclusive.
How to Sell Your Art Prints?
@KelogsLoops decided to sell his prints on his own website. You can do the same and choose to sell online. Or, you can participate in art fairs where there are many artists and art-fans that are looking to buy prints.
Below, we’ve prepared a more general step-by-step tutorial that will make sense of the process:
Step 1. Prepare High-Quality Products for Sale
The first step in selling prints is to prepare them for sale. We’ve already talked about how to print copies of your original artwork, but the preparation process doesn’t stop there.
For example, artist @KelogsLoops took images of each print so that he could advertise the products better later.
This is one of the most important preparations for selling online. As it allows your audience to get an up-close look at the quality of the products you’re selling.
You can also prepare the packaging, add-on gifts, personal letters, etc. that you want to share with your fans at this stage. That way, when the orders come in, you won’t have to struggle with running around for the things that you need.
Step 2. Publicize Your Products
After preparing the products you want to put up for sale, it’s time to market them!
As an artist in the modern era, you should have already built a substantial audience base on social media. If so, it’s pretty easy to move forward — just post some content about the art prints you have for sale and where you want to sell them. If you’re the type of artist who dislikes to use social media, you’ll have to find a source of buyers elsewhere.
For example, you can sell your products at art fairs. OR, you can post your products for sale on art-related online stores.
Step 3. Optimize Product Listings
After publicizing your products, you need to optimize your product listings. The better and more compelling the listings are, the more likely they will be able to entice the viewer to buy your prints.
Now is the time to show off your aesthetic senses and create a listing with beautiful, high-quality images set in a neat and organized listing like the one shown above.
Step 4. Implement Secure Payment and Shipping
A critical thing that you must consider when starting a small art business is secure payment and shipping.
Most online stores will offer secure payment, but you have to take care of shipping personally. This can be a bit of a hassle, which is why some artists choose to assign their products for sale directly to fine art shipping companies who can take care of shipping for them.
You can do the same if you want. Otherwise, you’ll need to figure out how to safely ship your products to your buyer when the time comes.
BONUS! How to Make the Best Use of Your Art Prints?
If you want to earn more from your art print, you can try the following tips and tricks to increase your sales:
1. Create Art Merchandise
Since you’ve already taken high-quality photographs of your artwork, you can knock down two birds with one stone by selling art merchandise of the same print.
Many choose to make cheap postcards, greeting cards, bags, notebooks, keychains, enamel pins, etc. that can be given away as a free copy or sold separately for cheap.
2. Sell Limited Edition Releases
In order to increase the price of your art prints, you can make limited edition products that are special and exclusive.
For example, @KelogsLoops’ offers “Gold Edition” limited prints that are different in paper type, manually signed, and personally embellished. These are almost twice as expensive as regular prints and yet are able to sell out without fail!
3. Sell Art Prints as Subscriptions
If you think certain prints are selling more than others, you can open subscriptions with discounts so that your buyers can have an excuse to buy regularly!
4. Compile an Art Book
If you have a lot of products for sale, consider compiling them in an art book.
Artbooks won’t sell as expensively as single prints, but if you add your own personal experiences and tips into them, you can guarantee that the audience-base will be much larger!
5. Collaborate with Other Artists: Art Swaps
If your audience base is lacking, you can try to do some collaborations with other artists. Your audience plus theirs will double the efficiency of your selling!
PLUS, you can get a lot of new fans along the way.
Should I Sell Original Art or Prints?
If what you want is to make more money, then there’s no need to choose. You can do both! Your original work can be sold at a higher value to your most loyal fanbase, whilst prints will have continuing value the longer they are sold.
Do Art Prints Need a Certificate of Authenticity?
Serious art collectors will require that their art prints have a serious certificate of authenticity. Providing them with this service not only increases your credibility but also adds some security to the sales of your prints.
How Do I Protect My Art From Being Copied?
The best way is to register a copyright for your art. By doing so, you can secure ownership of your artwork and punish future infringers in court for the damages caused.
Art should be shared, and not just through the screen! Printed paintings may not create as dazzling an effect as seeing the original in real life, but it will never be worse than when art is viewed on a cold screen.
Now that you’ve learned how to print your works into marketable products, don’t hesitate! Start sharing your art today and find a way of living for yourself while you’re at it!
Featured Image: Source