Artist Printshop 6

Today we are going to talk about the physical print sizes. You can choose to make your prints larger or smaller than the original. A print is a separate piece of art based on an original. It will not be identical. You paint with paint and we print with ink. Your original has dimension in brush strokes, but your prints are flat without raised brush strokes.

It is not unusual for the artist to change something in the print and make it different from the original because they like it better. It might be color, contrast or brightness. A print is a separate piece of art based in part on an original and the other part on the artist’s choices during the print making process. Prints and originals are not usually shown together.

That brings us to size. You can make the print larger or smaller than the original. I suggest that you offer separate editions of the same image in two different sizes. A common size print is 24 inches (longest dimension) I generally consider anything under 14 inches a small print. Consider offering a limited edition of say one hundred and fifty 24 inch prints and perhaps three hundred of the smaller print. Why?

You will be hitting two price points in the market while maintaining the value of your work. You’ll be doubling (or more) your potential market of people who can afford your art. An average, 24 inch prints would be offered for $300. An average 14 inch print of the same image would be offered around $100.

As a collector, I appreciate small prints to fit the wall space. But, usually given the choice, I’ll buy the larger print.

More people can afford a $100 print than a $300 print. You won’t make your fortune selling your small $100 prints but you will be bringing in customers who may well buy larger prints in the future. Your larger prints are the most profitable.

I love to see a customer struggle over which size to buy because I am pretty sure at that point that they are either going to buy one or the other. If I can get them thinking about which of my prints they are going to buy, then I smell a sale.

How do print collectors feel about your offering two sizes? The collector knows what he or she owns and the size of the edition. The collector wants you to sell out that edition as quickly as you can. A print that is considerably smaller or larger print of the same image, is a different print and a different edition. Personally, the artist would gain my confidence if they were up front with it. Release both editions at the same time.

I would expect the artist to be just as concerned about increasing the value of their prints as I am. If they sell out an edition of one size, I would hope that they wouldn’t open a new edition of the same image at a slightly different size. It is legal to do that, but it would show me that they were more concerned about themselves than their customer.

So feel comfortable offering two editions of the same image at different sizes. But be up front with your collectors, release both editions at the same time. Understand that your larger prints are your bread and butter.

Cultivate all customers, communicate with them regularly. Let them know what you are working on. Tell them when you sell out an edition and let them be the first to know about your new editions.. Build your client base and you will do fine.

The value of art is very subjective. If I love your work, then your work is priceless to me. If your work doesn’t trip my trigger, then it is no value to me at any price. It is going to cost you just as much to develop $100 customer as it will a $ 500 customer.


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