If you are a budding artist, you may wonder how so many people get to the stage where they are selling their prints and making money from their hard work. Making art takes a lot of skill, creativity and individuality. It is what an artist thinks of, puts down on paper and expresses to the audience which is what makes it sell.
If you are thinking of creating a piece of art for yourself, you need to think about the following things:
-medium- will it be penon paper, pencil, oil paint, photography or something else?
– style- what is your creative style? You will need to find a niche for yourself in the art world if you are going to be successful
– subject matter- what will you make art out of? Will it be a painting of a landscape, animal, person or something more abstract?
Once you have decided on the type of art you want to create, you can go away and create your masterpiece. The piece you have created here will be your master copy. You will make copies of this for other people and sell that on. It means that you can print as many as you like within your career.
The next thing you will want to work out is how you will sell your art. Will you make a website for yourself and sell directly to your customer through there? Will you go onto a site such as Etsy and sell through their shop, or maybe you will want to collaborate with a retailer and sell it through them. Whichever route you choose, you will be getting more exposure for your art and making some money.
Rather than selling your original paintings, you will want to be selling prints because that is what people want to pay for. No one wants to spend the extra money on an original when they can have a print instead. It will also mean you can sell much more.
To make the most of your printing and ensure that your customers get the best quality prints, you will need to invest in a good printer, HP ink cartridges and thick paper. Depending on the type of prints you create, you can also look at matte and glossy finishes. If you are going to be selling a product which relies on visual, you need to make sure that it is of the best quality possible.
You will need a printer which also has a scanning feature for your artwork- and if you have very large canvases, you will want to look at investing in a large flat bed. It will make things much easier than you having to stitch the image back together in Photoshop!
To make your prints, you will first want to choose your dpi. 600 dpi will allow you to offer multiple sizes of prints without losing the quality of the image. You could of course go larger on the dpi, but remember that you will need to have a lot of storage on your computer to handle the file size. Never go below 300 dpi as this is the minimum standard for printing.
The next step will be to actually scan in your image and then save it as the master copy. You can edit the images on a software like Lightroom or a Photoshop to make sure that the color and light is perfect. Keep in mind if you do edit on Photoshop to change the setting to CMYK rather than RGB. This means that your color’s will be optimized for printers rather than for viewing online. Standard ink cartridges come in the color’s cyan, magenta and yellow rather than blue, red and green. This means that what you see on your computer screen could be different to what is printed if you don’t change the color settings on your editing software.
Once you have edited the piece you can save it as master edit, and then create new files with the standard print sizes. You’ll want to make: 5″x7″, 8″x10″, 11″x14″, etc… this will let you see what each size is going to look like and give you an idea of the dynamic of the piece. You can also crop the images in both portrait and landscape to see which one you like best. It will be at this stage you’ll choose which sizes an orientation you will sell to the public.
Once you have done all of that, you might want to print out a test copy of each size to check that it is up to scratch. You can use these pieces to market your product by taking photos of the print and putting it online. Get yourself a plain frame to use for photo shoots and have a blank wall behind the piece, stand it up and then add in a candle or a plant next to the piece for the image you will share on your website. It is helpful for your customers to be able to see exactly what the piece will look like once it has been framed.
If your piece is a canvas, show the canvas hung up on a plain wall, and then make sure you advertise the fact that what you are selling is the canvas PAPER not a stretched canvas. It will mean that your customers will get the art and they will have to put it on a frame themselves.
Now that you have made the prints and you are ready to sell them, you can share the piece on whatever website you are using, and then share the new addition on your social media channels. Make sure that you make a small paid promotion for the piece on both Facebook and Instagram to attract customers and pull in those sales.
If a customer asks you for a different size, it is up to you whether you will supply it, but there’s no problem with doing this every so often for a customer who has a specific need. Make sure that you let them know that if they have any requirements, they will need to contact you directly.