I’ll be releasing my first set of art prints in a few short weeks and I couldn’t be more excited! The process of making prints of my art, let alone selling and shipping them, always seemed a little bit daunting. There seemed to be so many obstacles, so many moving pieces to consider! Now that I’ve done it I’ve realized that I don’t want any other artist to have to feel that way. If making prints of your artwork is something that you’ve thought about doing then it’s my goal to help you work through that process without all the headache. That’s why I coach artists in the first place; it makes no sense to me that someone should have to learn things the hard way (AKA all-nighters spent Googling “how to…”) when I could just share what I’ve already learned.
Should I Make Art Prints?
Every artist starts with this question. I can’t tell you one way or another if prints are the right choice for your business, but here’s what I CAN tell you that might help you make a decision:
Easier than they sound
I promise that, by the time you’re done reading this blog, you’ll be able to create art prints of your own with confidence.
A passive income opportunity
The best thing about prints? Paint it once, sell it forever! Prints are one of many ways to passively bring income into your business… who doesn’t want more of that?
Have you had potential customers turn away because they can’t afford the cost of your original works of art? Having art prints available can help you save the sale! Art prints are affordable which makes them accessible. Instead of customers turning away, just turn them in the direction of your prints!
Because there are so many ways to make and order prints, you can customize them to suit your business, branding, and artistic needs! You can add quotes, superimpose your own photography, sell them in packs, even add hand-painted highlights or customizations… It’s up to you!
What To Do Before You Order Prints
Choose the Right Art for Your Prints
If you’re just starting out making prints of your art then I recommend choosing a handful of pieces that really represent your brand. Not sure what those are? Look no further than your own social media! Which pieces did your followers love? Which pieces were people heartbroken over when that SOLD banner went up? Start there!
Digitize your Art for Prints
Before your art can be turned into a print, it has to be digitized. There are really only two good options, scanning and printing. Scanning works best for small, flat pieces on paper. Everything else, like canvases and large-scale paintings, will require using photography to digitize your piece. I recommend using a real camera or, if you must use a cell phone camera, using the highest resolution possible. When photographing, don’t use a flash or put your art in the sunlight — both will lead to inaccurate colors or, worse, a reflection. Whenever possible, use a light box (you can make your own!) or against a white wall. Instead of using zoom, walk closer to fill the frame with your painting as much as possible.
Art Print Options
Print At Home
Some artists have invested in a high-quality printer and papers of their own. This is a good option for anyone who wants to make a lot of limited-run prints and has the space to store their merchandise. The downside to printing at home is that it’s incredibly hard to print in bulk with just one printer.
Local Printing Companies
Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of local options but if you happen to live near one then it might be great for you! Local options are nice because there’s not as much downtime between ordering and receiving your prints and, if there’s something wrong, you’re able to work directly with the company (in person!) rather than relying on a customer service line. The only downside is that you typically have to order in bulk in order to make this an affordable option.
Print On Demand and Dropshipping
There are tons of websites out there that offer print-on-demand and dropshipping. The way it works is this: your art is uploaded to a website. They don’t print anything until a piece is ordered, and then the company handles the printing and shipping themselves. This is a good option for anyone with a high volume of prints or someone who simply does not have the space to store a high volume of prints.
Selling Your Art Prints
Once you have prints available, you have to sell them!
Titles and Descriptions
Titles and descriptions should include a few important things:
- Accurate information about your art, including dimensions, is a must.
- Keywords that make your art easy to find for shoppers, like “boho chic” or “whimsical farm animals” are essential.
- Calls to action. Things like “make a great gift for graduates” or “perfect for mother’s day!” not only help with search engine optimization but they help validate your customers if they’re shopping for gifts.
Think of all the people, places, reasons, and occasions for which you have bought art prints in the past. Why did you choose an art print? What types of prints were you drawn to? What did you use to search for them? Use that information to inform your marketing plan. You could remind your customers that prints are available before every holiday or take flattering pictures of your work to show how it can be incorporated into any decor. Be intentional with your marketing.
What do you think? It doesn’t sound that complicated now, huh?