Thursday, January 28, 2016

One Piece - Several Options - Making Your Art Work For You

 This little guy was a landmark piece for me.  It was one of the first collages that I made where I finally felt like I had "found" my happy art place, and it was one of the first originals that I sold.  That could have been the end of the story for that piece of work. 

I am so thankful I had the where-with-all to photograph this piece with a decent camera.  When you are a newbie to the art scene, you might not want to lay down the investment it takes to professionally scan a piece; but, at the very least, you can capture that image with a photo.  I encourage you to photograph ALL your work - the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Here's why!!

With that one photograph I have allowed that original piece of art to work for me (produce income) over and over again through prints, cards, and licensing.

Prints - If you would like to make your work more affordable to the general population, I highly recommend prints.  I didn't even take a traditional approach to prints - no giclees, no high end copies with archival ink, no fancy printing paper.  My prints are photographs! WTF? You sell photo reproductions as your prints?  Yes, I do.  And I have not heard anyone complain when they hand over the cash. 

I'm not knocking a giclee.  I LOVE buying the best I can, but I usually have $20 in my purse (the price of my 8 X 10 print) and I usually don't have $80 in my purse (the price of a giclee print).  I have made peace with myself about this whole photo print thing. 

Cards - With a little cropping and some text you can turn your original into a greeting card.  I buy 5X7 blank card bundles at Hobby Lobby and print 4X6 photos of my artwork to make cards.  A little double sided tape and a cellophane sleeve does the trick.  This card sells out at every show I do.

Finally, with a little bravery and a short, sweet, email, I sent out a few images to a few greeting card companies and guess what?  I have my first licensing deal. Tree-Free Greetings picked up nine of my images for production. One of the images was this same little bird.
And it all started with one photograph.