Fina Art Prints FAQ

Why make Fine Art Archival Pigment Prints of your Artwork?

By Tony Murray of Murray Imaging Studios, Naas
www.murrayimagingstudios.com

01. Introduction - why buy a Fine Art Print rather than an original?
02. What is the difference between a Giclée Print and an Archival Pigment Print?
03. The benefits of making prints of your work - €€€ continuous revenue stream.

04. How do I decide if making an Archival Pigment Print is right for me?
05. Is it a costly and difficult process?
06. How many Archival Pigment Prints do I have to make?

07. Step 1 - Professional digital copying of your Artwork
08. Step 2 – Finding a reputable fine art printer who makes Archival Pigment Prints
09. What can I charge for my Limited Edition Archival Pigment Print?
10. How best can I market my Fine Art Prints?
11. How do I choose the paintings to print?
12. How does the Limited Edition concept work with Fine Art Prints?
13. Is now a good time to start producing my Fine Art Prints?

 

1. Introduction - why buy a Fine Art Print rather than an original?
Many people feel that the only thing to spend hard-earned cash on is an original work. However, for people who cannot afford originals, a professionally produced Limited Edition Archival Pigment Print is of such high quality and colour accuracy that it allows them to purchase a great piece of art for a minimum amount of money.
A way to look at a Limited Edition Print is to compare it to an artist who writes a song – does he/she sell the original song and never make any more revenue from it? No. They sell records – the record is the equivalent of your Limited Edition Archival Pigment Print!

2. What is the difference between a Giclée Print and an Archival Pigment Print?
Giclée (pronounced Gee’clay) is a French term meaning to spray or squirt, which is how an inkjet printer works.  Historically giclée prints were made using dye-based inks, which tended to fade easily over time - Iris prints are made by the same process.
However, an Archival Pigment Print is produced using more permanent Pigment Inks.
These pigment inks are incredibly lightfast and have the ability to produce a large colour gamut ensuring that the print accurately represents all of the tonalities and hues of your original painting.
This reproduction process produces the highest quality prints available to day and is the printing process of choice for the worlds leading Art Galleries and Museums.

3. The benefits of making prints of your work - €€€ continuous revenue stream.
You put a lot of time and effort into a painting – you put a lot of yourself into it.
You get a great sense of joy when you sell it.
The reality is, when you sell it its gone forever, and you have to start all over again.
You can never look at it, admire it or reference it ever again – it’s gone.
Now imagine selling that image over and over again, at a reduced price so that many others can enjoy your work.

In the current market, sales of expensive original art have dropped off dramatically.
However people still love art – it can bring joy into their lives and they still desire to bring beauty into their homes. In today’s economic climate a professionally produced Archival Pigment Print gives you a new lower priced ‘high quality’ product to offer your clients.

You can sell these prints again and again and they can become a continuous revenue stream over the years, allowing you to concentrate on your next original artwork.
That is what can happen if you make high quality prints your paintings.
Get your artwork professionally and digitally copied; get at least one Edition Proof Print completed and start building a body of work that could become your pension fund as the years go by.
You can sell them as Print Only, Mounted or as a fully finished Framed Product ready for hanging – ideal for generating revenue for you at fairs/exhibitions or selling direct from your website.

4. How do I decide if making an Archival Pigment Print is right for me?
Many of you will have had exhibitions, and more often than not, there will always be one or two of your originals that you could have sold multiple times – but you only have the original which you can only sell it once.
Also many people may love your work but they simply cannot afford to purchase the original. Some of you may have had greeting cards made of your images to test the market – if these have sold well then it is a good indication that there may be a market for Limited Edition Prints of your work.
Other reasons for producing an Archival Pigment Print:
a) Commissions – maybe you have been commissioned to paint someone’s dog, horse or a family portrait – you can now offer high quality copies for other family members generating extra revenue for you.
b) Personal Gifts – why spend your hard earned money on presents for friends or relations when you can give them one of your unique personal Fine Art Limited Edition Prints!
c) The Export Market – having high quality images of your artwork displayed on your website opens your work to the huge worldwide market. Edition Prints are valued greatly in the UK and in the USA.

5. Is it a costly and difficult process?
In previous times making a print of your original artwork was a long expensive process and required you to print up a minimum of few hundred copies of the work.
This was high cost, high risk and the quality was far from optimum.
However, these days the copying and reproduction methods available are very sophisticated, with minimum outlay and potentially long-term returns and you only need to order prints as you need them – no huge stocks to carry!

6. How many Archival Pigment Prints do I have to make?
One of the advantages of this printing process is that once the Digital Master File is created, you can order as many or as few as you wish.
You can also have any size you wish – the cost is based on the square inch of the final print.

7. Step 1 - Professional digital copying of your Artwork.
The first step is to build a digital archive of your work by having your artwork professionally copied, giving you a Digital Master File.
As you finish each original have it copied professionally and gradually you will build a digital portfolio allowing you to have accurate representation of your work on the web, for brochures, for Limited Edition printing and for your personal portfolio.
In order to photograph your artwork to the quality level needed to produce a Fine Art Print specialised lighting and a fully colour managed workflow is required.
The quality of the final Limited Edition print is totally reliant on the quality of the original Master Digital File – if this is poor quality then, as the saying goes “You can never make silk purse…..”
Far too often an artist’s work is represented on the web by a poor quality image – there is no way this work will sell and can actually be detrimental to an artist’sreputation.
It is like a bad window display – if it does not truly represent the quality of your work you are better not to show it at all.
At Murray Imaging Studios we specialise in digital copying of your artwork and we offer discounted prices for supplying a batch of originals for copying at one time.

8. Step 2 – Finding a reputable fine art printer who makes Archival Pigment Prints?
Ideally the professional photographer who copies your artwork should be a close partner of your selected Fine Art printer. This is not always possible but at Murray Imaging Studios we provide a personal one-to-one service carrying out all of the essential steps in-house from the original Digital Capture of your artwork right through to approval of the Limited Edition Final Proof - nothing is outsourced, and you, the artist, can be present for all stages if you so wish.
You also need to realise that the Limited Edition Print will be produced on a different media than that of your original piece.
This is where the experience of a professional printer really comes into his/her own. We will work with you to select an archival paper which is suited to your needs and budget. We will also work with you to ensure that the contrast and saturation are optimised to produce an ideal print that you feel accurately represents your original work and that you are proud to sign.
This then becomes the Digital Master Proof that all future prints are made from.
In effect, your printer becomes your partner – your printer will get to know your style and requirements and guarantee consistency of all future editions.

9. What can I charge for my Limited Edition Archival Pigment Print?
How much can I charge for my fine art prints?
How do we ever decide on pricing art?
What size of edition should I go for?
A good basic guideline is to look at the cost of the print and simply double it to obtain a price for selling from your website or for selling at art fairs and at exhibitions.
A large print, approx 18x14inches with a 2inch surround border should sell for around €90 print only. You can also produce smaller images say, 12x10inches with a 1.5inch border and sell them for approx €45 print only.
The edition size and how well known you are as an artist will also determine the selling price.

10. How best can I market my Fine Art Prints?
The obvious direct sales outlets are fairs and exhibitions. Having galleries selling your prints can work out well but with their commissions it can cut your profit margin dramatically, however it does get your work seen and builds your reputation. Think of it and use it as a PR exercise.
The best way is to use your website and all social media outlets – offering a ‘Print of the Month’ on Facebook can work really well – you could have it available for one month at a 10-15% Discount.
Be creative and attract a loyal following.

11. How do I choose the paintings to print?
My advice would be to try to have 100% of your best work digitally copied but be selective as to the images you put into print.
Ask people who come to your exhibitions.
Using Facebook show a number of your paintings and again, just ask people for feedback on their favourites – run a competition!
Make your decisions based on the response.

12. How does the Limited Edition concept work with Fine Art Prints?
My advice would be to set a Limited Edition at the outset. Do a couple of Artists Proofs (A/Ps) to test the market and get people’s response – base your edition size on the response received. I would suggest keeping the edition to 75 or a maximum of 150.
Usually the smaller the edition, the higher the cost, but if you have a great seller then keeping the edition small will restrict your potential revenue earnings.
You should also be regimented about keeping track of recording who bought your print, the edition number and their contact details.
Build a client database – try to get repeat customers and it will also grow your invitation list for your next upcoming exhibition!
You can also enclose a Certificate of Authenticity with each print.

13. Is now a good time to start producing my Fine Art Prints?
The simple answer is YES.
The investment and risk is small.
The copying process and printing technology has never been more advanced and, in the hands of a true professional fine art printer, the results are amazing.
If you have an original artwork that you feel will sell – have it copied and have at least one Artist Proof print produced before the sale.
In that way, the original will finance the initial Fine Art Print setup and printing costs and these prints will generate an income long after the original has been sold!



MurrayImaging Studios - a brief history….
Tony Murray is a qualified engineer and mathematician. He is also a traditional black and white darkroom printer and applies these learned skills when printing exhibition prints for some of Ireland’s leading artists and fine art photographers.
He set up Murray Imaging Studios in 2007 to meet the needs of his clients and to provide a personal one to one service where quality and delivery times are consistently met.
Tony was made an Associate Member of the Irish Professional Photographers Association in 2009, AIPPA and was also awarded Landscape Photographer of the Year for Best Overall Image and Best Portfolio in the same year.

Photography of the original artwork, creation of the Digital Master File and subsequent colour optimisation and Limited Edition Printing is all carried out in-house under Tony’s direct supervision.

In January 2012 Tony was proud to have his company Murray Imaging Studios appointed as a “Certified Studio” by Hahnemühle, one of the world’s leading suppliers of digital fine art papers. Only a handful of select studios who meet the Hahnemühle high standards of consistent quality control and in-house workflow procedures were appointed.



 

 

Studio +353 (0)45 884 933       Mob +353 (0)87 994 5135       Email  tony@murrayimagingstudios.com