The Artist Gift Shop

On Saturday morning I printed out the entry form for another art show. Before filling it out, I read through it completely to be sure I was following all the rules. The form was quite standard, listing eligibility requirements, a liability disclaimer, information on how artwork was to be presented, the categories for judging, and a calendar of events — drop-off time, show dates, pick-up instructions.

And then the form went on to include notes about the Artist Gift Shop. Excuse my inexperience, but this is the first time I’ve entered a show that includes a gift shop.

How exciting!

Artists are allowed to bring 10 prints, up to 30 cards, and a small framed piece to sell in the gift shop. Artists whose work is 3-D may bring 10-15 pieces. What a marvelous opportunity for artists!

Of course, I won’t have anything available for sale in the gift shop at this show, but knowing that this possibility exists has sent me searching for information. How does one go about turning a painting into a print? What are the steps to have cards made from a piece of art?

I did a bit of browsing and found some basic information on making prints from a painting.

  • Photograph the work outside in a shaded area
  • Upload the photo to a graphics editor
  • Do any cropping, color adjustment, or other corrections
  • Take the finished file to a printer who does fine art printing

For cards, it seems the process is similar, but instead of taking the file to a printer, artists can print cards out at home, then package them in boxes or clear plastic bags, and as easy as that, you’re ready to put your art up for sale at art shows, craft fairs, and other places.

The information I found was a good starting point, but I still have a lot of questions. Many of my questions could probably be answered by a printer, but I’d also like to hear from other artists who routinely make prints and/or cards from their art.

Are prints generally sold unframed? Or do some artists do the matting and framing and then adjust the price accordingly? How does one go about setting prices for reproductions? Do you make a “limited edition” print with only a certain number? Or are you willing to make and sell an unlimited number of prints from an original painting?

With cards, do you choose more than one scene? Do you create cards for specific holidays or occasions, or general note cards? How many cards are typically put into a package?

Although I don’t have a large inventory of paintings, I do have a few things that might be suitable for prints or cards. And it’s something to keep in mind as I move forward with my artwork.

I’d love to hear a few thoughts from anyone who sells art this way. I know there many online “art shops” where artists can market these products. I think selling at arts and crafts fairs would also be fun. In addition, there might be local businesses who would carry artwork that has a local flair.

I’m nowhere near ready to jump into this yet, but these are all ideas I want to consider for the future and begin working toward. So, please, share your thoughts, share your experiences, share your expertise with me. I want to learn as much as I can.

Thank you!

 

9 Comments

  1. This isn’t from my own personal experience, but from observation recently where an artist paints, but also prints those images.
    I bought and individual card, priced at two pounds, something. I can’t remember the pence. It may have been 75 or 95 pence.
    There were different cards all individually wrapped and different prints. I bought a card showing the oak tree from Sherwood Forest, but there was a card with a rabbit on. The cards are plain inside, so suitable for anything.
    He had paintings on display in cellophane. I think he had the card part around it you use to frame picture, before it goes in a frame and these were in cellophane.
    I don’t know if he may have had ones displayed in frames, with me not really looking for this than other than buying a card.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for the information. It’s very helpful!

      I’m going to bring the topic up at meetings in the art clubs I belong to and see what I can learn. This is definitely an area I want to pursue in the future.

      Liked by 1 person

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