Thursday, December 11, 2008

Marketing Giclee Reproductions of Artwork

In my capacity as a marketing advisor for a fine art giclée printing company, I am often contacted by artists wanting to get giclées made of their original artwork. My first question to them is this: What are you going to do with the giclées?

Now you might think that’s a strange question, but there’s a good reason for it. And the reason is this: Producing and marketing giclées is not an inexpensive venture. You have to have a plan - IF you want to be successful. The successful self-published artists with whom I have worked over the past twenty years have a few things in common:

1. They have a unique and consistent style of painting.

2. Either the demand for their paintings outpaces their ability to produce them or

3. They want to keep the price of their original work at a certain level and want a lower-priced alternative to offer buyers.

4. They have researched their market. They know which paintings have the most appeal to the broadest audience, or, conversely, which paintings have the most appeal to a targeted niche market.

5. They have a plan in place for making and selling the prints.

6. They’ve secured a gallery or store who will sell giclées for them, or

7. They are selling at outdoor art festivals or holiday fairs.

8. They have a professionally designed website and well designed business cards, brochures and postcards for mass mailings.

9. They advertise in magazines or newspapers.

10. They don’t scrimp when it comes to the quality of their giclée prints. They have their paintings professionally shot to ensure proper lighting, sharpness, color fidelity and file integrity. If they are not proficient with digital imaging software, they hire an experienced technician to color-work their digital files. Their giclées are printed on archival materials with archival inks on a professional grade inkjet printer. In other words, they make sure they have the very best product to market.

I’ve seen many artists jump into the print market before they have done their homework.

They end up discouraged and dismayed because they didn’t know it was going to cost so much, they thought having prints available would magically manifest in sales, they didn’t understand the difference between those who buy reproductions and those who buy original art.

Giclée prints CAN be a wonderful and lucrative way to increase your sales, but like in any business, you had better learn what all the instruments are for before you fire up the engine and head down the runway.

Kate Dardine has been helping artists and photographers market their prints for nearly 20 years. A professional artist herself, Kate understands the obstacles artists face when trying to sell their work.

© 2008 Fine Print Imaging.
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