Selling art prints is a great way to earn passive income from purchased original art.
Passive income is a form of income that you earn without actively working.
For example, suppose you are already selling original artwork online and at local craft fairs. In that case, you can easily make a passive income by selling prints of your work on fine art paper, canvas, metal, coffee mugs, and whatever else you can imagine your artwork on.
This post will go over three different ways you can make a reproduction of your original paintings, digital art, and drawings so you can make passive income selling open editions, limited editions, and merchandise like mugs, shirts, and digital art on your Etsy store and art fairs.
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Different Printing Techniques
The first thing you will want to do is to develop a content marketing and social media marketing plan so you can reach your potential buyers online.
Many artists are confused about the definition of art prints and reproductions.
A print is a work of art by an artist who transfers an image to a different surface. Artists’ most common techniques for printmaking are lithography, woodcut, etching, and screenprint.
A reproduction is a copy of another work of art. It could be a copy of a painting, drawing, or original print. There is no creative process involved. Prints, commonly called Limited Edition prints, are offset lithographs, a photographic reproduction process. Giclees most often fall into this category since a work of art is photographed, and a computer generates the print. (Resource: Seaside Art Gallery)
Marketing Your Prints
How you market your reproductions could affect the price people are willing to pay for your work.
For example, art collectors are willing to spend more money on limited-edition giclee large format prints than fine art prints. Properly labeling your artwork will increase your sales and profits.
Before creating a landing page for your artist’s website, become more familiar with art prints, giclee prints, limited edition prints, and open-edition prints. Visit Fine ArtGiclee Printing – What Artists Need To Know to learn more.
The next step is to decide on a price range for your products. It’s good to research what potential customers are willing to pay for work similar to your creations. The best way to get started is to study what Other Etsy sellers charge for high-quality prints, digital downloads, and other merchandise with their art.
Related Post: How To Price Art – Ultimate Guide For Selling Art
After establishing your brand and building name recognition, you will be able to price your work at a higher price.
Related Post: How You Can Increase Art Selling Prices
Making Art Prints To Sell
There are three ways an artist can make reproductions of their artwork.
Your art business goals will determine what the best option is for you.
- Printing Company
- Print at Home
- Online Printing Companies
Local Print Company
Although local printing companies are not as popular for artists, it is still an option.
You will need a digital file saved on a flash drive to bring to your local printer.
One benefit of working with a local printer is that most services use high-quality inks on archival paper to know you will receive the best quality for your money.
The challenge is to create price points that will inspire online sales while making a decent profit.
Research your local print shop for prices and if they offer giclée printing.
Print At Home
Another option is to produce physical copies of your original work of art on canvas, metal, and fine art paper at home.
It is easy for anyone to produce high-quality prints with an inkjet home printer.
There is a slight learning curve involved with setting up the printer and editing your digital images to print accurate prints of your work, but once you configure the printer, you will be all set to create prints from home.
Recommended Home Inkjet Printers
If you are planning on producing prints of your artwork, you will need to invest in a good printer. A standard office printer will not do the job.
Here are some popular printers artists use for their online business.
- Epson Stylus Photo 1400 Wide-Format Color Inkjet Printer
- Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 17″ Professional Photographic Inkjet Printer.
To read more about fine art printers, visit the 7 Best Printers For Printing Fine Art Prints.
Fine Art Giclee Printing Paper
You will need to consider what type of paper you will use for your prints. You want to choose the right paper for your business goals.
Here is a list of popular fine art papers.
- Hahnemuhle William Turner 310gsm Deckle Edge 8.5″ x 11″
- Hahnemuhle Photo Rag 308gsm Deckle Edge – 8.5″ x 11″ – 25
- Hahnemuhle German Etching 310gsm 11″ x 17″
- Hahnemuhle Museum Etching 350gsm 13″ x 19″
- Hahnemuhle Fine Art Bamboo Fiber Natural White, Smooth Warm Tone Inkjet Paper, 290gsm, 8.5×11″
- Hahnemuhle Fine Art Baryta 325, Ultra Smooth High Gloss, Bright White Inkjet Paper, 325gsm, 8.5×11″
- 11 x 17″ Photo Rag Baryta Fine Art Paper (25 Sheets) Available in different sizes.
Related Post – What Is Baryta Paper
Another option is to outsource the printing job to an online printing service. Ordering prints of your art online is both covenant and affordable. Research different printing companies for quality and pricing if you sell originals and reproductions at craft fairs.
Here is a list of popular printing services for artists and photographers.
Print On Demand
Do you sell original art online and looking for other ways to increase your income?
Print-on-demand sites are becoming more and more popular for artists.
You have to set up an account on a POD site and market the prints on your online store. When a buyer purchases a print, the POD site will fulfill the order and ship the item directly to the customer, and you will receive a commission for each sale.
Read the terms and conditions of each service before setting up an account.
Popular POD companies
POD sites like Fine Art America, Printful, Redbubble, and Zazzle are very popular with artists and photographers. They offer excellent customer service and produce high-quality prints on fine art paper, canvas prints, and merchandise.
Offer Different Art Print Sizes
As an artist, it’s essential to offer a variety of print sizes to your customers.
Not everyone has the same budget or the same amount of space, so offering a range of sizes provides more options for people who want to buy your artwork.
Smaller prints are usually more affordable, so they’re a great option for people just starting to collect art.
They can also be displayed in various ways, so they’re versatile. Larger prints are perfect for people who want to make a statement with their art collection.
They can be hung on their own or grouped with other pieces to create an impactful display.
Remember that quality is always more important than quantity, no matter what size art print you choose.
Make sure you’re using high-quality materials and offering a reliable printing service to make your customers happy with their purchases.
Printing Different Mediums
One of the most significant decisions an artist has to make is what type of medium they want to use for their work. Each medium has its own unique set of properties that can create very different effects. For example, watercolor paintings are known for their delicate, transparent quality, while oil paintings have a rich, luscious texture. Drawings can be either loose and gestural or highly detailed and precise. When making prints of these artworks, there are a few key differences to keep in mind.
Watercolor paintings are difficult to reproduce as prints because the transparent nature of the medium means that colors can often bleed through the paper.
On the other hand, oil paintings print very well because the heavier pigments stay on the surface of the paper.
Depending on the desired effect, drawings can be reproduced using screen printing or photocopying. Screen printing gives a more graphic quality to the print, while photocopying is better for capturing Fine details.
No matter what type of artwork you’re working with, a printmaking method can help you achieve your desired results.
Final Thoughts On How To Make Prints
If you want to make extra income from original art, selling reproductions can be very profitable. Creating prints of your art is more affordable than in the past. Where you sell your prints will determine if investing in an inkjet printer is your best option. A POD service might be your best option if you sell your prints on your website.