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I have many artist friends who sell their original pieces but also sell giclees and prints. I have my originals in a local gallery and I'm thrilled but sales are very slow and I am interested in feedback from artists who sell both. Some artists think it cheapens the original, others say not true. Any help here would be greatly appreciated.

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I had a business doing high end giclee prints...  so that I could also do my own.  I had an Epson 4800.   Now, I refuse to do prints.   Too much work and too much extra stuff to carry around.  The general public really doesn't understand the difference between giclee and other prints.   

So many shows have precise guidelines on how to label, sign your prints, I just decided to make things easier an only offer original pieces.   I can produce a number of paintings so it is no problem.

I remember researching this a couple of years ago and the longevity is equal to the giclee prints.......

The color of the laser prints is right on the money...... It's difficult to tell the original from the print except for the watercolor paper! In my humble opinion, the colors of the laser are perfect everytime ...whereas often viewing a giclee proof..... I insist on a reprint cause the colors are not true to the original.
That's good to know! I may check in to that just for comparison's sake!
Terri -Your comment about the giclee proof and need for a good proofing for color accuracy is why I don 't do them...the distance is too far to be economical for me and I wouldn't give a 'go' to it if I couldn't see what the product is REALLY going to look like. Of course there are giclees and then there are OTHER giclees, too. You really have to research the printers, their work and how your own work will stand up in reproduction.
I agree Kathleen. I only have to travel 26 miles to view a proof.... it does get frustrating if I have to do it more than once. That's only happened a couple of times but they were fish and had to be right. I've only done giclees on about 4% of my work because it is costly. I have also exercised the option of having a giclee done on request when the customer wanted a larger size .... prepaid of course!
Thank you Terri! I never thought about how the pictures must be labelled accurately. I agree with the "gravy product" comment. Your info was so helpful.
A few of my artist friends only sell originals, but there is the issue of affordability. Not everyone who likes the work can spend $400+
One way they are working around this is by offering some miniature originals (on canvas) that are about the size of a business card or a little larger sometimes. These are priced at about $30-50 and they sell like hotcakes!
Indeed, Kathryn...I do watercolor/mixed aqueous miniatures and my smallWORKS originals which are limited to work up to 11 x 14 framed sizes. It works very well for me, but of course this is my standard genre, also, so it is quite natural for me and since I do not minimize my pricing on the basis of size I expect to need more sales to reach the numbers most artists want at a show. I am what I am....and I'm content with that. I work larger but rarely take more than 4 or 5 any larger than 16 x 20.
I find a big interest in my preliminary sketches and planning notes for paintings and I sell them with notes of interest -matted or mounted with a sense of 'finish'. I always attach an example of the finished work and often retain the original for a given length of time offering the buyer first offer for purchase. It's a 'fun' talking point (and heaven knows I love to talk!) and actually great for informing the public how much goes into a work of art.
Yikes, I find originals too cost prohibitive to move reliably UNLESS they are small and priced competitively . That isn't to say they dont sell, its just harder to find that special someone to spend that much on a fairly large original. Prints are my psyche savior because they are just so much more general public wallet-friendly. Ive done the originals only show and when the pieces are all big, its too much of a crap shoot for me to consider anymore. Accomodating the strollers is key for me. Hence prints.

Hi Chris,
Most of my paintings are in large format, my smallest is 16 by 20...all the way to 48 by, I am selling giclee prints, and everybody love to have an alternative or an option for them. They look amazing and the quality is very high. My giclee are not to big, 14 by 8, 12 by 12 etc. I like this sizes in case I want to display them framed. Also, I would recomend
they are not to high price on those sizes. I am working with another place too, but I'm waiting for their shipping to see if I like it...I take the pictures with a Nikon D90, and I go through photoshow, I do testing at home and then I send the file. Of my oil paintings I only do reproductions of paintings that have been sold and that the owner does not mind if I do. I never do giclee prints of paintings without permission of the owner.
My mayor print sells is with a line of watercolor paintings , for kids bedrooms or any area decoration. And it works just fine, specially because I don't sell the originals.
That's the best way of getting to the goal. I would have to be very famous to make it only with the large oil paintings, but I'm looking forward!!
If you have special friends, a giclee print is always a great great gift!

Wow. As a newbie (not even accepted at an art fair yet) I couldn't get a grip on the Giclee vs Print for the Open End Print question. These discussions have resolved that for me.


My second question was concerning matts - if not using "giclee" process, would a paper (non archival) matt suffice? My work is super detailed and takes 90-100 hours to complete a drawing and while being accepted and winning ribbons for the original, I have not sold an original yet. Being that it is black and white, a print should be easy (I have a great high end Epson) but what suggestions could you all give for the finishing.


I was also going to take my drawings and process them direct to wood. Since they are historical in nature it is a great look. But will they "allow" this at shows

Paper mats would suffice if you don't care that the core will turn yellow and look bad (so, no, in my opinion, they don't suffice).  I was at a show last week where a very well known water color artist had a junky paper mat that looked like it had been cut by a monkey (overcuts were visable from 5 feet away).  The mat core was not only yellowed, but was also stained and the frame was dinged up. 

So, what I take from that is he didn't think very much of that particular piece (and it was an original priced for $1000).  I hope you convey to your prospective customers what you think of you work and finish it accordingly.


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