Further art discussions and notifications for the artwork of Sam Thorp

Wednesday, June 01, 2011


Do Reproductions Devalue Original Artwork?

Solution: Make more art.

You are only competing with yourself. Why should anyone pay full price for an original painting when they can get the cheaper version?
No really. How DO you justify charging such a high price for an original?
I'm serious. Think about that.
What exactly IS the valuable part in your art?
Is it the skill that went into making it?
The materials used?
The uniqueness of it?
What IS IT?
People will spend money on all sorts of things: BBQ grills, large screen TV's, they will spend $75 to fill up their gas tank. Why SHOULD they spend the money for your original work?
Once you know this and can articulate it; it may help you in actually selling the original. (Yes art must be SOLD. Like anything else. )

Secondly, Why is your "high price" that high?
Consider the basic concept of supply and demand when it comes to your art?
What is the demand for it? And how are you supplying it?
Is there a way you can increase the demand?
Many artists don't really know how to price their art, so the cheap prints are a way of covering their arse, their safety net.
Maybe realistic pricing and selling skills are needed. Not prints.
I witnessed an artist try to sell a charcoal drawing that was un-matted and unframed and thumbtacked to a wall. Why would I pay thousands of dollars for something you poked holes in to and couldn't bother to frame properly? Really, if you are asking for $5,000 you could have at least framed it.
I don't offer prints, but I will offer the prep sketches that went into the work. So maybe someone who can't afford the a painting (or if the painting has already sold) they can still get something original, and done personally by me. I make a variety of art, small things that can be sold for under $100. I offer a selection.

If people buy the copies and not the original you have to be on guard that you are not relying on the prints and neglecting the sale of the originals.
Or the production of originals. I've met artists kept selling the same prints over and didn't bother to make new work because if it.
Don't let this happen to you.

If you really want to sell multiples and bring your art to the masses; consider making actual prints from the start.
Intaglio, Lithographs, serigraphs, woodcuts and so many other options to make an legitimate print. Look into this. A legitimate prints beats a glorified color copy any day.

The only case where I recommended prints was with an artist whose work was so meticulous and time consuming that she could only put out a few pieces per year. And demand for her work is high and getting higher.* She could have cheapened the production of the art to speed things up, but I recommended a few prints to satisfy patrons. A FEW. Limited editions.
Again the fact that there are only 50 (or whatever) of these made and each are signed & numbered by the artist makes them valuable.

And one final thought on this: if you become so ...accustomed... running your art through a color copier; how would you stop someone else from doing the same thing? What if a print buyer makes some copies for his/her friends? Scanners and copies could make a copy of a copy with little degradation. How would you keep track of these prints?

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