Business considerations ... Q&A session
Q: Is it helpful or harmful to have postcards, letterheads,
reproduction prints, etc. made from your original art?
A: (from Bill Ritchie)
This is a helpful/harmful kind of question that may be answerable by
storytelling. One time I met an artist who was passing through town.
He introduced himself and I said, "Oh, yeah, I think I saw your work
reproduced in a catalog, didn't I?"
He told me, "You know, that reproduction has
opened more doors for me than you can imagine!" As it turned out, it
was a black and white print and it reproduced easily and well. He had
achieved what they call "brand recognition."
Another artist whose works look like photographs
is very well known because, not only are his images fascinating,
surrealistic images of dreamy settings, they look at home in mass
So my opinion is that it can be helpful. It can be
harmful if the work looks awful in reproduction. One thing to avoid
is black and white reproductions of color images. Ugh! Another is
scale - a small reproduction of an image that is large, or the other
If you control the reproduction, such as in a
postcard, business card, letterhead or boxed set, it is less likely
to harm your name. Sure, a few people may frame your reproductions,
but they probably couldn't afford to buy your originals
And the best part is they may become loyal
supporters. If they put your image on their wall, or stick it on your
refrigerator door, other people will see it. Is that bad? One person
I know has selected images made into cloisonne pins which he sends
out as holiday gifts. No harm there.
A: (from Graham Scholes) I
feel it is important that you do not ... I repeat do not make reproductions of
your prints. They are already prints.
Be careful that you don't saturate the local
market with a whole lot of reproductions of your art. If ever you
wanted a way to shut down the sales of your original work this is
surely the method. I have had numerous acquaintances that have done
just that ... people got tired of the stuff. Some have recovered and
others have turned away from the fine art field for fear of starving.
Sure spread the stuff around - it is decorative art - but just enough
that you get some advertising use out of it.
Be careful people ... be careful; you are in a
medium that is a legitimate multiple image business and more
multiples would be dicey if not down-right greedy.
A: (from ...)
If you feel that you also have something to
contribute to this discussion, the Encyclopedia editors would like to
hear from you. Just use this simple 'form' to send in your comments.
Note: This is not a 'message board', and sending
this form will not mean that your comments will automatically appear
on this page. The editor will contact you to see how your input can
best be used. Thank you.