Thursday, April 05, 2007

Prints (reproductions that is)

Originally uploaded by m.Lee.
I am frustrated with my art right now. Getting back into printing is very difficult and as a result I am not listing on Etsy very often anymore. (this photo is not from today) Yeah, I could just renew older stuff or keep digging up older pieces that I never listed but I need fresh stuff in my shop. Sales are down. For awhile I was doing well even though I wasn't listing, blogging or much of anything because of the momentum I had built last year. But now it is all slowing down. I'm lucky if I get two sales a week now it seems. The life I had last year listing on Etsy constantly and making new art at a rapid pace feels so long ago and out of reach to me. It is depressing.

All this combined with seeing all these other artists selling cheap reproduction prints in their shops has me tempted to start carrying them. The thing is that I have always been pretty against these prints. While I think it is great that artists are able to make a living with there art by selling them and bucking the gallery system, personally I would never buy one. But I have a nice photo printer that goes pretty much unused other than to printout PayPal shipping labels sitting in my studio next to my computer and every once in awhile I think to myself; "why can't I do it to?". I earned a decent amount from my art last year, but it could be better and I think offering cheaper work would help. Plus, if they sold I could then raise the prices of my originals, something I have been wanting to do for awhile now. But other people tell me that they would be disappointed in me if I went this route! Is that really fair to me? These same people don't have a problem with other people doing reproduction prints, just me. How come when others do it they are finding a way to earn money from their talent, but if I did it I would be selling out to earn a quick buck? It hurts when friends say those kind of things to me. I don't know what to do. I don't want to lose the respect of others or my own self respect. And I don't want to devalue my work either by selling reproductions.

Oh well, back to paper tearing.


Beth Robinson said...

Well, I can't stop the pain, but I do have a suggestion. If you do reproductions make sure they are DIFFERENT than your prints. Do smaller sized reproductions of your larger pieces on glossy paper, for example. Make the difference very clear.

m.Lee said...

Thank you! I've decided to not go that route right now. Maybe some other time. But if I ever do I plan on making the differences clear as you suggested.