Friday, May 18, 2007

Selling out? Everybody is doing it!

Reproduction of Springtime
Originally uploaded by m.Lee.
The Original

I'm considering selling clearly labled reproduction prints again. I printed this out on regular cheap printer paper because I wanted buttons and mirrors from this piece but am not willing to sacrifice it. So I printed it out and plan on doing some freebie ones. I would never sell them.

Reasons for wanting to sell reproductions are growing. Sales are down and I am noticing that it is getting harder to sell more expensive pieces on Etsy. Maybe I should adapt to this trend. Also with my energy plummeting and the life changer of the baby coming very soon my ability to make originals is down. I don't even know if I will be able to a month from now. Printing exhausts me and it will be hot outside even with an air conditioner in my studio. If I sell these it will keep my shop active and full.

Anybody know of a good paper to use in a home photo printer? I'm looking for something matte.


Anonymous said...

Please don't do this. I am firmly in the camp that says reproductions devalue your work. Think about it: why should anyone buy the real thing when they can get a repo for practically nothing? In addition, there is the problem of confusion in the public mind as to what is a print and what is not. Even though you said you would clearly label it, I don't think that helps. Instead, do smaller pieces you can sell for less, but keep them original. My 2¢ worth. (Art sales are down for most of us - its the economy. Someday it will improve!) This might be a good time to leap into a new way to work - new images - new techniques, etc. See if that makes a difference!

m.Lee said...

While I totally see many of your points anonymous I do have some problems with what you are saying. Basically it seems like you are holding me up to some unwritten artistic code of ethics that other artists aren't being held up to since print sales are a big time business right now. You say that I should offer more inexpensive work and I say that I can't do that without cheapening my originals. Right now I have small ACEO sized pieces selling for a mere $5 and while I am totally happy with that price I am not willing to lower it. Same thing goes for my $10-15 4"x4" pieces. The prices of my originals are more than fair how they are now and I will not be lowering them or focusing on making more smaller works when that isn't neccisarily what I want to be making right now. My current offerings range from $3 to a mere $120. My stuff is far from pricey, especially for original works.

And just because I am a printmaker doesn't make it fair that I should be cut off from selling reproductions. If I was a painter it would be okay but since I am not I shouldn't do it? That makes no sense to me.

Now, I am still not certain what I am going to do. I probably won't decide until I see where my productivity is in a month or two or even after the baby comes. Even now printing is very difficult for me to do physically. I'm slowing down. Even if I did offer some reproductions I do not think they would fly out of my store like some other Etsy sellers because I just don't think my artistic style is trendy enough for that.

janey said...

I don't agree with anon at all. You're the artist, it's up to you to decide what's best for your art not for the next person's. And I think there's room for originals, prints, reproductions, editions, buttons, mirrors whatever will help you make the next piece of art. That's what important, that next piece of art.

m.Lee said...

Thanks Janey! I put a lot of thought in it and decided to go for it and don't regret it a bit. I don't need to explain myself to somebody that doesn't even sign their name to a comment. And I don't think anybody could confuse my originals with the limited about of reproductions that I offer which are always significantly smaller than the original. That is my big rule with reproductions. Don't ever make them the same size, always smaller.