We were just discussing in my Online Watercolor Community about the business of art and sharing a few things I've learned. I would love to hear from you about what you have learned and found to be beneficial in producing / selling your artwork.
I know some of you paint just for the fun of it but some of you have the desire to sell your art and maybe even do art full time. I'm curious, where do you land on that spectrum?
• REPRODUCTIONS Making a living off Originals and Commissions alone is a tough business. Selling only Originals is difficult to make a feasible income because it's so EXPENSIVE and TIME CONSUMING! Of the 8 years where I lived off my art sells, at least 90% of my income was from prints!
Prints of your artwork or licensing to brands is the easier way to make a feasible living with art. Allowing one painting to reach 100s or 1000s of collectors. To make a good print, it starts with a good quality Scan / Photograph...
• BEST WAY TO PHOTOGRAPH YOUR ART If you paint small, it's possible to do good quality prints from home. With some investment in a high end art scanner, Epsons are good, but costly. Most scanners
only do up to 16x24 inches (you can use photomerge in photoshop to piece together scans).
Or use a high end DSLR camera (you can rent one). Shoot in RAW format which gives you the most data inside the photo for editing capabilities. Use a 50mm prime lens (for best definition and zero distortion). Set up color balanced lighting, (LOTS of light needed). Put your camera on a tripod (use timer or remote trigger to avoid shaking), use low shutter speed, 200iso, low aperture and then edit as best as you can in Photoshop or Lightroom.
Sometime the Do It Yourself route is the best way to go if your aren't ready to invest in $100's for a high quality image of your painting. As far as finding a professional to Photograph / Scan my art, it's been helpful to try various ones and see who is best.
• HAVE YOUR WORK PROFESSIONALLY PHOTOGRAPHED I have my more serious work photographed with the Better Light Camera, which takes one hour to photograph one piece! ($30,000 camera) There is no comparison to it and my DSLR! The Betterlight blows it away as far as quality! So if it's a painting that you don't mind the investment of having it professionally photographed, I recommend Betterlight. Drum scanners can do well also. Click to see some of my available reproductions.
I want to also talk about Selling Your Art and What Works but we'll save that for another post / discussion.
Where are you at? Do you desire to paint solely for the personal joy and experience, or do you wish to share your art in the marketplace, making a business out of it?
Do you have any helpful tips on scanning / photographing your art?
P. S.... the two paintings attached are one shot with the BetterLight (the younger girl) and one shot with the Nikon D700 and then edited in Lightroom (the older girl).
Commissioned Portraits by Dylan Pierce (above photographed with Nikon DSLR and below with Betterlight camera).