Selling art prints is a great way to introduce another stream of revenue as an artist. Here are a few prints I did last year as give-aways. Selling art prints can seem simple but there are a few hidden complications that I faced once I started doing it. So here is my break down of what I have learned so you can be better prepared : )
1. Finding a printer. You may decide to invest in a printer yourself and if not you will need to find a local print shop who will create your prints for you. If you invest in your own printer remember that most ink will fade with time and you might want to consider using an archival ink printer (Canon, HP and Epson make these) and the pigmented ink will be more fade resistant. Wether you buy a printer or find someone to print for you, if you decide to go the route of archival ink then you will probably want a paper that is resistant to aging as well. Digital papers can be acid-free and, additionally, can be cotton-based/rag (stronger than pulp based) paper.
When doing my research on digital papers I found that some companies fell short with information and that many printers that I contacted about creating my art prints did not know much about their own papers ( annoying? YEP!) . I was blown away by how much info I got from Canson Infinity's website for their digital papers:
For each type of paper they had a huge amount of infomation that helped me make an informed decision about the paper I wanted to use. They even showed their estimated calculation for the amount of years for print longevitiy for each paper type depending on which printer ink was used. Amazing! Knowing the quality of the materials will give you confidence in selling art prints.
2. Once you have found a print service or bought a printer you need to decide which size art prints you would like to make. Some printers will print one print for you on demand and some will require that you print a number of the same image. Find out and choose a popular image to print.
3. Now that you have decided on the size you need to figure out how much it will be to ship your product. You may limit your sales to within your country or international - you should create a few quotes for yourself so that you know how how much to charge for shipping. You will also need to properly package your print to ship it. You should price this out and include it in your shipping and handling fee.
4. A way to get paid. If you are selling your art prints at events then you can accept cash. If you have a Square reader for you phone then you can also accept credit card. In the case of debit you can ask the person to send you an email interac transfer which is fairly instant. If you want to sell your work on line then you may want to open a paypal account. I have an on-line store with Big Cartel. If you would like to sell 5 items or less you can use their service for free and decide if you'd like to upgrade to more items later. I love this service as it keeps track of my orders in an elegant and organized way and sends me a notification email as soon as an order comes in.
5. If you have it all worked out then you can order your first prints and start working on a marketing plan for selling art prints !