An Introduction to Shipping Your Paintings
At some point in time you may need to ship your art - this can be a bit nerve-wracking to consider and sometimes holds artists back from reaching for international opportunities. So let's take a look at how you can ease into the experience and eventually become an informed and happy shipper!
To Crate or Not To Crate:
Especially when the shipping artwork of high value you may want to look into the idea of building a wooden crate for shipping your painting. This is perhaps the most professional way to ship artwork and ensures that their is little to no chance for damage. You can build the crate yourself or ask the shipping company to do this for you. The work will be more expensive to ship due to the additional weight and paying for the service of packaging. To offset this you may consider shipping more work - if it's being sent to a gallery. The price for sending additional works can be minimal depending on the size.
If you ship a few additional artworks in smaller sizes with your main piece then you will have a better chance at selling work and offsetting all those shipping fees anyway.
Not to Crate:
If you decide to go with other packing materials that are lighter than a crate then you can save quite a bit on shipping though I suppose the risk of damage may be higher.
A super simple and popular method for shipping artwork is this:
1. Wrap the piece in bubble wrap - bubbles facing outward so that they are not resting against the surface of the painting. If you put the bubbles against the surface of the painting you risk them making an impression into the surface of the artwork.
2. Put an extra piece of cardboard across the face of the painting and tape it to the bubble-wrap membrane that is now enveloping your artwork.
3. Build a box out of carboard to fit your piece ( now that it is wrapped it'll be a bit bigger so make sure to account for that : ) or order a box/purchase a box. This type of flat box that you are looking for is often referred to as a mirrorbox.
If the bubble-wrap seems like it's not safe enough you can go to the hardware store and buy some insulating foam which can be bought in different densities. You can user thicker pieces for shipping larger artwork. In my search for tips on packaging I came across this great and simple step-by-step approach that uses the insulating foam. Check it out here: http://lauradenhertog.com/