Now that it is officially December, I must dig my head out of the sand… or rather, out of the frozen soon-to-be-covered-in-snow patch of earth, to consider what to do about Christmas decorations. Specifically Christmas ornaments. :)
I seem to begin these projects much too late to be useful to anyone else but me.
One of the only things I miss about my day job, aside from my Bakery Ladies, were those annoying e-mails from Corporate Office harassing reminding me about upcoming holidays and events to set displays for. You can only bury your head in the sand for so long before the store manager would find you, and call you out for not having baked 500 loaves of bread to fill the Italian/pasta sauce featured table. ;)
But there is nobody yelling at me now. I do not miss the yelling. Actually, while out running errands today, I overheard a cashier being reprimanded by her supervisor for a register mistake, right in front of me (a customer!), and I thought to myself,
“I am really blessed to be doing what I do. I wish everyone could be as blessed in their jobs.”
In my creative life, I am surrounded by constant encouragement and helpful feedback, so that when an occasional rude remark is directed my way, I find it is much easier to forgive and put into perspective.
There wasn’t much positive feedback to be found while working at Walmart.
I used to say, “If you can survive an entire shift without being yelled at by management or customers, you’re having a good day.”
Of course, I realize that my managers were, in turn, being yelled at by their managers, and so on… up the ladder it went. And I was expected to yell at my ladies, which I refused to do. Let the buck stop with me.
So anyway… back to the Christmas ornaments!!
I’ve been searching magazines and blogs for any inspiring decorations, and I finally found an idea that could feature my artwork.
I could just picture a lovely decoupaged ornament with my cat art in the center, surrounded by glitter glue and faux pearls.
So a trip to Michael’s Crafts was in order.
I will be making several ornaments this week to sell at my last two Farmer’s Markets of the year. I will try to get them listed on Etsy, too, however anyone interested should check Facebook or Twitter first. There will be a limited number of them made.
So, like my magnets, grab them while you can!
The blank acrylic magnets that I use are on back-order from my US supplier until mid-December, and my stock is getting really low. If I had known they would fly so quickly, I would have ordered 200 of them last time around, instead of just 60. :P
Next year, I must send myself a nasty e-mail from my Corporate Headquarters (aka the living room)… harassing reminding myself to order as many magnets as possible.
Someone will need to yell at me about sending the e-mail, however, as after Christmas my head returns to its usual place under the ground.
My Black Friday weekend sale has been extended through Monday, December 2nd, midnight EST. :)
This is a question I typically get asked by other artists looking to sell reproduction prints of their own art… and also by a few customers who are amazed at the amount of “stuff” that I sell, in addition to original paintings.
To be honest, I’m always amazed to learn that not every artist reproduces their work to sell. Many artists still don’t have their own websites, or sell paintings directly to their customers either.
I didn’t know anything about being a professional artist, or how to sell art, when I started sharing my paintings online… first through Deviantart and then on Etsy. But I took for granted the vast demand for reproduction prints (as not everyone can afford to buy the original painting they love!).
I knew that selling prints was the way to go, and I sought guidance from other artists who were successfully reproducing their artwork.
I learned that collectors were looking for quality reproductions, and I chose to invent money in a professional grade Epson printer that uses archival pigment inks.
My printer retailed around $1,400 a few years ago… but it has depreciated a bit, and can be purchased for about $550 now, which makes it much more affordable to replace if necessary.
For now, my all-in-one $99 office printer serves as a scanner, although I’d love to get a flat-bed at some point for larger pieces…. as it’s tedious having to stitch multiple scans together in Photoshop.
How I Make Prints
I scan my canvas paintings at 600 dpi, which allows me to offer enlarged sizes, like 11″x14″ and 16″x20″, from a painting which measures 8″x10″.
My printer can actually handle paper up to 19″ wide, but I haven’t printed anything that big yet.
I’ve known people who scanned their work at 1,200 dpi or more; they could make enormous billboard-sized prints! LOL Unfortunately, my poor computer can’t handle working with huge files.
My 8″x10″ artwork scanned at 600 dpi translates into a 16″x20″ print at 300 dpi… and 300 dpi is the quality standard for printing, although printing labs will accept files as low as 150 dpi, so I can technically print even larger than that.
Once I’ve scanned my work, and saved the original scan as “the master copy”, I use Photoshop to adjust the levels a bit (because my acrylic paints occasionally reflect the scanner’s light… especially black, which turns grey).
I’ll also remove unwanted blemishes, such as dust particles, scratches in the paint, and stray pencil lines.
I re-save my file as my Master-Edit, and then proceed to crop the artwork into various print sizes: 5″x7″, 8″x10″, 11″x14″, etc… Additionally, I’ll crop them into (2″x5″) bookmarks, cut round and oval circles from them (to use for my wooden plaques), and also paste them into my greeting card templates.
From there, it’s just a matter of printing them as I receive online orders… or printing in bulk quantities to stock up for craft shows.
I have been really satisfied with the quality of prints that my Epson printer produces. In fact, I recently experimented with the quality of a professional photo lab, which came highly recommended by Etsy artists… by ordering a few of their fine-art prints to compare with my own.
And I couldn’t tell the difference! Their prints turned out great, but so did mine. ;)
I could save myself some time and out-source my work, but I enjoy being involved in the process from start to finish.
I create my art, I scan my art, and I reproduce my art…. in a continuous cycle.
My reproductions are as high-quality as you can expect from a professional, and they were born right in my studio alongside my acrylic paintings.
So whether you purchase an original work of art from me, or one of my reproduction prints, know that it has passed directly from my hands to yours. =^,,^=