Sunday, October 21, 2007

Reproduction Sustainability

Sometimes it is hard for me to stick to a topic - it is easy to get involved and comment on all aspects of the arts as they come to my attention. However this blog is about the business of art and particularly reproductions.

  • Lots of artists go the road of reproductions - why?
  • They are not so prolific - yet have a high demand for their work
  • They feel they can make some money selling copies of their work.
  • They want to give to family and friends but can't afford to give away precious originals.
  • There is a demand or request from a gallery, publisher or licensor.
  • They want to provide work to a charity
  • And many more.......
Artwork Courtesy of Patricia D. Arndt

Once down that road, though -particularly if the goal is to sell art - you will come upon the question of sustaining the market. This involves a commitment to a new group of people who will be expecting to see you continue. That can be a daunting prospect for many artists who are struggling just to keep originals flowing.

In short form - here are some of the ways artists have successfully accomplished that.

  1. They reproduce consistently. That is, they don't do a whole bunch of reproductions and then stop. They consistently release good reproductions of their best work on a regular basis.
  2. They know their market. Not everything you paint will sell as a reproduction. You must seriously respond to people's comments and ask them - if I print this, will you buy one? Then tally the results.
  3. They have exposure to a variety of people. Don't just stop at family and friends - you must have a large sampling of people who comment positively on wanting one of your prints or you may only have a limited market.
  4. They have a style that is recognizable and distinct. In order to succeed over the long haul - successful artists have a reproduction style that is recognizable by their collectors and distinct. It does not mean you don't paint anything you want - but what you reproduce needs to generally fit this category. People like to collect and they like to collect more of what they bought before.
  5. They price reasonably and are not influenced by other's success. You must price for your market, your reproductions and increase prices on demand. Don't let the market for other artist's work unduly influence you.
  6. They have a method of distribution and sale. Whether it is a spouse, publisher, the internet, a gallery or shows - you must have an outlet if this is to be a business.

Anyway - some basic thoughts. As always, I welcome yours!


Barney Davey said...

Hi Myron,

I came across your blog today. Welcome to the blogosphere! You and I share many common interests and perceptions regarding the print market.

Best wishes for much success with your blog and other businesses.

Barney Davey
Art Print Issues

Myron D. Arndt said...

Thank you, Barney. I welcome your comments and invite you to add, critique or correct at any time. I have reviewed your blog as well and appreciate your viewpoint on the market. At some point I hope to look at the marketing aspect of shows such as Art Expo etc.
I would also invite your comments and input on a relatively new site - - I am actively promoting open involvement and discussion that can help everyone in the market get a handle on opportunities and developments and your experience would be valued.

All the best,

Myron Arndt