I was reading a few blogs this morning and came across this post by artist Tina Mammoser. I had started to write a comment to her post but when I realised that I had embarassingly actually written about 5 paragraphs (now that is even too long for me for a comment !) I thought it would perhaps be better written as a blog post as I clearly have some very personal opinions on the subject!
Please note however that these are just my own personal feelings about reproduction prints and are by means a disagreement with anyone who does or does not produce reproductions, only paints originals or indeed the prices that individuals charge for their work or reproduction prints. There is room for us all in this art world!
I pondered on the subject of making reproductions of my work for such a long time before taking the plunge and really resisted it for an age - I didn't want to mass produce my work into hundreds and hundred of images (not that it is so popular anyway!!) but gradually I took the decision to do reproductions. I originally went to a print shop to get them done but they raised their prices so much it became no longer affordable for me so just before the start of this year I invested in a fantastic printer after weeks and weeks of research into the best one for me (Epson R2880 incidentally)
so these are the reasons for me - (purely personal)
1)I am not in a position to buy the original art I would like to buy but love to have art on my walls, so can understand the financial constraints for people - yep I have small affordable originals but sometimes an image just strikes me and it is great to have the option to purchase a print
2) I am a v.e.r.y slow worker and if I was depending on my originals solely for my income, I would be on a permanent baked bean diet, so the odd print sale helps me enormously, creates less pressure to constantly be putting originals out there (as well as work that I might not be so happy about or proud of) so I feel more free to concentrate on painting and creating the work I want to create
3) I wonder what the great artists would have chosen to do, given the technology we have now! I am sure even a few of them would have taken the opportunity of great reproduction of their work!
4) so much of myself goes into each and every piece I make and it can take an age to finish it - if more than one person like it and connects with it then I feel good that they have the opportunity to own a reproduction if they so wish
I have however put certain limitations on the way I produce my reproductions.
1) Each image now comes in 2 sizes - approximately A4 and also A3 - each image is in a small edition of 100. Many artists will do much larger editions of this, many will have open editions of their work with the potential for hundreds and even thousands of copies available. That is great for them, but for me personally I decided to keep my reproductions limited.
2) I kind of like the feeling of putting that wee certificate with the description of the piece and numbered ie 1/100 - when that first reproduction goes out I get a kick out of the idea that someone has that 1/100 image. The limited numbers are my way of still taking ownership of the image.
3) My pricing - if anyone were to compare my pricing to many other reproduction prints on etsy or folksy or galleries etc etc - yep my prices are certainly not the cheapest out there which may put some folk off - now not to compare my work to anyones elses (aaah this is where it gets sticky!) but I do feel that there are alot of prints out there that are very very affordable. As in 'charging for not much more than the cost of the paper and ink kind of affordable'. Again this is a very personal thing but when I am selling a print, I am in effect still also selling the image, the idea, my aesthetic and my imagination that has led me to create that piece. To me that is so much more than just ink and paper. It is still a little piece of me.
This will also mean that I will never sell hundreds and hundreds of prints (unless the actual 'work' is the reason that I don't sell hundreds!) but it certainly satisfies my desire to value my own work in a way that is not purely financial.
Having said all that - to me Art is for all - and there are all kinds of artists out there, making different decisions about their work which is wonderful - I love the diversity. I love the fact that some art is so incredible, it is way out of my price range (Oh how I would love to own one of Tina's magnificent larger pieces for example - it also is too big for my teeny front room!) Or that I could go to a village fair or a roadside gallery and pick up an original for a much more affordable price such as outsider art or a piece painted by a hobbyist . I love that I can aspire to someday own a piece by for example this artist, or this one. There is art to suit all pockets and all tastes!
Right I could waffle on so much more but I have just realised the time and I have to be somewhere!! I may come back to this and re-read and edit later!
Take care x
Oh and PS - the image above is available as a print in 2 sizes from my etsy shop !! (Well I couldn't let you go without plugging my own work too - now could I?!)