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 Online print sale sites: good?

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watermixableguy
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PostSubject: Online print sale sites: good?   Mon Sep 20, 2010 8:14 am

A coworker who illustrates using a Wacom tablet and Photoshop has produced an absolutely stunning image of a WW2 fighter plane in a dogfight in the sky.
He owns the rights to the illustration, and has posted it on one of those online sites where you can sell prints of your work.
They offer output, mattes, frames and glass, and let you preview how the print would look with each of these items.
He shared the URL with me.
http://www.imagekind.com/
There are other sites that are similar in nature.

Have any of you used these sites or have any opinions or anecdotes about them?
I'm wondering if they might be a good way to make prints available with little or no direct hands-on involvement.


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Callie
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PostSubject: Re: Online print sale sites: good?   Tue Sep 21, 2010 7:56 pm

I'm not familiar with that site, but I've ordered frames from Graphik Dimensions
( pictureframes.com ) for years. They also offer printing for your original artworks or photos. They also let you preview in various frames, mats...

http://www.pictureframes.com/html/canvasArt.html?HPCenter0610

I have not had anything printed, but I will try them if I ever get around to having a painting reproduced.
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watermixableguy
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PostSubject: Re: Online print sale sites: good?   Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:06 am

Thanks for your comment Callie. My wife and I haven't yet decided about making our prints available on the Imagekind site.

Since I haven't seen the quality of their work yet, I suppose I could sign up, upload one painting photo and order one small print of my own painting, as a true test.
Or is that considered narcissism, ha ha. Laughing

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Callie
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PostSubject: Re: Online print sale sites: good?   Wed Sep 22, 2010 10:53 am

That's exactly what I would do, just have one small print done at first. Then compare it to the original to check the color accuracy (and paper quality). Better safe than sorry - you want to know what your print buyers would be getting. Besides, if you had the same picture printed by 3 different companies, you'd have 3 prints that all looked different color-wise. Not everyone has an "artist's eye" - and what one printer considers good enough might be rejected by another as not good at all. So definitely get a print for yourself before you commit to multiple prints!
Do you have a good quality (color-calibrated) printer at home? If so, try a "test" run with your photo file. If the print company requests 300 dpi jpeg files, then save your photo accordingly and print it at high quality on a premium paper (I have pads of watercolor paper for this as well as various photo papers - check your art supply store for ink-jet artist papers). This will give you an idea of what you might get so you can tweak your photo file before uploading it. I usually have to brighten my photos just a hair for printing. Some printers will send you a digital proof, make sure the image is straight and nothing is clipped off. Check for details - can you see brushstrokes and fine lines? Then go for it and see what the final print looks like. Very Happy
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judyfilarecki
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PostSubject: Re: Online print sale sites: good?   Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:23 am

Donna Pierce-Clark, one of our inactive members whom I keep in contact with uses

http://fineartamerica.com/

It sounds like a pretty good mix of services. Her group is an acrylic landscape group, but I;m sure there are others. Here's her link and resulting website.

http://fineartamerica.com/groups/acrylic-landscape-artists.html

http://donna-pierce-clark.artistwebsites.com/

Hope this helps.

Judy

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watermixableguy
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PostSubject: Re: Online print sale sites: good?   Thu Sep 23, 2010 8:33 am

Good comments, Callie, there is a lot to watch for in the quality of a print. I have a high quality laser printer here at the office, which is good for colour, but is not an inkjet. I will most likely do some colour work on my file with the original painting in front of me for reference, then upload the final file to test out a print.

Judy, the fineartamerica site seems more in tune with us painters than the other, more general print sites. Those ones cater to photographers, buyers of repros of old posters, and painters combined. Will my buyers want a mug or transfer tshirt? I guess it depends on the image and where I can "see" it ending up.

I was surprised that fineartamerica discloses on their site the name, and address of the buyer, and the exact image specification that the buyer requested. I could imagine that could make a buyer uneasy.

But, extremely nice site with some very talented artists representing themselves there.
Food for thought!

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Callie
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PostSubject: Re: Online print sale sites: good?   Sun Sep 26, 2010 8:45 am


Quote :
I was surprised that fineartamerica discloses on their site the name, and address of the buyer, and the exact image specification that the buyer requested. I could imagine that could make a buyer uneasy.
But if you sold the prints yourself, you would have this info - for your records and to build a mailing list. You would be able to send a personalized "thank-you" card to buyers (self-promo opportunity!) and they would feel less like they're buying from some faceless corporate site and more like they've made a connection with the artist.
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judyfilarecki
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PostSubject: Re: Online print sale sites: good?   Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:14 am

Quote :
I was surprised that fineartamerica discloses on their site the name, and address of the buyer, and the exact image specification that the buyer requested. I could imagine that could make a buyer uneasy.

I wrote to Donna about that and she says she does not get that information, only a check for the sales. I've got to look into that more. Alan, could you tell me exactly where you found that information? I'm sure would like to know also.

Your idea, Callie would be great, but I don't think fineartamerica would like it.

Judy

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PostSubject: Re: Online print sale sites: good?   Sun Sep 26, 2010 12:40 pm

I just joined fineartamerica with their free membership rather than the paid one for now. I was able to post a painting in a protected form which only allows closeup viewing of small segments so it couldn't be copied. I was able to capture it, however, with a special program that Callie recommended. I hesitate to name the program, so I won't.

Here is the free website they gave me http://judy-filarecki.fineartamerica.com

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watermixableguy
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PostSubject: Re: Online print sale sites: good?   Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:33 am

Hi Judy, Callie;
I stand corrected, fineartamerica does not reveal the name of the purchaser nor their street address.
Sorry if I alarmed anyone with my mistake there. However, it does post some information.

I found buyer information openly available to the public, by going to their home page, and under the left menu item "Shop For Fine Art": Recently Sold Prints. Clicking that menu allows you to see information on 100 random sales within the last 30 days. Each time you refresh, it shows new work.

It does reveal the name of the city of the buyer and their specific choices. It doesn't identify the buyer by name, but not everyone lives in a big city...( am I being overly concerned with this?)
I still consider this to be too much information revealed. I think they could reveal the print information and omit the buyer's address completely.

(I'll post one example here, since it IS publicly available anyway; I left out the name of the artist and the painting title since I needed to keyboard it, haha, but could copy and paste the rest from my browser)
According to Google, Lisbon, IA is indeed a small place with a population of "approx" 1,898)

(painting title and name of artist)
was sold to a buyer from Lisbon, IA (United States) on September 14th, 2010
The print was configured by the buyer as follows:
Image Size:
7.75" x 10.00"
Print Material:
Glossy Finish Canvas
Frame:
None
Mat:
None
Finish:
Gallery Wrap Stretched Canvas Print - 1.5" Stretcher Bars - Back Stapled - Black Sides


Judy, I visited your fineamerica page. Nice photo of you! Beautiful painting of the jay, and you are receiving nice comments there!
I just had a quick look, but couldn't figure out how to purchase a print of it. ( I see the original is not for sale, which is probably wise, just sell prints!) Maybe I need more coffee, or switch back from decaf...

The painting image is quite clear and large on my screen, and with my Mac, I can simply grab a full size screen shot of the image. Or in Firefox, you can, um, capture the entire page code, include all jpgs. I won't tell people how, but it is quite simple.

I think there is a tradeoff in selling prints, you want the buyer to see the image clearly, so I guess a medium sized preview image is necessary. It's still too small for people to do anything with except view it. It's probably irritating to buyers to see a watermark in the centre of a painting ( I realize I have changed my position on this from my earlier comments about watermarking).

Best of luck with the site! My wife and I will likely enlist on Imagelink, and maybe other online sites.

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judyfilarecki
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PostSubject: Re: Online print sale sites: good?   Mon Sep 27, 2010 10:04 am

Hi Alan,

I found the same information after a while, but wasn't really alarmed by it. I live in a small town of about 1500 people, but it would still be hard for me to figure out who bought it and if I would really care.

When I posted the bluejay, I had the option to sell different sizes, but I opted not to do that right now. I want to review their payment policy for their free membership and paid membership before I make any decisions.

Thanks for the response. Keep us posted about Imagelink if you go for that one. I'll let you know how I progress with mine.

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PostSubject: Re: Online print sale sites: good?   Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:12 am

Hi Judy:

As Helen and I prepare to sell prints online, a couple of things come to mind;

Do I want to offer, say, 12" x 12" prints of a painting I did at 6" x 6"?
I would probably stick to allowing no larger than the original painting, with an occasional exception. An abstract might allow enlargement of brushstrokes without too much trouble.

The second issue I will face is to feel that the photos I take to record the work are of a sufficient quality to upload, and sell. Sharp, clear, faithful to the original painting.
I take our paintings outdoors in the north shade to photograph them, and place a colour wheel and grey scale in the photo next to the painting to help me balance colour in Photoshop.
I know Callie and I were discussing colour fidelity last week, this to ensure the buyer is happy with their print.

Ah well, these are minor issues, it is, as they say, 'all good'!

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judyfilarecki
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PostSubject: Re: Online print sale sites: good?   Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:32 am

One thing I've noted in printing my own, is that it depends on the printer. I have a laser printer where I always have to auto adjust the scanned photo for it to print how I want. On the Epson wide-format stylus photo printer, I do not adjust the color if I have taken in good lighting. One thing I did when I produced commercial videos was always have the color bars as a reference and adjust the video color according to that. Your color wheel and gray scale sound like a similar idea and worth doing.

I'm not sure how the company adjusts color, or if they do. I know that they have a minimum resolution criteria and other specifics in order for you to upload pictures for them to print. You should probably research the company you are going with and work to their guidelines.

I tend to agree that you should not sell ones larger than the original.

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PostSubject: Re: Online print sale sites: good?   Sun Jan 30, 2011 5:30 pm

I probably should update people on this. I sold a framed, matted print of Catalina Sunrise over Christmas. It was a surprise present to my dentist from his staff. In January, I had a chance to see it hung in the office and was very pleased with the quality of the entire thing. The colors of the print were exactly how they show on my computer which is more than 95% identical to the original. Here's the link if you want to see what I'm talking about.

http://judy-filarecki.artistwebsites.com/featured/catalina-sunrise-judy-filarecki.html

Judy

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PostSubject: Re: Online print sale sites: good?   Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:58 pm

WOW! A lot of beautiful pictures, Judy. Congratulations on the sale.

Dayle
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judyfilarecki
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PostSubject: Re: Online print sale sites: good?   Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:58 pm

Thanks so much, Dayle. One day I'm going to just devote the day to putting on all the ones for sale.
Judy

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PostSubject: Re: Online print sale sites: good?   Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:01 pm

I've been surprised to find that even in my little town there is a wonderful photography service that makes art quality prints that look completely true to the original, and you can be right there to keep an eye on it all -- one friend found prints of her work being sold without her knowledge or permission (or profit) from the company that made her prints, it makes me nervous to send it out there....
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PostSubject: Re: Online print sale sites: good?   Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:41 am

Hi fiberscribe. Welcome to the forum and thanks for your incite. I've been using

http://fineartamerica.com/tourfineartamerica/introduction.html

I've heard no complaints from anyone I know using them, and it has relieved me from doing all the rpinting, framing and matting I used to do all myself.

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