Generating Extra Income As An Artist: A Guide On How To Make And Sell Art Prints

Photo by Christopher Burns on Unsplash

In the hyperconnected globalized world of today it has never been easier to make a living as an artist. With websites, social media and email, any artist can reach out and begin to build a following to support themselves and their creative work. It is still difficult, however, to move beyond the starting stages of being an artist who occasionally sells a piece into one who makes a full-time income from their work.

Creating and selling prints of your art is an effective means to bridging this gap in income and, most importantly, it easy to get started. As I see it there are a number of ways that you, as an artist, can benefit from producing your own art prints for sale.

What Are Fine Art Prints?

An example of an art print, Source: Pixabay

At this point you are probably asking “What exactly is a fine art print?” Generally speaking, your best bet is to pursue creating Giclée (“zhee-clay”) prints which ensures the print is of high quality and longevity for any collector. Moreover, and just as importantly, prints in this style are very close in detail to the original artwork. To create prints in this style you will need a modern, large format inkjet printer that uses ink of sufficient high quality to be considered “archival.” For maximum quality, the finished print itself needs to be of a minimum of 300 dpi in quality (which can be altered with a photo editing program like Photoshop).

What You Need to Begin Producing Art Prints to Sell

Camera: The only thing more necessary than a printer set up in the creation of prints of your art is a camera. Though any camera will work (up to and including your phone’s camera), the more megapixels the camera has the better your print will likely be. Here are some of the recommendations I have been given, as well as the setup I actually use:

Photo Editing Program: Though this is not necessary, it can help depending on the pictures you take of your work. Using something like Photoshop in the creation process cuts the curve a bit in making prints as close to the original as possible.

Printer: Again, much like the camera, its all in the resolution and quality. Much like cameras, there is a wide range of options but no matter your choice make sure that it puts out at least 300 dpi, and that it can handle paper the size of the prints you wish to make. Here are a few options that have been recommended to me:

Quality Ink: This is a bit easier, as once you have selected your printer, the box and owners manual will tell you exactly what kind of inks you need to purchase.

Quality Paper: There are a range of print ready papers out there at various sizes. An example is the Strathmore texture paper for pastels or watercolor prints, but at the end of the day I recommend you shop around before you make a decision on what you wish to purchase.

If you are purchasing this equipment for the first time this can really take a bite out of your wallet. That being said, having this equipment can open up another revenue source for you, allowing you to continue to profit off of previous works you have created, even if the originals have been sold. Moreover, apart from the relatively cheaper costs of ink and paper, once you purchase the equipment you should be good for a while. I hope this have proven insightful and helpful to those interested in additional income as an artist. Below you will find a few options on how to go about selling your art prints once you have made them, as well as a couple book recommendations for those among you still struggling with the myth of “the starving artist.” Good luck with all your art and I wish you every bit of success!

Selling Your New Prints

I hope you enjoyed this article on art prints, how to get started making them, and how to get them in front of prospective buyers. So go, shed the mantle of a starving artist. What are you waiting for?

Bonus: Additional Books On Making Money As An Artist

This article contains affiliate links to books, cameras, paper, and printers that I recommend as starting points for creating your own art prints to sell. If you choose to purchase these products via my affiliate links, you will help support my writing and research at no additional cost to you.

Charles writes on art, history, politics, travel, fantasy, science fiction, poetry. BA, MA in Political Science, Phd Pending. Inquires:

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