Signing Artwork and Prints – Who Knew??

As I’ve improved in my botanical work, I’ve been curious about how I might eventually create prints or cards from some of my works.  A couple of months back, I completed a botanical that I thought would be a good one to use in exploring this next step.

When I finished my picture, I signed it and sent it off to be scanned and to get a couple of giclee prints made which I’d hoped to eventually gift or sell.

The good great news is that I actually SOLD a print…and to someone who wasn’t a friend or relative.

What I didn’t know at the time was that there were many other steps that I should have thought through before I started selling prints. Here are a couple of things I learned…

Think about how you’re signing your original.  Do you want your signature to be bold or discreet on the original.  Are you going to sign the print too? Are you signing it in a way that would make a second signature look redundant?

beet with wrong signature

I not only signed my original in a not too discreet way…but also way off to the side.  I’m not sure why I did that! And when it came to the print, I didn’t sign it.  I didn’t know that you should. But had I signed it, I think it might have looked a little redundant.

2. If you are making prints, particularly giclee prints, are there a limited number of prints you’ll make?  You should think about that. Giclee prints are not just ‘copies’ of the original.

I didn’t even think about the numbering I see on prints  (“1/250” for example).  The numbering tells the buyer how many are out there or expected to be out there.  It would have been nice to give my buyer print number 1!  But I didn’t even sign the print, let alone number it.

My botanical instructor, Jeanne Debons, has helped me understand print numbering a bit more. You can order prints as you need them, but you need to keep track of what number you are on.  If I had done prints that were, say, in a series of 25, and I reached number 25, that’s it!  It wouldn’t be right for me to start another ‘series’ of the same print. Having said that…if you really think it will sell, don’t limit your series to something small like 25.  Maybe make them x of 250 or x of 500 🙂

So…I redid the signature on the original in a more discreet place.

beet with better signature

…got the original rescanned, and got new giclee prints made. I will sign and number my prints going forward, starting with #2 because I’m going to track down my first buyer and give her a ‘correct’ #1 print! And I know that my work is still improving, so I’m going to limit this beet series to 50.

I am sure there are still many other points I’ve yet to consider, but this is a learning experience for me and I welcome your feedback!

And here’s the beet!

golden beet

beta Vulgaris

4 thoughts on “Signing Artwork and Prints – Who Knew??

  1. Hi Gina, We missed you today. Great work on making this topic interesting and understandable. Fun to hear it as your story. Now how do we get lots of people to read it? Looking forward to painting with you soon. J

    • I hope you had a great weekend over there in Bend. I spent it at WordCampPDX learning how to be a more consistent blogger. I’m looking forward to October! (not the month really, but certainly the class).

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