The Art of Selling Art Prints Directly

The Art of Selling Art Prints Directly


the Art of Selling Art Prints Directly print on demand

What you need to know…

Over the past year more and more of the artists I meet have been asking me if fulfilling orders for their art is something that can be done easily, or whether are there alternatives to selling via the traditional print on demand sites. Before I answer the question though we need to take a look at the benefits you get from using a good print on demand service, and then you can decide if fulfilling your own orders will be worth it.

The Top Twelve Benefits of POD…

  1. All orders are fulfilled by the print on demand service, all you have to do is upload your work and promote it.
  2. The quality of print from the major POD sites are exceptionally high quality and will last for generations.
  3. You don’t have to worry about setting up payment systems, all you need is a PayPal account to receive any commission.
  4. The best POD sites will offer customers a 30-day money back guarantee.
  5. You can download your sales history at any time.
  6. With services such as Fine Art America you will be able to see where your customers are visiting from.
  7. POD services let you choose to sell your art on a wide range of other products other than canvases and photo-prints.
  8. Premium accounts on Fine Art America also give you access to your very own website via Pixels. You can even create mailing lists with some POD companies.
  9. On most of the major POD services you are able to set your own commission.
  10. POD sites have a community with many artists participating in forums and offering support and advice, you can also enter competitions too.
  11. You can earn extra commission when the buyer purchases mats, frames, and accessories.
  12. POD sites get a lot of traffic

The downsides…

Whilst there are benefits to print on demand there are equally some downsides too.

  1. You never get to know your customers unless they specifically reach out to you
  2. The POD site keeps their client list and will only share the name of the buyer with you and the location they live.
  3. POD sites will only promote a small percentage of the artists they have on their books, promoting your work is down to you.
  4. POD sites use high quality materials so base costs above your commission can seem expensive to some buyers.
  5. There’s a lot of competition often with hundreds of thousands of members, all chasing the same buyers.
  6. You have no control over shipping and prices can seem expensive to some buyers
  7. You can’t sign the work or set limited edition sizes on many of the POD sites.
  8. You sometimes have to wait nearly two-months to be paid depending on when the buyer made the purchase. 
  9. Some POD sites will only send out commission once you have hit a threshold so if you don’t sell much you could be waiting around for a long time.
  10. You might not be able to sign the print or a certificate of authenticity unless you buy the print and then sign it before you ship to the buyer
  11. Sales can be sporadic
  12. Pricing structures across POD services can be different and lead to inconsistency in pricing.

There are many more benefits as there are downsides to print on demand but the biggest benefit of all is that POD saves time. Time which can then be spent in the studio not having to worry about transactions, shipping, printing, matting, and framing, and this is welcome as many artists can become a slave to the frame.

There are a few choices you can make to fulfil your art orders but none seem quite as convenient as the POD services, but that’s not to say that you are tied into only offering clients a single option.

Before I joined the print on demand arena I offered a range of options for clients to purchase my work and I still continue to do so to this day.  If someone wants one of my limited editions or a signed print, I tend to work with a range of local and sometimes not so local fine art printers. Over the years I have managed to amass the equipment that enables me to produce exceptional quality prints without any outsourcing at all. But I know my limits and if someone wants something extra special then I know to leave it to those I trust to get the job done in the right way. 

Of course there are downsides to this too, it’s not always as economical to produce prints particularly if they are larger format prints, and finding a good company who can produce the quality you need might be difficult in some local areas. 

Buying your own equipment can be expensive but if you know that you will be using the equipment to fulfil regular print orders it is certainly the option which places everything from quality control to having direct contact with your customers in your own hands.

Choosing your partner…

I met with a graphic designer friend a few weeks ago who has decided to go down the outsourcing route for his commissions after setting up as a freelancer, and he kind of coined it all up with the analogy that ‘It’s like dating’ – you date a couple of them and find out that there are some things in the relationship that annoy you, then you finally find a keeper and hope that you live happily ever after’. But finding the keeper can be difficult. 

It’s all about knowing exactly what to look for. Some local print companies won’t touch fine art prints at all. Instead their market will be promotional materials and high visibility jackets, whereas others will be equipped to take on a range of work. 

There are specialist fine art printing companies who will even ship the order to your client for you, and some of them offer a much faster turn-around than others. When I looked for outsourced fine art printers one of the considerations that was just as important as the quality was the speed of fulfilling orders. 

On the occasions when I supply art for TV productions it’s not unusual for the art buyer for the production team to contact me and ask if they can have a specific work or commission within a few days because they need it on set. Sometimes it can even be tomorrow, so if you have time-critical jobs such as this you need to be prepared. 

If your clients don’t mind waiting for a short while then more options open up and if you have a specific budget available you can ask around for the best prices. When I was looking a few years ago, one of the companies had a minimum 30-day lead-time as they only produced fine art prints a couple of days each month. Others were within a few days at most and one I use regularly guarantees next day delivery at the latest, and if really pushed they will fulfil the order and courier it on the same day, but that comes at a price. 

Companies like this are definite keepers but other than the turnaround time there are lots of other considerations you need to take into account when selecting one. First you need to figure out if you can work with a fine art printing company because they all come with a few caveats.

Will your work print out perfectly?

That age-old adage that you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear is true when it comes to art, especially if you are talking about print sizes or more specifically, enlarging print sizes.

 If you can’t supply the correct size image in the first place most printing companies will only ever be able to reproduce the size of the image supplied or smaller. 

Some printers seem to be able to work magic when it comes to upping the size of prints and there is barely no image degradation up to a point, but some printers will not be able to perform this magic at all which is why you need to make sure that the image file sizes are suitable for the company to use. 

Usefully I have added the table below to save you having to work out sizes. Different printing companies will have different equipment and the requirements vary greatly. My printing company will take anything at 100dpi (dots per inch) or preferably above, but others will only reproduce images with a much higher dpi. 

I have picked two of the most common dpi sizes and the paper/canvas sizes that many printers will accept but it is worth checking with the printing company first to see if the sizes can be reproduced on their equipment, or if you are printing at home, that these sizes will work for you. Inches where given are approximate so please check before committing to sizes!

Paper or Canvas Size

Paper or Canvas Inches

Paper or Canvas Millimetre

Resolution Needed at 180 dpi

Resolution needed at 300 dpi

ACEO

2.5 x 3.5

63 x 89mm

450 x 630

900 x 1260

Photo

7 x 5

127 x 178mm

1260 x 900

2520 x 1800

A5

8.26 x 5.82

210 x 148mm

1490 x 1050

2976 x 2105

8 x 8

8 x 8

200 x 200mm

1440 x 1440

2880 x 2880

10 x 8

10 x 8

250 x 200mm

1800 x 1440

3600 x 2880

12 x 8

12 x 8

300 x 200mm

2160 x 1440

4320 x 2880

A4

11.69 x 8.26

297 x 210mm

2105 x 1490

4209 x 2976

14 x 11 

14 x 11

355 x 280mm

2520 x 1980

5040 x 3960

12 x 12

12 x 12

305 x 305mm

2160 x 2160

4320 x 4320

16 x 12

16 x 12

406 x 305mm

2880 x 2160

5760 x 4320

A3

16.53 x 11.69

420 x 297mm

2977 x 2105

5953 x 4209

16 x 16

16 x 16

406 x 406mm

2880 x 2880

5760 x 5760

20 x 16

20 x 16

508 x 406mm

3600 x 2880

7200 x 5760

A2

23.38 x 16.53

594 x 420mm

4210 x 2977

8419 x 5953

24 x 16

24 x 16

610 x 406mm

4320 x 2880

8640 x 5760

20 x 20

20 x 20

508 x 508mm

3600 x 3600

7200 x 7200

Standard Poster

27.55 x 19.68

700 x 500mm

4961 x 3544

9921 x 7087

20 x 30

20 x 30

508 x 762mm

3600 x 5400

7200 x 10800

A1

33.07 x 23.38

840 x 594mm

5940 x 4212

11906 x 8419

24 x 36

24 x 36

610 x 915mm

4320 x 6480

8640 x 12960


My most popular works are either sold as smaller pieces up to 24 x 18 or as really large formats sometimes up to 60 – 100 inches, the latter having to always be outsourced. Talking to friends who collect art they tend to collect pieces that will fit in their space, and maybe have a larger statement piece but generally they will more frequently buy pieces up to around 30-inches. 

Your market might be very different and each of your collectors might want large statement pieces of art so the choice is either going to be outsourcing or using a print on demand company. Few of us will be able to afford or even have the room for a super-large format printer and unless you are selling a number of 60-inch plus works it makes more sense to let others handle this type of work.

What to look for from a print company…

Size matters but there is a little more to it than finding out if the print company will have a fit with your needs. When I sourced a few companies a couple of years ago I was totally bewildered by the choices. 

I needed a company that could produce small or large prints and they had to be of exceptional quality, and I threw into the mix that I needed a company who could use very specific paper and canvas types, and if they could also print on acrylic block it would be the icing on the cake. I create a number of corporate commissions and acrylic block works well in public spaces. 

Some of the companies weren’t able to handle certain paper and canvas types so this became a bit of a hunt. Some of my canvases are printed on 370 GSM canvas and this was a little too thick for some printers at the time. Over the past couple of years technology has moved on considerably and paper and canvas thickness is less of an issue, but you want to make sure that if you are using something like 308 gsm photo-rag paper, the company will be able to reproduce work on those types and grades of paper or canvas. If they also offer printing on other products too then that’s always a plus.


colour profiles for printers

Profiles: 

The companies I tend to use have state of the art printing equipment and each of them supply me with colour profiles so that I know that the colour of the work being seen on my screen as I create it will look exactly the same when it is printed out. Good printers will take you through the steps you need to take to load profiles into packages such as Photoshop and from within that you will be able to select the printer and paper type and get the file ready for printing. 


giclee printing

Printers: 

Giclee and dye-sublimation are words that you will often hear when printing companies talk about their equipment. The word Giclee doesn’t really mean that much. Traditionally posters were printed using an offset printing process using a separate plate for each colour and the plates printed with a slight line that could be seen on the print. 

Giclee is more of a process used to recreate an original piece of art and the process of capturing the artwork for printing aside, Giclee’s are normally printed on a large format inkjet printer. Wait what? 

Yes, Giclee is essentially an inkjet printer that uses archival pigment inks which last much longer than your standard run of the mill inkjet, and the printers tend to be wider format and ever so much more expensive. 

Offset printing is best used for large production runs and the finished piece will be more resistant to water and fingerprints, but for smaller print runs you will hear the phrase Giclee a lot. You will also hear the words dye-sublimation, solvent, and pigment, too.

What you need to know is firstly how good the quality is, secondly how long the print will last, and will it fade in time. If you can be assured that it will remain stable, won’t fade, it’s then down to how the finished product compares with the original. 

The next bit that makes a huge difference is knowing that the person operating the printer is a professional who knows everything there is to know about operating the printer, what colour correction to apply, which profiles are to be used, and which kind of ink or manufacturer of ink will produce the best results for whichever piece of work. 

So when you are looking for a printer, don’t be too taken in with the I have the latest technology and can produce the most outstanding prints line that is used, it all comes down to how well they know that technology and how they get the best out of it, and whether they’re using the right inks and papers. Ultimately it comes down to the question, can you provide me with a quality print that will last for generations?

You also need to know if they are using cellulose paper or whether they are using premium acid-free papers and canvases. The type of paper and the type of ink used will determine if the print will yellow or completely fade over time, or if it will last for generations. Whilst there is a difference in price, there is a huge difference in quality and paying extra will save in the long run.  

So to recap, Giclee is a fine art process which combines the highest quality archival inks and papers together with archival inks which produce prints that are lightfast and durable.

If you decide that you do want to go it alone then look for the very best dye-sublimation printer you can afford and always use the highest quality inks and paper. Ultimately you will get what you pay for but seriously take a look at the range of Canon Pro-Graf printers unless you can afford to take a look at some of the latest from Roland, but don’t discount Epson, some of their printers are not to be scoffed at either. 

Samples…

Most printing companies will be able to supply you with samples so that you and your client can decide what type of paper or canvas will have the best fit with your work. Some companies will charge for a sample pack but might offer you a discount of an equal value on your first order. 

Check if they frame and matte the artwork…

Some companies will offer a framing service and they will also matte your works for you before shipping them to you or directly to a client. If your intention is to sign the work before it is sent on to the client then a local printer will be better suited otherwise you would be transporting the artwork between the printer and you and then on to the client which adds to the cost. 

You will want to also be assured that the mattes and backboards will not degrade the print either. I have seen on numerous occasions the situation where a fine art print has been printed using the best inks, best paper, and an expensive frame, only to find that the backing board or mounts are not acid free. Anything that comes into contact with the print has the potential to damage it and using a cheap matte or backing board on an expensive print is akin to buying a Ferrari and leaving the keys in the door with a sign saying steal me. Sooner or later it will go wrong. 

Borders…

Check that the printers are able to offer both Full-Bleed (no borders) and internal borders where a border exists around the image. The default board is usually one inch but many printers will be able to accommodate different sizes. This is important especially when matting the work or giving you space to write on the edition size and number, title of the work if needed, and signing the work. 

With Full-Bleed your image will fill the paper size and no borders will be present at all, it is literally edge to edge. If your work doesn’t fit the intended size then the company may crop the image so making sure that they send over photographs of how the crop will look before going ahead with printing the work is important. 

They might have to do this even with borders and often it means having the picture placed centrally on the paper but you could end up with unequal borders which make it especially difficult for mounting and framing. Most print companies will also allow you to request specific image sizes so they will add the border to get the image as closely as possible to the measurements you have provided. 

In short, always question your printing company and specifically ask how they deal with cropping and borders and if they will be keeping you briefed and that they will send you photos of how it will look if there is a sizing issue. 

Finishing…

The final finish of your work and the durability of it are the two most significant factors when deciding on using a print company, but asking some simple questions will give you an idea of how well they will be able to serve your requirements. 

Asking something along the lines of the following might help you to decide, assuming that each of these are important to you.

  • Do they apply any UV coatings
  • Do they provide a range of gloss, matte, or satin finishes
  • Can they handle deckled edges
  • Do they also provide services for framing, matting, and stretching canvas
  • Do they provide a mechanism for signing works and certificates of authenticity

Prints from originals…

Getting original artwork to the printer without sending the original is where many artists get stuck. If you are comfortable in using a digital camera then it becomes easier. If you plan on photographing the original you need to produce an exceptional photograph free of reflections and glares, and it has to be at the highest resolution possible so you need to beg, steal, or borrow a good quality camera if you don’t already own one. Alternatively you could ask a professional photographer to take the shot for you. If you do this then think of it as an investment, this is the image that all future prints will be based on and a one off cost for each work. 

There’s a bit of a knack to photographing art and often it can still be a little hit and miss. The ideal conditions are natural daylight and art is best placed on an easel with the art upright, not laid flat on a table.

You then need to position the camera so that it is facing straight and central to the height of the work and the picture needs to fill the frame. This is where a high-resolution camera comes into play and it is best to use a tripod to do this.

There is a better way of recreating a digital image and that is to scan it. Scanners come in all manner of sizes these days and the large format ones are going to be your best option. The problem with these is that they can be expensive.

You also need a scanner capable of scanning at high resolutions. Most will handle high resolutions these days but the absolute minimum needs to be at around 360-400 dpi. If the printer will only print works at 360 dpi, your image needs to be at least 360 dpi and ideally 600dpi. 

If you want your original enlarged then scanning at 1200 dpi would allow an A4 image to be enlarged to A1 with no increase in the number of pixels and no degradation or pixilation of the work. 

You also need to consider if the scanner has settings such as auto-exposure, and can handle 8-bit greyscale and 24-bit colour. Some scanner software also makes other additional features available such as de-screening, unsharp masking, and whilst some will offer colour restoration of old photographs, it’s not a setting that should be turned on if you want the colour to match the original. The software bundled with scanners is just as important as the scanner. I have seen some exceptional quality scanners let down by poor supporting software.

Professional printing companies might have access to drum scanners and they are viewed as the best types of scanner to use by many people but it really depends on the aperture size of the scanner. Many drum scanners have an aperture built into their scanning head that changes the sample size of each ‘pixel’. If the scanner has a large aperture size it will be used to ‘smooth’ out the effects of grain. Having said that, this leads to problems because having a smaller aperture whilst it will produce a higher resolution, it will also introduce grain which will interfere with the details.

Owning a drum scanner is different to owning a flat-bed scanner and only some fine art originals will be suitable to be scanned using this type of technology. Digital scan back cameras can also be used but the cost of these will be prohibitive for most people. 

Using professionals to scan your original artwork is the best way to go and particularly if you only produce a dozen or so pieces each year, and using a professional will give you way better results at least in the short-term until you become familiar with how to create a proof image. 

They will often be able to scan with large format cameras and might even be able to produce scans of films and transparencies but interestingly many of the professional scanning services I have found always seem to suggest that using a flat-bed scanner is better if your work has lots of fine lines and details. 

Digital scanning backs are though a must for scanning pastels, chalks, charcoals and collages and artwork which needs to be handled extremely carefully. The technology is also useful for works with stretcher bars or wood panels. Unlike flatbed scanners nothing has to touch the original artwork at all.

They will also look at colour matching to make sure that the colour of the scan matches your original work. Some of them will literally put the work under a microscope and look for imperfections in the original and the scan, that might not be apparent to the naked eye. These imperfections could be grains of dust or hairs, imperfections in brush strokes, and even scratches. 

The professional services will often also carry out any specialist editing such as adding a gallery edge or cloning the image for a mirror wrap.


free spirit art by Mark Taylor

Delivering prints…

Assuming that everything is in place and you have a print process that matches the high quality of your work, getting the print to its owner is something that you have to also consider. 

I have written about shipping art before so we won’t go into any great detail today, we will however recap on some of the basics.

Shipping fine art is tricky but it needn’t be a complete headache and the more familiar you are with some of the most basic problems will help you to consider the best ways of transporting your art. 

Unfortunately the ‘oh this is just a print, it will be fine’ way of transporting your art won’t win you any clients if the work they receive is damaged. Whilst certain other considerations have to be made when shipping original art, the shipping of prints should be carried out with care too.

Packaging…

I am obsessed with packaging whenever I ship anything but if my artwork is in the package then I am even more obsessed. Considering the type of packaging is equally as important as considering how and who will be delivering the work. 

Some materials will be safe if they come into contact with any art or a print, other materials should be kept a distance away. Bubble wrap is the saviour of many an artist, but sadly bubble wrap is a hybrid of eBay packaging and therapy, it’s not always good for art.

Some plastics will be fine to use but bubble wrap can be affected by temperature or changes in humidity and if the bubbles are directly sitting against the art moisture can build up in between those bubbles and this is particularly an issue if you are considering shipping the art from and to different climates.

Temperatures in the hold of aircraft are significantly lower than the temperature in a first-class seat, and sudden changes in temperature can add to and compound the issues even further. Bubble wrap around stained wood frames can in certain circumstances cling to the frame and cause damage.

Shipping from Alaska to Florida is perhaps an extreme example but not that rare. So you do have to consider how the work will be transported, and by what means of transport. If there is a climate controlled option for shipping original art, you really do need to consider whether the extra expense could be tolerated be either you or the buyer. 

If you do insist on bubble wrap as a lot of artists do, consider using pallet wrap and placing this between the work and the bubble wrap but if you do this you also still need to ensure that the art can breathe. The issue with using pallet wrap is that it really does form an airtight seal and the art essentially suffocates unless you create breathing holes. 

Better still, using soft cotton fabrics and unbleached acid free linens would take away some of those kinds of issues but always ensure that anything you do use is not dyed. I once witnessed a $5000 original being unboxed and the weather being what it is in the UK, rain had seeped into the cardboard box and onto the pretty red cloth that the art was wrapped in. The artwork suddenly became a completely new style of abstract with overtones of red dye and there was no way to save it. A $5000 mistake. 

You will also need to consider the tape that you use and I know many of us are on tight budgets and items such as packaging tape seem obvious choices to trim down the costs, but cheaper alternatives might not have the adherence that more expensive options have and a box falling apart mid-way to its final destination could be disastrous. If tape is especially adherent you might want to keep it well away from the art too.

Take out any hooks and hanging brackets which could damage the work in transit and place these in a separate sealed box within the package and away from the art.

If the work is a print or unframed then wrap it in acid free tissue paper or ideally non-dyed acid free linen, and consider using board or heavy duty cardboard at the front and rear of the work. If you are using tape, make sure that the parcel is also labelled in a way that tells the client not to use sharp objects to open the package.

I tend to use a specialist shipping crate for framed works with treated wood and foam block around the edges and above and below the work if the art is a framed original. I also make sure that the wood being used is from a sustainable source, make sure it is appropriately treated, and that the country it is being delivered to will accept that type of packaging. It might cost a little more to do this but it saves having to worry that the art will get damaged along the way.

When you come to boxing everything up make sure that there are labels all over it. I often hear that this is a waste of time because certain couriers will just throw it around anyway, but firstly it lets the client know that I care about what is inside the box and secondly if you need to make a claim for damage and the box wasn’t labelled as fragile, you might be on sticky ground. It’s not in the interests of shipping companies to throw around parcels but the parcel might be handled by other third-parties such as baggage handlers who also need to unload a thousand suitcases off the same flight.

Consider taking out specialist insurance too and this is especially important when shipping by sea container or on aircraft, but it is worth considering even if you use a local carrier. Specialist fine art insurance is also widely available and specific to the nuances and issues that can arise from shipping art. 

If it is an open edition giclee and can be reproduced if anything goes wrong, it comes down to whether you can bear the replacement costs and consider the cost of replacement as a complete loss.

Take photographs of the art out of and in the box and identify any particular issues such as existing marks and scratches before you ship the work too as without these it would be difficult to prove that any item wasn’t initially shipped in the condition it had been received.

Customs Holds…

Here’s a little known secret, some countries will have specific customs codes that will alert customs officials that the package is an original work of art and may be exempt from import duty and taxes and therefore doesn’t need to be held whilst the paperwork is poured over by a million different people.

This is why using a specialist art shipping company always pays off. They will know how to fill in the shipping and export paperwork and they will be aware of specialist codes that should be labelled on the outer casing of the package.

This saves the hassle of having works of art held up in the customs process which can take forever at times and it also saves having to make numerous telephone calls to find out what the delay is. Trust me when I say that this process can be painful, slow, and way more complicated than it needs to be.

Whilst codes are not the answer for transport between every country and even region, if they are applicable not only will you save some time, you will also save some money for both you and the buyer.

This is where you ideally need a quick doctorate in trade tariffs because you can bet your bottom dollar that many artists and buyers have perhaps overpaid not realising that some items being shipped into some countries are free from certain taxes and charges and it ain’t like governments make it easy to find out. At least check the government tariff sites for your own country and the country you are shipping the work to and be prepared to read passages on their websites which say:

Jewellery, imitation jewellery and other ornamental items that have a significant amount of precious metal in them or metal plated with precious metal are covered in Chapter 71 or;

Artificial teeth are covered in Chapter 90 under heading code 902… I kid you not. Read https://www.gov.uk/guidance/classifying-ceramics if you want a taste and that section only covers ceramics.

Still want to ship directly?

Artists often say how frustrated they are that shipping costs are too high with print on demand services and using a professional to ship art is way too expensive too. The reality my friends is that shipping is expensive full stop and skimping on certain aspects of the process can make it even more expensive. 

At this point you are probably wondering why you became an artist in the first place! Last week we spoke about finding and understanding the retail and wholesale markets for art, not too long ago we had to make decisions around whether being represented by a gallery would be a good fit, and then there’s that whole social media and I so need to know about algorithms thing. Oh, and then at some point during all of these extra jobs you have to carve out five minutes to put brush to canvas too. Dammit, now I even need to figure out what time people are awake, and if my 12 x 8 will stretch to 24 x 16.

Not only this but I need to know about trade deals and import and export laws, and we now need to find an extra hour to parcel the dang thing up in the first place, but that my friends is what being an artist means in the 21st Century. Well actually it’s not, this is the support structure you need to be an artist in the 21st Century, and you have to remember that you don’t have to do everything on your own.

Whether you are a collective of artists or you buy in services, there’s a whole world wrapped around the art world that makes the art world happen. If you are happy printing on the inkjet and your clients are happy too, then fine, but quality costs.

This is why supporting and working with each other is so important. Collaboration in shipping and working out where markets sit can significantly reduce the workload for each artist so that each are able to concentrate more on their art. It kind of makes sense doesn’t it?

Now when you look at the prices that print on demand services charge you might look at them in a slightly different light. They will have done much of the groundwork to ship the thousands of prints that they ship each week. 

Don’t look at them as something that should be a better source of income than it is, POD is a service, and you still have to market your work. What POD sites do is take some of the headache away including looking after the transactions which are another story for another time. Their focus is in the title, print on demand, they don’t all focus on selling it. That’s your job. 

If you thought that art would be a great way to earn a living you are right. But if you thought that being an artist would be easy, sorry but there are a million better and more lucrative ways to earn your dime and they’re easier too. 

It might be that like me you have multiple ways to get your work into client’s hands and this I have found is the best way to go. I’m hoping that in the future I will be doing a limited range of digital downloads too and this will make things a little easier still. 

Having multiple delivery options means that there are plenty of ways to serve customers no matter where they are located in the world, and knowing what to avoid in the way of pitfalls makes life a little easier too. 

If you are thinking that print on demand is way too expensive I will leave you with this little nugget I always think back too and that is, one of my clients in Italy needed a large work of mine and I had suggested going via print on demand rather than me fulfilling the order. 

By the time all of the costs were added up, the cost was almost 30% more than buying through print on demand. This didn’t include the extra time, effort, and work that was needed, although it would have been with the client in about a day less. 

So whilst the customer might have got their delivery slightly earlier it wouldn’t have been worth almost 30% of the total cost more to save one day. Add to this that most print on demand services will have printing facilities around the world, shipping is less of an issue as are import taxes. 

Hopefully you will have found out at least something that will be useful in making your decision around who and what to use, my advice is to use the best service for the job from the off and don’t forget that POD sites can be a part of your fulfilment strategy. Good luck and happy creating!

About Mark…

Mark is an artist and blogger who specialises in abstracts, landscapes, and seascapes but also carries out a limited number of commissions for book covers, posters, and personal commissions too. 

His work is sold in more than 150 retail locations across the USA and Canada including The Great Frame Up, Framing and Art Centre, and Deck the Walls and you can also buy from Fine Art America or his Pixels site here: https://10-mark-taylor.pixels.com 

All artwork and art collectibles sold through Fine Art America and Pixels also come with a 30-day money back guarantee. Any proceeds from the sale of art through Fine Art America and Pixels go back towards maintaining this site for the benefit of other independent visual artists and art buyers. You can also follow Mark on Facebook at: https://facebook.com/beechhousemedia 

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