I have been painting like crazy the last 6 months, and have a stack of new paintings to show for it. That is on top of starting a new part time job. It hasn't been easy, but definitely worth the work.
My research about archival prints has paid off, and I was able to include 11 different works in limited editions at my most recent show! While most of the originals were displayed on the walls of the gallery, I sold many more prints than originals. That's fine with me! A few observations about that:
1. Providing limited edition prints (starting at $90 for 11x14") gave a larger number of people access to my work. The prints are gorgeous (thanks to Andrew Hindman at wholesalegiclee.com) and look almost identical to the originals. I can understand why people would choose a print over an original, although some were not interested in the prints at all and purchased originals outright. But having the option opens my work to a wider range of people.
2. Having prints available changed the format of the exhibition. In this show (a one-day regional studio/gallery tour), the framed originals on the gallery wall became the "showroom" for the prints (which I had in a bin). I am fine with that in this venue - but may offer a different approach next time I do this kind of show. It is a shift in my way of thinking about showing my work. I need to digest it a bit, but I think seeing that dynamic will help with the way I market my work in the future.
3. I need to do some more research about sales of limited edition prints vs originals in more traditional galleries, especially in the area of pricing. But I imagine that as long as the pricing between the originals and prints is in the right balance, offering quality limited editions can increase options/sales for both the gallery and artist. From my experience selling jewelry, someone might not have the $$ to buy the $5000 signature piece, but they might have $125 to buy a smaller production piece that has some of the qualities of the more expensive piece. I sold my 11x14 prints at $90 each, a high enough price that they would still be lucrative if I sold them through a gallery, but at under $100 they are still in the realm of impulse-buy for anyone with disposable income.
4. People like looking through print racks. I don't know what it is. But they like it. Just make sure you have your work wrapped up with a solid backing like foam core to protect those corners!
Do you like looking through print racks? Or do you have any other comments or questions about print editions? Let me hear it...