Can Art Pay?

This has been the question roiling in my mind lately. I’ve got a lot more original art sitting around than I used to, and I give some away, and I’ve been selling a bit (to a dear friend, so inexpensively). I know a place in town that just MIGHT hang a few pieces with prices. But I realized at the gallery showing I attended recently, that if I priced my art as materials plus an hourly wage (even minimum wage considering my skills) that I would find my own originals inaccessible, too. But one of the gallery artists had giclee prints of some of his work (not the one piece I wanted, naturally) that was within reach budget-wise.

It’s the prints that got me to thinking…One original could translate into lots more prints. But how? And really, you’d need to have a pretty wide audience for your originals before you’d know you could sell enough prints, right? (Not to mention not having to sell the original if you didn’t want to.)  And that got me to thinking of fine art note cards. Does anyone really send snail mail anymore? If you check Etsy, it would seem so. There are some beautiful cards on there, and artists who say they are offering them by popular demand. Maybe THAT could be a little dollar generator?

A potential note card?

Having prints made might seem expensive, but having notecards made ain’t cheap! My printer isn’t the sort of quality I’d want to put into an item I would offer for sale. According to my research, having notecards printed means LOTS of notecards in order to get a wholesale type pricing that I could make a profit from. And then where to sell them? Etsy? The local craft fair? Friends and family? What if I did simple originals?

SO. MANY. QUESTIONS.

So if you would pay $2.99 for a greeting card at Target, would you pay $4.50 for a greeting card with a print of an original artwork? Or $6.50 for a card with actual original artwork? (That would mean I would have to be able to paint the card in about 45 minutes. Hmmm.)

Incidentally, the above rose is the result of experimenting with watercolor and plastic wrap. Fun!

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