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Should you be Merchandising Your Art?

Yes. It is sometimes helpful to have different price options for your art, for those people who love your work but can’t afford it or for those people like myself who have no more wall space. Prints, posters, bags, coasters and cards are a great look for a large variety of art styles.


Vicki Alchin's ASA profile

So what do I do to merchandise my work?

Number 1 rule in merchandising: Take good pictures of your work. Make sure there is no warping of the image due to funny angles. Take the photo at the same angle that your work is on.  If you have the ability make sure your paintings are the same colour and vividness in the photo as in real life. You can do this by editing the light and colour settings in your phone, or, if you are using a camera, on the software that lets you edit photos. If you are unsure find a friend who can or hire someone to manipulate your images.

What’s next?

Find a company that you like that does the level of quality you want. A quick overview: if you want cheap prints Harvey Norman does a clear print on a small variety of products; Kmart or Big W do a very cheap print but it does not have the same sharpness and tends to look cheap; Vista print is great for bags, cards, coasters, stickers, posters and a variety of products and they deliver to your house but are still not to the quality of a giclée print. Online stores that you can create for free like RedBubble redbubble.com, allow you to create a shop, artist’s profile, upload a design and will print it on products for you.  

Others are cafepress.com, lulu.com, society6.com. They will print on demand, people can find your online profile (if you market it on social media and in the real world, set up a mailing list etc) and then have a print of your work on the product they choose sent to their address all without you having to do a thing. Or you can order them yourself and sell them in the Pop Up Shop. The downside of online print on demand platforms is your margin of profit is tiny.

People who are merchandising queens in the ASA are Trish HalloranVicky Alchin and Cilla Jackson-Mauchel.  However Cilla’s and Vicky’s prints are giclée prints.


Trish Halloran's ASA profile

What is a Giclée Print?

A giclée print is a museum or art gallery wall quality print, guaranteed not to fade and usually on archival paper or board. You usually have to go to a specialist printer who uses archival inks and papers to print these. The print is more expensive to make but is guaranteed not to fade in a decade or two. They are usually also printed at the highest resolution possible. There are online companies like Posterfactory posterfactory.com.au, you send them files and depend on you to photograph it. Fitzgerald Photo Imaging fitzgeraldphoto.com.au/art-reproduction who are in North Perth, will scan or photograph it for you at extra cost. The Finishing Touch Gallery is in Fremantle  finishingtouchgallery.com.au/printing/giclee/ and are used by many local renowned artists including Leon Holmes and Dawn Meader. These prints can be sold for a higher price as they are going to last a long time and have a higher resolution image.

You can see there are a large range of printing options and a variety of choices when it comes to merchandising. If you are an ASA member considering going into the Pop Up Shop it is a great option to extend your sales.   As a current Pop Up Shop member I can tell you most of my sales have been prints on canvas, photo printed cards and poster on board prints done by Vista Print and Harvey Norman.  When you get a chance talk to some of the current Pop Up Shop members and ask what merchandise is selling if you are going to have a go. Good luck!

 

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