How to Sell Paintings, and Keep the Images Forever!
The one regret I have in my career as an artist is that I didn’t professionally document my earlier paintings.
Back in those early days, I didn’t understand how important it would be to have a quality image of the paintings I sold. Admittedly, I was also really broke. As a result, I have at least a hundred paintings floating around in the world without any record of them — a lesson in letting go for sure!
Now I never sell a painting without capturing a high quality image of the piece, because even if I sell a painting, I still own the right to reproduce the image — unless I sell the copyright which is very rare.
I use these images in so many ways. Sometimes they turn into giclee prints on canvas or fun lifestyle products. Did you know you can buy shower curtains, clocks, pillows and rugs featuring your favorite Flora painting? Pretty cool, right? I also use my images on my website, social media outlets, and for my own records.
Basically, these digital images are like gold.
In this week’s Hey Flora episode, I’m answering the questions, “When you’re documenting your work, how do you pay the photographer? Per photo, per session, per month? How does it all work?”
I’m happy to share my experience and also my very favorite photographer here in Portland. His name is Stephen Funk. He does great work and might just be the nicest guy I’ve ever met.
Of course, if you happen to have a really nice camera, the know-how to use it, and the proper lights (or the perfect overcast day) documenting your own work can be a really great cost effective option. If your work is small, you might even be able to use your home scanner. If your work doesn’t fit on your own scanner, there are lots of giclee print companies who offer large flatbed scanner services — although these tend to be a bit pricey.
If you’re selling original paintings, I hope these bits of insight save you from making the same mistake I made!
And speaking of older paintings, I posted a whole bunch of the ones I did document over on Instagram this past week. Looking at these paintings feels like a walk down memory lane…enjoy!
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Music by Kyrstyn Pixton.