Since starting The Quiet Place Art, I’ve been selling art prints of my original works. It’s certainly been a discovery process, which I’ve refined throughout time, but after a lot of trials, I’m very happy with the result. My Hong Kong art prints are now near-perfect representations of the originals and most of my sales comes from them. I’ve therefore decided to write a blog post to share my experience with it. So, if you’re looking to turn your original artworks into beautiful prints, this post is for you!
1. Why art prints, and not originals?
Selling art prints is a personal choice, but I find that there are a handful of reasons for wanting to do so. I’ll list the pros and cons here:
- First of all, art prints are a more affordable version of your originals, so you might be able to target a different audience than “collectors”. Perhaps someone who’s simply looking for a piece of decoration for their house, and just likes your style!
- Second, you can make art prints in a lot of different formats and sizes! I’ll talk about merchandising in a future blog post.
- Third, you could sell an endless number of art prints of your original. Imagine the potential!
- Creating art prints is quite the hassle (keep on reading to understand why!)
- Art prints could diminish the value of the original.
2. How to prepare the file for printing?
This depends a lot on the medium that you’re using. I personally create my artworks on watercolor paper, which makes it 10x easier because I can scan them and automatically create a .jpeg or pdf file within a few seconds.
In Hong Kong, you can find lots of print shops where you can scan your artworks. A go-to place for me is Ma King Kee. It’s very affordable and gets the job done!
If you’re scanning them, I recommend using these settings:
- Full color
- 600 DPI resolution
- .jpeg (if available; if not, you could do .pdf and convert it afterwards using free services like PDF to JPG).
If your files are on canvas or on a format which you can’t easily scan, then you’ll need to equip yourself with a good camera, great lighting conditions and take it from there. Unfortunately, I don’t have experience with this, but if you run a quick search online, you’ll certainly find more guides about this!
3. How to edit your file for printing?
Once you get my .jpeg file, I usually edit them on Mac and iPad (with Apple Pencil). I use two programs:
- PhotoScape X: this is a free editing software, similar to Photoshop and available on Mac and Windows, which I use for resizing, cropping, file saving etc.
- Procreate: this is a wonderful app for iPad, which I mostly use for retouching (eg if the watercolor goes over the border a little bit)
I first of all crop the image with PhotoScape (as close to the border as possible). Then I’ll airdrop that to my iPad and proceed with the editing using Procreate and Apple Pencil. Once I’m happy with that, I’ll airdrop it back to my Mac to do the final resizing, file formatting etc.
I have a specific folder on my Mac where I store all my files. I have lots of subfolders under it, one for the scan files, one for the cropped files, one for the edited versions with Procreate, and the final one with the files ready for printing!
This is just MY OWN METHOD. I’m sure there are more efficient ways to do this, so if you have any tips, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
4. Where to get your art printed in Hong Kong?
In Hong Kong you can find several printing companies, suitable for all pockets! Whatever company you choose, I would recommend printing out a few samples as a test. The last thing you want is a customer not satisfied with the quality of your art prints! If you can, go talk with the printing shop, establish a rapport with them, test different options and discuss the most suitable one. I had to go through different shops before landing on my favourite one. I’ll list out the print shops in Hong Kong that I know and I have experience with:
- Fingerprint: this is my number one favourite shop. I legit travel all the way to Chai Wan just to go to this printing shop and pick up my art prints there! To me the quality of the art prints, their price point, and the customer care make it worth it. This place was recommended to me at the time by another artist, and I’ve heard of other artists in Hong Kong who go there.
- Hong Kong Imaging: this is probably the most expensive option, but also the highest quality. Printing fine art and photography is their specialty so they can help with all related services, from digitizing, to scanning, and printing in archival quality. You can go speak with them and get their advice on what you need!
- Ma King Kee: this is probably the cheapest option, but I’ve never been blown away by the quality of the paper and the quality, so I mostly resort to them for scanning and for printing samples (mostly to gauge a particular format or size). It’s more of local shop, but they’re fast and efficient.
I hope this helps! As always, you are very welcome to send me an email if you’d like to ask me any questions or you’d like me cover a topic in particular. I can be reached at email@example.com.