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...a blurb I found on the internet - the company is no longer in business.

…a blurb I found on the internet – the company is no longer in business.


I used to work at a company called Atelier America, a fine art 3d reproduction company.

We used the “Brushstrokes” technology to create 3d replications of past masters work which included the brushstrokes texture of the original painting. The prints were “enhanced” by artists with alkyd paint, framed and sold for thousands of dollars.

I worked in several areas of the business during my time with the company; framing, production floor, print editions and finally as the Marketing Co-ordinator for the small products division.
 
 
 
 

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Created Value

My biggest take away from Atelier America was the understanding that the reproduction market is all about CREATING VALUE. It is the manipulation of product to produce the PERCEPTION OF VALUE.

Reproductions, especially giclées, are nothing more than copies. There is no inherent value to them, until you create a framework for that value to exist.

Pull the 3d reproductions off the vac-form machines at Atelier America and there was no value to them. They were treated as a commodity, piled and waiting for the next production process.

They raw reproductions needed to be prettified, packaged and presented with value.

Typical ways to create value are:

  • packaging
  • presentation
  • scarcity

Packaging and presentation are 2 sides of the same coin. Even the “look” and “feel” of your website has to support the value of your reproductions. Is it a quality product? Is it packaged in a sleeve with a backing board? Is it rolled in a tube? How is the print treated by the artist?

Is it a quality print? What paper and inks are used? Are they archival? Are the colours and quality true to the original?

Include a certificate of authenticity. Create a personal stamp to differentiate your “official” reproductions from knock offs.
 
 

Signed limited editions - even the reproductions are sold out.

Signed limited editions – even the reproductions are sold out.

 
 

Limited Editions

Offer only limited editions.

Limited editions introduces scarcity to the reproductions which increases value. A signed by the artist, limited edition reproduction run is ALWAYS more valuable than an open edition.

The final note to successful reproduction runs – don’t offer them until you’ve sold the original. Even further – hold off on offering prints until you sell MOST of your originals.

Reproductions will cannibalize the sales of your current originals.

You may be ready to offer reproductions for past, sold out series – especially if it’s in a style that you are no longer creating.

That’s a market for scarcity – and ready for reproductions.
 
 
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2016 Update

I think the above is good advice for a fine artist creating more traditional canvas paintings and pursuing a gallery path.

For everyone else – especially merch artists and illustrators – there is value and wisdom in starting out ONLY selling reproductions and holding back your originals until you gain a following and can sell the originals for a more lucrative amount.

Artists like Koyamori and Odd Fauna have put this kind of system to good use and have seen a significant jump in the prices for their originals over a short period of time.
 
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Reproduction & Original Sales:

Food for thought: Best selling art and reproduction mediums:

  • 1. Limited Editions Litho/Offset
  • 2. Limited Edition Giclée
  • 3. Open Edition Litho/Offset
  • 4. Oil & Acrylic Originals
  • 5. Watercolour
  • 6. Original Prints (Printmaking)
  • 7. Open Edition Giclée

Carry on.
 
 
 
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