How To Start Selling Art Prints – tools you need to Sell Art Prints
If you are wondering how to start selling art prints and what tools you will need then this post is for you as this is what I intend to cover here! To start with you will just need a laptop however and some software but over time you will find that you need a few extra bits and pieces which will depend on what sort of prints you would like to sell (eg. prints you created digitally VS prints from your original paintings) and where you would like to sell them. So here is a list, which I will aim to keep updated, of what I think you will need and if it is essential :
How to Start Selling Prints – Essentials
- Laptop – I have just updated my laptop (Hooray!) so I now have a new super duper model. This is the one I went for : ASUS Rog Strix G731GW Gaming Laptop; I found that my old laptop just kept running out of RAM / resources with the newer versions of photoshop so I wanted something that could cope with all the graphics work I do (hence why I went for a gaming laptop – because games use graphics quite heavily). I opted for one with a 17.3″ screen because I find that when I’m using it without any external monitors it makes designing a lot easier – I wouldn’t go back to a tiny 15″ now” 🙂 Do you want to read more about laptops and what you need? Why not check out my All About Laptops page and I’ve tried to give a few more details of what you will need and why.
- Software – I use Adobe Photoshop to create my prints though at some point I hope to get illustrator too!
- Backups – I’ve used Dropbox and Google Drive backup solutions – both have been pretty good and both use apps.You can access your files remotely via apps on both of these which is pretty handy if you should need them while you are away from the office.
- Packaging materials – you will need cello sleeves, hard backed envelopes, grey-board and stickers. I will discuss packaging later. If you are in the USA check these out : 8×10″ Chipboard Sheets, Rigid Mailers;
- Cutting Machine – to allow you to cut your prints down to size. In my book a cutting machine is a must. I started out with a cheap guillotine which left the edges of my prints looking raggedy and therefore unprofessional. Then I bought a professional cutting machine second hand and then one I have has the benefit of self sharpening and producing beautiful clean edges. I have the Kobra 460-AP and as I bought it second hand I can’t seem to find it new anywhere but this Kobra cutting machine is similar. For USA this heavy duty paper cutter is the sort of thing you will need.
How to Start Selling Art Prints – Nice to haves but which may turn into essentials!
- A professional printer – your mums old £50 machine from the garage just won’t do. If you want to print your own prints you will need a professional machine and you need to use genuine inks to get the best prints out of it. I use the Canon Pixma Pro-100 at the moment but I do have my eye on this Canon printer as the next upgrade. If you are from the USA then the one I use is here : Canon Pixma)
- Nice Paper – this is completely personal preference. For my fine art prints (prints from my paintings) I like using textured paper which is similar to watercolour paper; My favourite is this Hahnemuhle Paper (For USA check out this Hahnemuhle Paper)
- A Great Quality Scanner for Artwork – I have the US link : Epson V-370 UK Link : Epson V-370 and I actually can’t say enough good things about this scanner. The reason I love it so much is because it has a flip top lid – you can completely remove the lid which makes it perfect for scanning paintings! The quality of the scans is also excellent so all in all I love it!
- A laser printer – if you want to offer gold foil prints then this is a must. I use the OKI C301DN however again this one is generally no longer available. However the OKI C612DN is similar and can take 250gsm paper in the multi purpose tray. The other requirement is that it must be capable of taking decent weight paper – which not all of them are – so when choosing a laser printer ensure it can take 230gsm weight paper or thicker. If you are interested in gold foil printing then check out this blog post on my Crafty Cow Design website. ***EDITED 19/01/2019 Printers seem to be being discontinued faster than I can do my research!! I’ve had this Brother one recommended to me recently and when I upgrade this is the one I’m planning to go for for my foiling needs:
- A foiling machine (USA foiling machine) – if you intend to sell gold foil prints (which I intend to write about in the future!) this is a must. Laminators sadly just don’t cut it and the majority of time will not produce sale-able prints. If you are interested in gold foil printing then check out this blog post on my Crafty Cow Design website.
- Photography setup – strictly speaking this isn’t a ‘must’ but as you get more popular you will probably want to photograph your own prints and if you are planning on applying to certain selling platforms (such as NOTHS) then this is a requirement. You may need a good quality camera, lights, background, reflectors, diffusers and props as well as frames and mounts (mats). I am by no means an expert and am still learning myself but I will discuss photography in a later page too!
- A label printing machine (USA label printer) – I laughed when I was given this as a Christmas gift one year but now I wouldn’t be without mine and I’m now completely incapable of writing addresses on envelopes! :0 At busy times of year this is a life saver and also means that your addresses are free from mistakes (that you make!) I have a fairly basic model but it does exactly what I need it to do and comes with easy to use software. Additionally you can print labels of all sizes so is quite handy if you need it for other stuff (not just as address labels). Mine also has the benefit of being a thermal printer which means it prints with heat rather than ink so doesn’t need any expensive ink or toner – just a supply of electricity and labels!
- Stationery supplies – rulers, pencils, pens, tape, washi tape, tape measure etc
- External hard disk (USA external hard drive) – to back up your work! I use google drive which is on the cloud but once a week I also back up my work area on an external hard disk drive which sits in my office. That way if my laptop ever implodes I have a recent back up on my external hard disk but also on my google drive.
Do you have any questions or have I forgotten anything? Why not comment below or subscribe to my Newsletter!