How to Make Prints from Your Art

See start to finish, the entire process for making prints from your artwork. Specific logistics like paper sizes, whether to do print or demand, platforms you can use are covered.

40 min. video

Suggestions for how to promote your prints on social media, and how to photograph your artwork images are explained in depth.

Discussion by Art Prof Clara Lieu and Teaching Artists Lauryn Welch and Mia Rozear.

Mia prints
Mia Rozear

Video Walkthrough

  • Decide whether you want to do print on demand, or create your prints in person.
  • Print on demand takes the packaging and shipping out of your hands, but it is a LOT of work up front to get everything set up.
  • Lots of print on demand sites will link directly to an online shop.
  • For example, Printify links to Etsy shops so that the actual transaction happens on Etsy, not Printify.
  • For print on demand, check the paper sizes they offer!
  • If you don’t, often the size of your artwork won’t align with the paper sizes.
  • Images can be cropped to match the paper size, but only to a point.
  • Decide what surface you want: matte, semi-gloss, or gloss. This is often determined by the type of artwork you are printing.
  • Order proofs, this is really important to be sure the prints are what you want!
  • Note the packaging when you order proofs: is it sturdy? Don’t use a print provider with flimsy packaging.
  • Postcards are really popular! Many people buy them and they are great if you are selling at an art fair.
  • You can even sell misprint postcards, as long as you mark that clearly.
  • Photographing your artwork is incredibly important to get good prints, don’t skimp on the work that is required.
  • A DSLR camera is ideal, phones usually do not provide enough resolution to get a good print.
  • Spend a lot of time editing your photos, there is no chance you can skip this process.
  • Check the export settings and image requirements for making prints.
  • When editing photos, look at the actual artwork and compare them.
  • Zoom in and check all of your photos for bits of dust, etc. which may not be obvious at first.
  • Promotion largely happens on social media.
  • Skip the cheesy photos where your artwork is placed in a corporate living room, shoot your own!
  • Consider seasonal print drops.
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