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Selling art: Materials and Medium

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Joined: 28 Aug 2012
Posts: 258

PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2013 8:46 pm    Post subject: Selling art: Materials and Medium Reply with quote

So this Spring I'm going to my first convention as a vendor.
Originally I was thinking I'd only be selling my comic and perhaps some other generic merchandise like stickers or shirts or something. But this last week I came to realize that I have been discounting my drawing skill, and I really could sell some art, too. I could make a few drawings, post them on a display behind me, and sell them. They may not be to the same quality as what other do, but that's no reason to stop me. After all, it['s only time and paper.

Now I've never made art to sell before. And normally I just draw on regular copy paper, 8.5 x 11. And while I could sell art just like that, it would look really amateur.

Presentation is an important quality. If my artwork is just drawn onto stacks of copy paper, it looks cheap. The professional-looking artists have larger paper, and stiff paper, or often it is affixed to some sort of card-stock. Also, a lot of them sell prints.

So I'm looking for some kind of buyers guide for materials. What kind of paper should I be looking for? What sort of sizes of paper are usually best? How do I determine a good quality of paper for drawing, so I can get a surface that is both smooth and doesn't smear my pencil?

And once I have a drawing on this paper, what should I do with it? I would assume that I should affix it to a piece of cardstock, but I wonder how to do that so as not to look cheap. Regular glue gives paper a "wet" look where it adheres, and glue-sticks are not very secure. Or should I put it in a plastic sleeve without attaching it to a piece of cardstock? And if so, where do I get the right kind of sleeves? If I make a work with pencils, how do I keep it from smearing?

This is just the sort of questions that come to my mind before I even start. Honestly I've never even taken that close of a look at artwork that other people have sold, at least to determine what sets it apart from my copy-paper drawings. I'm really hoping someone has a link to a guide for this sort of thing.

And while we're on the subject, let's talk prints.

The only thing I can think to do is to scan my art, making a super-high-res file, and then take it to Kinkos.
This presents at least two problems. One, if I draw the original on the large paper, I don't have a scanner that can handle it. Two, getting all the CMK adjustments right without wasting a bunch of money to print up copies that didn't come out right.
Does anyone know of an ideal way to set up copies and prints to sell?
My webcomic: Mischief in Maytia
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Ronin Glen

Joined: 25 Mar 2013
Posts: 32

PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I'm probably not the best person to comment on this but I can give maybe a few hints to point you in the right direction. First of all, the size of the paper is strictly personal choice so if you like 8.5x11 I'd stick with that. The default standard for comic paper is Bristol Board. It's very smooth and heavy, almost like a card stock. You can buy it in plate (smooth) or vellum (slight tooth) surfaces and can be purchased at any art supply store or online from Canson, Strathmore or other manufacturers. The only way to know if you like a paper is to try it but that's a good place to start. To avoid pencil smear use a fixative which is a spray that seals the image. Art stores will have it but so does wal-mart. Store them in a polypropylene bag. I use Krystal Seal brand. If you use a heavy Bristol Board you won't need to mount it.
For prints, my local FedEX KInkos has Photoshop so any standard file should work directly. Just make certain you ask for a sample BEFORE committing to a full print run.
Hope that helps a little.
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