I had never really wanted to have prints (GiclÃ©e: pronounced â€œzhee-clayâ€) made of my paintings. I believe my art is priced fairly and feel that people should have original art on their walls, not prints. Still, I noticed that all my painting friends had been going back and forth to the local imaging service to have prints made of their paintings. I hadnâ€™t asked much about it until one noted that she was able to have slides made of the digital images. She was getting my interest. Then, I heard that the company actually keeps a file of digital images by artist. If you need anything: business cards, CDâ€™s, slides, website images or anything else digital of your paintings, they can provide it â€“ and it isnâ€™t too expensive.
So, since I was in the process of having my website set up â€“ thatâ€™s yet another story â€“ I thought Iâ€™d try it. But, where to start, which paintings would I use, surely I couldnâ€™t start at the beginning? This is where I really started to get it. I needed to start somewhere â€“ I just needed to start. So I gathered up my most recent unframed paintings and took them in. A week later I was called to review the proofs. What a shock!!! The proofs looked better than my paintings!
Now I had the capability to get any reproduction of my paintings that I needed. I was concerned about the already framed paintings, but guess what, this company also does framing. So they will un-frame those paintings, scan the painting carefully and re-frame the picture for a minimal price. I am aware that not every community has the imaging service that Iâ€™m privileged to be using, but keep your ears open, you might find one. Sometimes you have to go on-line for this service.
With that problem pretty well solved, I was bent on getting even more organized and looked into software for artists that would document my paintings. I could have once again tried to wing it myself on Excel or something similar, but decided to cough up $99 for a program that I knew had been around for a few years. Here again, where would I start? I decided again, just start. I started with paintings I had in the studio and slowly all my paintings are getting into the system. Now Iâ€™m able to track where the painting is, what I named it, what medium and materials I used and the software even has a price grid, so I can keep track of my prices and buyers. Thereâ€™s more, but I havenâ€™t yet read the directions for the software.
Just for the record, here are the steps I currently follow, now that I have a system:
1. Paint the painting â€“ noting whether an underpainting was used, what other medium was used and the ground used.
2. Put the painting somewhere close so you can view it and critique it (another story). At this point, you may want to ditch the painting and begin at #1 again.
3. Name the painting (still another story).
4. Meanwhile enter the information about the painting into a journal or artist software. Code it, date it and note whatever other information you want to keep.
5. When you are happy with what youâ€™ve done, take the painting to the imaging service for scanning.
6. After you have approved the scan (be sure to carefully check that all the colors have been reproduced to your liking by comparing it to the original), take the painting to a reliable framer or proceed with framing it yourself.
7. Dispense the painting to one of your many galleries or shows.
8. Feel like youâ€™re organized.