Print or Not to Print – The Dilemma of the Artist

For years I advised artists that once they commit to sell limited edition prints of their work they have set a course for their careers.  To some degree I still believe this, but now it seems easier to navigate the line of “Blue Chip Artist” and “Print Artist.”

First of all, there really isn’t a wrong decision as long as one is informed.  However, there is a wrong decision if your goal is to get into the finest art galleries worldwide while you are making a mark as an artist who derives his or her primary income from limited edition print sales.  In a nutshell, it wont happen.  Nevertheless, artist Jess Black has decided to sell prints of his work and remain on track to be tomorrow’s blue-chip artist.

Jess Black’s paintings are typically 48×60 in dimension.  They’re relatively large pieces on canvas and he’s fairly prolific.  The decision was made to release about four prints per year with each print being limited to 25 in the edition.  Furthermore, each piece will be Imageprinted as a 20×16 on paper.  There is no competition with the originals in both medium/substrate and price.  The most important factor here is that the exclusivity of the prints make them feel like a rare opportunity and he is not inundating the market with limited edition prints.  Furthermore, he is not establishing a reputation of being a print artist.  The latter being the most important.

Followers of Black have been asking for prints for a couple years now.  There has been reluctance to produce prints for reasons already discussed.  However, carefully managed we can open up Jess’ collector base and keep his work, originals and prints, exclusive. After all, several of his pieces have already been selected by Leigh & Luca – New York to become fashion scarves.  This collection is being released in June 2013 with 100% of proceeds benefiting animal rescue organizations.  People have lined up to buy the scarves with plans of framing them.  This led us to the inescapable conclusion that limited edition prints were in too much of a demand to ignore it.

Each of the limited edition pieces will be printed on high quality archival paper with a one inch border.  Jess will hand sign and number each piece as it is prepared for shipping or delivery. Each fine art print will arrive in a protective sleeve with a certificate of authenticity.  For more information visit his website at www.jessblackart.com

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