Printing For Your Art Business: Fine Art Giclee Printing with Sam SiegelApril 5, 2022
“Working smarter, not harder” is something we could all benefit from, and many artists find that they can expand their reach to more markets, and have more of their artwork out in the world by enlisting fine art digital printing services to create archival reproductions of their creations. We’ve caught up with Sam Siegel of Sam’s Original Art to see how he uses Opus’ Custom Services – specifically Fine Art Printing (giclée) – in his art business to get more art out to more of his customers.
How did you initially get started printing your work?
When I first started to pursue art as a career in 2016, I didn’t know what options were available at the time. I thought all art prints came rolled up in a tube. I wanted to offer art that was ready-to-hang, stretched and mounted on wood backing that looks just like the original painting. I was in search of quality canvas prints that never warp or fade over time. I wasn’t going to offer my art on canvas prints unless the quality was perfect.
I found out that not all canvas prints are created equal after looking at many big-box stores. I was never happy with the quality of the canvas prints I saw. After doing some research and testing I found that fine art giclée printing was the answer with the highest quality materials available. I knew customers would appreciate the quality even if it cost a little more than what was available at other big-box stores.
What services have you tried with Opus Print Space?
We work with Opus Print Space to fulfill (print, order and ship) many of our orders for our gallery and online sales that get shipped throughout Canada and the USA.
Why do you choose to print with Opus?
My mom used to take me to Opus when I was 7 years old to buy art supplies and I’ve always had a great experience every time I would shop there. The National Mail Order team and the Granville Island location are always extremely helpful, and knowledgeable with great customer service. When I found out that they were offering a dedicated printing team at Opus Print Space, I went down and met with them. The craftsmanship, attention to detail, and communication through the fulfillment process is seamless. It really shows in the quality of their work. It feels great to be able to work on my craft and other aspects of the business while we have a dedicated team working behind the scenes. If you’re trying to make a global impact, you need to have a team of dedicated people and Opus is an integral part of our process both in sourcing supplies and fulfilling our orders.
How has creating fine art printing reproductions of your original art changed your art practice and your business?
It has allowed me to make my art more accessible. It takes me 2-6 weeks to complete an original oil painting and then only one person can hang it on their wall. It seemed like a challenge to get my work to a larger audience. I never wanted to sacrifice on quality.
Having our canvas prints look identical to the original painting is so fantastic to see side by side. It also allows us to have a more sustainable business. I will always keep the canvas prints very limited. After we sell our last edition we don’t release any more. This way it makes the canvas prints more special for the few people who own them and it forces me to continue to paint new creations!
Would you recommend Fine Art Printing to other artists looking to grow their art business? Do you have any advice for them?
I absolutely recommend Fine Art Printing to other artists. My advice would be to ‘learn how to learn’. We live in an age where everything is available on the internet. It’s like the majority of people have forgotten about how powerful this is. I wake up every day excited that I have the ability to learn something new by doing some google searches. You can do this on the bus, waiting for a friend in a coffee shop, or at home!
Learn everything about e-commerce. Grow your own email list, post 3x a day on social media. Develop your unique style and have a consistent body of work. Think about this process in the most logical way possible. Spend 2-3 hours a day learning and then apply your knowledge. It sounds overly simple, and in theory it is. But 99% of the people will do this for 3 months and then stop. Why is that? Because it’s painful to put in work and not get results. You need to enjoy the journey and not care so much about the results because the only way results will come is if you are consistent. Most businesses become profitable in 3-4 years. Think about working for 3-4 years for free and even losing money in that time. That’s how long it takes statistically.
So to recap. Start asking google the questions you want answers for, open a Google Doc and start taking notes. Go down the rabbit hole in search of knowledge, then make actionable steps and measure each evening, week and month to see how you are coming along. There’s no magic wand, just hard work and an insane amount of patience. Trust the slow process.
Is there anything you keep in mind when selecting artwork to reproduce with Fine Art Printing?
One of the main challenges is getting the highest quality digital file of your work so it can be printed. You can either take a photo with a high quality camera or the better option is to scan the painting in a flatbed fine art scanner. I always scan my work in a ultra high resolution flatbed scanner to get the highest quality image possible. It also allows you to make larger pieces while still keeping the quality of the original painting. I also spend a great deal of time removing blemishes and colour correcting each scan before printing. Some blemishes I keep if it’s true to the original.
Do you frame your fine art prints? What value does this bring to your finished piece?
We offer our fine art prints with and without frames. Opus has such a great variety of framing options. My favourite is The Kyoto Collection FV8000K black floating frames. They compliment the artwork making for a very finished look. I also love them without the frames for a more organic look. Both have their place!
You can also hear Sam in our Conversations With Creatives podcast “The Power of Art: Manifesting Your Creative Success“