Should Artists Put Their Art on Greeting Cards? | Collective Wisdom

I recently received this question from a RedDotBlog reader:

I have been earning a living solely from my art for more than 25 years and much of my income before that was from my art. I own an art gallery, the success of which depends mainly on the paintings and prints sold. For many years, people have asked me to put my paintings on gift cards. That might seem like a good idea on the surface (good advertising, spreading the messages the paintings were created to spread), but the followup to that question is often “I want to frame them.”Production costs of quality cards isn’t inexpensive, packaging and signage must be added to that, and labor is intense. You’d need a marketing rep for cards to make card sales pay anything to make it worth your while. Then take into account that the sales of cards, which might earn you a dollar each if you do them yourself, replaces the sales of prints. After the recession hit, some people were buying canvas bookmarks I made from some of my paintings to sells “stocking stuffers”, but they wound up being main gifts. They framed bookmarks. This happened at my biggest studio event of the year, which normally brought in a substantial amount of money, enough to get through the long winter off-season at the beach. That year we brought in about 20% of my lowest year, about 10% of my highest. The recession had a lot to do with that, but the less is better for gifts mentality seems to remain.

Taking all this into consideration, do you have an opinion about offering cards of artwork? In my case, all of my prints are gicle’es and I care about the quality of color reproduction to the extent that I do the gicle’es myself. Cards would probably misrepresent the work in addition to replacing print sales. Someone very nice approached me for a card of one of my most important works today and I had to turn her down. I could see she wasn’t pleased, so I’ve been going around in circles thinking about this again.

Should artists put their paintings’ images on gift cards?

Ellen

My Response

It sounds to me like you already have a pretty strong sense that you would be better off not creating the cards. I can’t make an argument that is strong enough to counter any of the points you’ve made.

I know that many artists are creating these kinds of cards and either selling them or using them for promotional purposes, but I’m not sure that those efforts are having a strong impact on their total sales.

I personally don’t have strong opinions one way or the other – I don’t feel that creating cards is either going to destroy your career or make you fabulously wealthy. With that said, I look at cards as a good potential way to increase the visibility of your work and a potential way to convert non-buyers into buyers.

On the Pro Side of the Question

I like the idea of using these cards for thank you notes and to send out updates of newly available work. If you are going to be using them to this end, it makes sense to think about packaging them for sale as well.

If you are in an area that has a heavy volume of traffic but a large percentage of that traffic doesn’t buy either originals or prints, it may be that having a lower priced item like a pack of cards could help turn non-buyers into buyers. While the sale of one pack of cards probably isn’t going to have much impact on your bottom line, if you can convert a decent percentage of walk-ins who like your work but wouldn’t buy an original or reproduction to buy cards, it can have an impact over the course of a year.

On the Con Side

You are right to be concerned that you might have some buyers who would have bought a giclee who end up buying cards instead, but you might also have some who buy cards who eventually move upmarket and buy reproductions or originals. Someone who is going to frame a card probably isn’t your best target audience for more expensive work anyway.

You are also right that the quality and color isn’t going to be perfect. You certainly couldn’t expect the same quality in terms of printing. I think that’s okay for cards though. As long as the quality of the card is good and the imagery looks good, the fidelity to the original isn’t as critical.

There is certainly also time and energy that will be put into creating the cards, and the cards probably aren’t going to generate enough revenue to make them wildly profitable.

What do you Think?

Do you reproduce your work on cards or other promotional/gift items? Why or why not? If you do, has it been good for your business? Can you add to my list of pros and cons? Share your thoughts, experiences and insights in the comments below.

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58 Comments

  1. I see that the cards and the prints are actually appealing to different markets. I don’t consider the sale of cards as a lost print sale – that person would probably not buy a print in either case. I liken it to the olden days of 33 1/3 records – some people bought only their favorite song to play over and again, while some people went for the full production (album jackets were also an art form.) To further the simile, there’s a tiny resurgence in album sales, but I don’t think the singles are coming back any time soon due to .mp3s. The better question is how or when digital sales will apply to tangible art.

  2. I used to make and sell greeting cards as part of my studio sales. You already stated all of the reasons it no longer works in today’s economy. So instead, when a client purchases a painting for several hundred dollars I include a set of 4 custom cards of that painting as a bonus gift to them as a thank you.

  3. Believe it or not, our Costco Photo service offers a great deal on cards/envelopes – and they have templates you can use so you have a main image on the outside, and perhaps 3 smaller ones inside, along with info – i.e., website, contact info, etc. The quality is great (they are photos, not giclees, ink jets). I like having them as there are a lot of people who like my work, but can’t afford to buy an original. They use them as note cards and send them out to their friends. I sell them (good sized) for $5 apiece (good return). I also put them in shows where I have originals on display. It has worked for me. I have had sales of work AFTER a show/exhibition from people who have a card and like the work enough to contact me about purchasing an original piece. I also include on the card a QR code which, when scanned with your smart phone, takes you to my website directly.

    1. I have had the same experience as Linda. They are a good marketing tool and it increases the exposure of my work. I have received commissions based on a person who received or purchased a card. Of course people do tell me that they frame my cards, but as you said, they most likely would not have purchased a giclee or original. Instead the framed card brings more joy and beauty to them which is a good thing too.

  4. I have sold both cards and originals to the same buyers. I enjoy having them on hand to send to collectors and potentail collectors. I sell mine in packs of 8, so the price point is a bit higher than single cards.

  5. I do sell note cards using an image of my paintings at a small wall space in an Antique/Art shop in my city. Unfortunately most of what I sell are the note cards.

    My paintings are representational so most local galleries are not looking for my style. Any suggestions on what may be a better way to get my work more visibility? I do have a Facebook page, but really don’t get a lot of traffic. Thank you.

  6. I do put some of my images on blank note cards. An unusual sale occurred when someone bought a pack of cards from a basket in a gift shop in Santa Fe. My website address is on the card. She contacted me for a commission of very large art as a gift for her daughter, who was getting married.

    So that tiny card led to something bigger! You never know…

  7. I make cards from my work with card stock (watercolor paintings) and offer them for sale for $2.50 each with an envelope, or 5 for $10 when I have an Open Studio, which lately is the second Saturday of every month. Often people will like my work, but don’t want to spend money. My inexpensive, easy to produce cards usually lure them in and I sell a few when otherwise I would not have sold anything. Sometimes the person will come back later and buy a framed painting or a print.

    Thank you, Jason, for your RedDotBlog – excellent information and stuff to think about.

  8. All very good pros and cons. I personally have made cards, recently of my Plein air work – a new piece each year. These are not prints of pieces that go to galleries as I want them to be one of a kind. I only get high quality greeting cards made as I want good reproductions all round (small or large). I too have turned down requests if new paintings to be printed. The few cards few cards I have made are of high quality and can be good exposure; some of them are for sale in a public gallery space or high traffic areas. Not much income from them but a different type of return.
    If I had a gallery I am not sure I would have Greeting Cards for sale in the gallery. My cards are select pieces that may bring a new admirer to my work and offer communication with clients in a hand written note which I feel is important in this electronic age. My cards serve the purpose of connecting and sometimes sales cover their cost.

  9. This is an excellent discussion- thank you! One compromise is to only sell cards that represent original pieces that have sold. This encourages sales of originals first and foremost. Another is to have the price on the cards competitive with commercial cards. When I talk to buyers I remind them that reproductions are only worth the paper they are printed on, whereas originals have actual value. Many buyers do not understand the difference between reproduced copies, prints and giclee prints and their value against an original. It’s worthwhile to share that info with prospective buyers.

    1. I have also sold cards of pieces I have sold, but I like the idea of making buyers understand that the cards are only worth the paper they are printed on. Great tip.

  10. I create cards using photo’s and purchased card stock . I make sure to send a thank you using one of my cards for all purchases. I strategically use a card that has an image that is complementary to the piece the client has purchased. I have had sales as a result of that when the client comes back to buy the piece on the card. I have had the sales of cards almost pay my booth fee at art events, when the economy is tight . Yes, a lot of the customers were going to frame them . That’s okay . It gets my art on their walls and and my name on their lips . They make a point of coming to see me every year at the art event we met . It’s a way to spread the word about myself and my art . If all they buy is a card over the long run , they were never destined to buy the art itself. There are always “walmart” buyers and then there are collectors.

  11. I have been printing my own cards my entire career. In 18 years I’ve only replaced my xerox color printer once. I have repeat buyers for cards, my high school friend keeps a box to sell to folks from my hometown, and at art shows they serve as impulse purchases. Over the years I’ve observed that artists develop a philosophy that works for them. Mine is to offer affordable purchases, stay busy and not sit around waiting for one large sale. I respect folks choosing that route. Cards work well for me.

  12. I don’t sell prints, so cards are a nice thing to offer people. Also, like Diann above, I include free cards with the sale of a painting. Also, at art openings, it’s nice to have cards for people who can’t afford a painting. I do not see cards as competition to paintings.

  13. I do sell greeting cards … but not with prints of major pieces. I have been asked to do so repeatedly but I cannot see how the effort would be worth it. What I sell are cards made from practice pieces I do… small speed paintings or just something that I studied for other painting ideas I may have. These are things I am doing anyway…. if someone wants them they are original art…. and …. frame away!
    I do not think for a minute this will take away from sales of my main paintings. And, I do believe this allows people – who would otherwise not buy anything – to make a small purchase. At Xmas I use any left over for cards to friends and family.

  14. Art cards may not generate much income by themseleves, but I see them as marketing. Yes, sometimes people frame them. But not always…
    My best example of further sales: a lady from the other side of the country bought some of my cards from a gallery, and later contacted me to buy more. She came to see me next time she was in my area, and bought 3 paintings over the next few years.
    The same lady once talked to a stranger on a train, and told her about me. They exchanged addresses and she sent one of my cards to her new friend. This second lady visited me and commissioned 2 paintings. Later she bought one of my calendars and sent it to her brother in Canada, who has now commissioned me to do 6 paintings for his new condo… From the sale of a few cards to one lady, to the sale of 11 original paintings! Okay, it only happened once. But isn’t it wonderful? Cards. Yes, definitely.

  15. Great pros and cons discussion. I have cards of some of my work, but it is a minimal income stream. Most of my cards were made as offset litho back in the ’90’s, and without a specific marketing strategy to sell them outside of specific shows, they don’t move very fast. I have used them to advertise a show, or as thank you cards also. I know some of my friends have framed them and hung them in their homes. I can only hope they will one day decide to purchase an original. Only once that I know of has someone found me online because of receiving a handwritten card with my info on the back. Because the return is so low, and the packaging labor so high, I stopped making cards like this.

  16. I am a photographer so it is easier for me to reproduce my work as 4×6 prints for cards. I have a gallery in St Paul’s Lowertown neighborhood and sell both my framed prints, matted prints and cards. Cards are $3 each for in a box of 4 for $10. I have not found them affecting the sales of my larger work. And my cards carry my email address on the back so I look at them as advertising. I make about $200 a month on card sales so it is an important part of the mix.

  17. Great article Jason, and like Ellen, this is one that hits close to home for me. I used to sell cards at my art shows and had one lady looking frantically for 2 similar cards so she could frame them. We rumaged through my flip trays together for a long time and alas, no similar cards appeared. Because she could not find a similar one, she did not take any of them. At that moment, I thought oh my goodness, what am I doing this for am I an artist or a department store? I decided that I would only sell giclee prints and originals (many of my artist friends stay away from prints as well) I now only print cards for fundraising and charity groups and take a small commission. I feel so much better about that as I am giving back and not at a loss or out printing money. One charity now likes to pay me up front for my cards and resell them so it is a win/win situation for all of us. I will give cards to a client who has just purchased a painting as well, though it is not the image they have purchased, I think it adds a nice touch and they seem to appreciate it.

  18. I print cards of my artwork and I also print for artist friends of mine (I’m a graphic designer too). There are quality printers who can print offset for you at a great rate. I gang print several at a time which helps keep the cost down for all of us. If you only want super low quantities of each, try some digital printing options and you can get 10 or 25 (etc) of each. As for sales, I sell mine at Open Door Studios mainly but also at one-woman or group shows. Those sales go to people who aren’t planning to spend the money at that time to buy an original but still like my work and want to pick up a little something. During a weekend I usually bring in a couple hundred $$ on cards and I do still sell originals to others. Generally, I don’t make a card of a painting until after it’s sold so the card doesn’t compete with that original.

  19. Smalls all day. Most people, are not art collectors. Most people are impulse buyers. Those people however, will spend $5-$10-$20 pretty quickly to support an artist whose work they like. The trick is having small items where the profit margin is like 200%-400%. I do especially well with my smalls at events. Having 5 people around your table taking $ out and buying bookmarks, makes the art collectors curious as to what’s going on there!

      1. Some other things could be magnets, stickers, postcards. Almost anyone who comes to my booth and talks to me leaves with at least a little something. And online too, most of my smalls are easy to ship worldwide in an envelope with a stamp. My art collectors that pay $1000+ for my art seem to like the fact I do those things, and sometimes even buy them on top of buying original art to give as gifts. Indeed since I started making products with my art, the prices my originals sell for has gone up considerably.

        1. And mugs, calendars, ceramic tiles and even totebags. It is annoying to have to keep up inventory, but if your mark-up is enough, it certainly helps during slower shows and crummy economic times.

  20. I sell cards for $5 and prints for $25. My originals go for $250-500. I sell 20 cards for every print…I sell 20 prints for every original. So for me cards are very worthwhile. I use Fine Art America and buy myself box lots of 10-25. I wish I could sell more originals but many people cannot, will not, spend over $25 these days on art.

  21. I say yes, overwhelmingly. A see-through gift box of 10 assorted cards with envelopes, tied with a gold stretch bow costs me $7 to produce and I can sell it for almost 3 times that. It keeps my art in front of people, makes them happy and is a great promo.

  22. I sell a lot of cards of my work, and my observation is that someone who would rather expend their efforts and energy with matting and framing a very small piece themselves aren’t the kind to spend more money on a substantial piece. They are looking for a low-cost item, and with some, any card will do.

  23. I am in a co-op gallery, and display space is limited. There is a constant battle between offering Artist Statements on the wall, or greeting cards. Different artists feel differently about which is better for promoting sales. Some artists think greeting cards do not lead to sales, but Artist Statements do.
    Any opinion?
    Personally, as an ‘upcoming artist’, I would always rather have someone put up a 5×7″ greeting card of my art, than nothing at all. My giclees are all 16×20″ or larger, so I do not see it as a conflict with that. And if they love that tiny piece of art so well, they will remember me, and then maybe some day they will come back for something more. An Artist Statement gets dropped in a drawer somewhere.
    Also, I sell 5×7″ greeting cards and box sets of smaller 3×4″ notecards. Their sales pay for 1/4 of my gallery dues every year, so that is a bonus for me. The notecards are just too small to frame, so they get used all over locally as well as mailed, promoting my art.

  24. Bottom line, I have done this and it just is not cost effective and the return in so minimal. In addition, I feel it encourages them not to invest in the actual piece that would be more valuable to them. I do sell Christmas cards in boxes of 10 or 25 though because that is the one card that people will buy in bulk and my work gets known to everyone they send one to.

    1. Ellen, in the ’90s, cards were my mainstay. I printed them 1000 at a time and packaged them in variety packs. I was able to make a profit even selling at wholesale to retailers. Email came along and squashed that, but it established my reputation in the county as a consistent artist. Now I print small quantities using VistaPrint, because even after all this time, people expect me to have cards. If I really ran the numbers, chances are that the cards wouldn’t show much of an ROI. But, I lump all the small things together in my bookkeeping (called “Stuff”), and all together it supplements my income in a small but steady way.

  25. A $4.50 card does not = a $1000 painting. I use postcards and mailers extensively for my work. I used to send out larger hand-printed mailers, then cut back to fit my budget. Now it is mainly hand-printed baryta RPPC’s)
    .
    I can’t say any museum ever told me we don’t want your photos because we have a postcard to display now.
    .
    My previous discussion of how I use mailers…
    .
    https://danielteolijr.wordpress.com/2017/10/05/do-you-think-printed-promos-are-effective-for-marketing-your-work/

  26. I have very mixed feelings about this topic. I have done art fairs with cards in addition to prints and originals in which people ready to spend $75 on a print find they can get the image for $5 – thus costing me $70. It doesn’t take many sales like that to ruin your month. When I spoke to a 70 year old artist selling only giclees in his booth, he said he had seen more artists run themselves out of business by insisting on having greeting cards.. 10-20% of a years sales? Good example. Yikes! I have a little coop gallery where the pressure to keep prices $20 or less is high. 80% of the gallery sales come from these little items. However, the people who make 3 dimensional items (the wood workers) actually keep the gallery in business. Working in the gallery, I’ve also observed that people are looking for a specific feeling. Some will spend $40 and others $265 to receive that feeling (referring to 2 different print sizes, the larger one framed).

  27. Cards can generate a small income from folks who either, as mentioned above, want to frame them or from those who won’t buy an original and want to send a card beyond the “dollar store” type. I say small income because they are not cheap to have printed, plus the cellophane wrapper, plus folding, stuffing, labelling, etc. They consume a lot of time though it’s nice to know that perhaps down the road, the person who receives the card will like it and refer to my webpage listed on the back of the card and purchase something else. I always remember that original artwork is not a necessity to stay alive and is purchased with discretionary income, often a sacrifice to do. Most people have prints hanging on their walls.

  28. I think you’re right about the quality of the cards not being ‘up to snuff’ with the originals. In my view, that’s a plus – if they bought a card that was a perfect reproduction of the original, they’d never have any reason to BUY an original. So they might be back for more quality in the future.

  29. I do not reproduce my art onto greeting cards, only my business cards. In fact, I do not reproduce my art into prints as well. Part of the reason is that my work is highly textured and that doesn’t translate well into a reproduction. The other reason is that I also work in the gallery that represents me and I find that if artists have prints, those sell and the original art doesn’t. I prefer to sell my originals, it makes collectors fell they are getting something unique.

  30. Perhaps a different angle, I often cannot afford originals of other artists whose work I value. I do purchase prints and enjoy buying cards of works that bring me joy, some of these have been $15-30 original works. I haven’t framed, and only send these as small treasures to others who I know value and appreciate art, sometimes suggesting they note the artist and look at their other work.

  31. Where I live, people will buy note cards because they can use them for something rather than just hang them on the wall. It’s a semi-depressed area and most people won’t spend money on things that don’t have a purpose. They will also spend $10 on cards several times over while never considering spending $200 on an original photo (printed by hand in a real darkroom).

  32. I have made cards of some of my paintings however, I have printed over the face of the card/ painting general salutations, ie: “Thinking of you today…” or “You are Loved…”, etc. This may prevent someone from framing or worse, reproducing the card to make a larger print so they could frame it. I feel that my original and print prices are very reasonable. I sell my cards (5×7) in packs of 8 for $24/8 different cards. I’ve found that these don’t sell very often but I like having the option to give them away or use myself for my customers.

  33. Great topic. While out gallery hopping a few years back, I ran across an artist with vibrant colors who had a full line available – from coasters to cards to prints to big gorgeous originals. After buying coasters as a gift, I asked the gallery owner how offering a full product line affected the sale of originals. She replied that once prints, etc. were made available for that artist (who was really good), she had yet to sell another original. However, because her subjects and colors were so universally loved -she sold a ton of those coasters, cards and prints!

  34. I think large post cards are a great marketing tool… but I think printing a logo onto the image would be a way of discouraging people from framing them… it can be done tastefully… like an ad …

  35. Reading these comments leads me to believe the answer for a given artist depends heavily on where you’re selling them. My hometown is full of people who don’t value original art more than “made in China” prints–they just want something more than bare walls. And I, myself, have a “wish list” of several artists I’d like to have, but simply don’t have the budget for an original, or even a large-size print.

    But I’m also a postcard collector, and I have several major artists among my postcards (including probably my only Mucha outside of a book).

    Postcards have many advantages over bi-fold greeting cards.For one, if you’re customers want to frame them, anyway, you’re not wasting money on the rest of the card. In addition, you’re gaining the people who specifically collect postcards (and might not even look at your work in “wall size”). Plus, you can also make it more difficult for the “smart” people who want to buy small and make their own enlargements by getting them in linen finish.

    Obviously, this can depend on your style–linen finish can either make it look more “canvassy” in the case of rougher (like plein aire) styles, but could ruin highly detailed images.

    I also know of a few local artists that offer their original art for sale, but don’t depend on it for their income. Their primary income is from the prints they make, having someone interested in the original is just a bonus. Think about it: are you really better off selling a $200 original once, or selling a $10 print of it 30 times (with the potential to sell it 30 times more)?

  36. As an artist and collector, I do not believe that someone who wants a 48″ x 48″ original painting is going to settle for a 5″ x 7″ card. Those sales are to two different groups. And what the person does with the card is entirely their prerogative. Frame it, mail it, collect it — that is beyond my control, so why fret over it?

    People who want something small and affordable are not going to buy my large piece today. But if the image they like is around where they can see it, eventually it might become a priority. So I make cards of detail photos of larger pieces, and I am not looking for big, or even any, profits there. If the art is out there, eventually someone wants a bigger piece of it.

  37. Our Gallery Carmel Valley Art Association has a thriving Artist card business. There are about 20-25 artist showing on the walls each quarter. We are know locally for our vast array of cards and will often give cards to clients who we think are leaving without buying and we add cards into the final sales as a gift. We believe in the Give and it will be given back to you model & it works all the time. The law of Attraction is a focus of our Gallery. People don’t buy cards if they want a full size print or original piece of art. It’s a marketing tool a lead magnet and creates a feeling of joy & goodwill for people who want to share their experience with friends and family. I could go on and on about the benefit we’ve all experienced because we go the extra mile for our customers and give heaps of value to them. To us the customer is the most important person in the world and we want them to know that.

  38. My notecards sell consistently while my fine art waits for the collector willing to pay for it. The art for my cards is designed specifically for my cards and is not copies of my other art. Since I photograph all my fine art as soon as I finish it, I could make up a special card featuring the buyer’s purchased art, if requested. Otherwise, I have two separate lines of art.

  39. As it happens, I’ve had to re-consider the printing of my digital files on various surfaces. I have a printer who likes creative challenges (and also does fantastic work on a commercial basis).
    I spent about an hour with hime as he showed me various applications. I’m mentioning this here because we are discussing images on alternative surfaces like cards or book marks. Here’s part of what I found out.
    Aluminum
    Teyvak
    Watercolor paper (of course)
    Clear vinyl (adheres to windows)
    Shrink wrap (on vehicles)
    Canvas (3 weights)

    I got excited about some of the possibilities as product lines but have not priced out some of the possibilities.
    2 that I am thinking about are the clear vinyl and maybe aluminum. I know this is not quite greeting cards, but the printing industry has been stretching its wings lately.

    Side note: I have a friend who spent time in a sign shop. He asked me about a month ago if there were any billboards in my town. (Yes- there are 4). And then he looked at me and said, “So, how big do you want to work?” My printer is in a facility that is the go to company for the vinyl billboards. (No more printed paper that gets pasted on). Leasing I find is usually 3 months.
    Just saying. And- while I don’t have a gallery as such and my studio is not ready for visitors being on the second floor of my residence, the fact of a large example of a piece of art work in an otherwise unexpected place certainly has an interesting twist.

  40. I sell greeting cards (moo.com) at art shows that allow them. I also give a thank you note to buyers who purchase a painting form me. My logo is on the back.

    It’s a great way to get my name out there and it hasn’t appeared to interfere with my painting sales.

  41. I had postcards created and the company I used allowed me to approve or correct the color before the final run. If you wish to prevent the cards from being framed as “artwork” then really DO create a greeting card: Birthday, Sympathy, or Thinking of You card out of them by adding copy both on the cover and inside and marketing them separately through advertising elsewhere. Put a short bio about you as artist on the back with your serious contact information. I must admit that I’ve even done T-shirts and they not only more than paid for themselves but turned a nice profit by the time only half the inventory sold. I put a catchy phrase on them. Again, I was able to pre-press approve them. It just depends upon how you wish to spend your time. If it’s not you, then don’t do it. It will never be worth it to you.

  42. As an artist, I’m seriously considering putting some of my work on cards. Why? I’m also a collector and love *buying* cards. I have a drawer full of artists’ cards (blank inside) that I send to friends and family for birthdays, general greetings, etc. I have looked at Moo…will go look at Fine Art America.

  43. I make a lot of money selling cards, and although some people may only ever buy a card and not a print, they are likely never to buy your bigger pieces anyway. What I have found is that those who buy cards (and in my case books of my work) often will come back later, even a few months later, and become clients. Conversely, I have many existing customers for my large and expensive Ltd Edition prints who love buying my cards for other people. Each card has all my contact and social media links on the reverse, so every card sol is an advert. These ‘adverts’ wing their way across the globe promoting my work at no postage cost to me. I charge £5 each as they are printed on the same papers as my edition prints which sell for £1250 each – and really £5 is ridiculously cheap. Some people did buy cards to frame, which may have been marginally affecting sales of small prints, so I simply reduced the size of the image on the card, AND included a credit line within the image. These are now too small to bother framing but I’m still selling dozens and dozens each week and hasn’t affected trade whatsoever.

    Originally I was anti-card-selling for all the usual worries, but I now see it as a definite positive boost for both publicity and income.

  44. I paint and also do collages. I started making note cards by creating collages from leftover papers, found objects, etc. Though I will probably never make much money from them, I enjoy doing them. I started making them for holidays, special occasions (weddings, showers) as well as “art cards” and often have had them promoted at gift shops to accompany a gift. Then I started printing images of my work, and glue them on the card stock. Although many people have framed the collages, I sell many more with images of my paintings. This year I sold some to a neighbor at a sale we had in my condo building and got an email the next day asking about the original these neighrbors have now bought 2 paintings. Another neighbor buys about 6-8 at a time to have on hand. And a friend sent one of my cards with a painting on it to a friend, who has since bought 50! That is nice money! I sell my collages for $8 and the ones with my paintings for $6.
    And I too always give a card or two when people buy a painting.

  45. This is my third year selling at our local larger farmers’ market. The first two years I offered originals and prints on cardstock (mostly sold prints, of course), but another vendor suggested I needed some smaller-priced items in order to appeal to all pocketbooks.

    So this year I started getting reproductions made of all my watercolours (over 100 of them), printed on cardstock and sell them with an envelope, protected by crystal clear bag, for $5.00. Sales have been steady and people love them. Lots of great comments, and no one quibbles about the price.

    It makes me happy to think people are enjoying my art who might not otherwise be able to afford it, and it could lead to something more – because, You never know!

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