While I have prints of most of my portraits and other artwork I’ve done through the years, I have so many daily sketches that it’s unwieldy to offer prints of each of them and I need to choose which ones to take through the process and offer here and in my Etsy shop. I also know that many people don’t purchase prints for framing, instead preferring different presentations of the art such as keepsake boxes, wall plaques and placemats, useful things. Luckily I have you, my readers and customers, to help me choose which sketches to print. It’s a great joy when you tell me that one of my sketches is just like one of your cats because, even though I see my cats in them, my goal is to find what is universal about cats and represent all cats in this series of sketches.
I don’t make my own prints, but instead work with a few different printers depending on the type of print and the size as I mentioned in my new year article thanking these very printers for keeping me in business. At one time I had a high quality 12″ x 18″ printer here that I used to make prints and even print limited editions of greeting cards and note cards before I started offering so many. Its feeding and care, or the size of the thing and its need for multiple, expensive toner cartridges plus the time and effort it took to get a quality print would have been fine if I had been making a volume of prints on a regular basis, but then, and now, selling prints wasn’t a big part of what I offer and it took more effort and money than it returned.
How to choose?
I do sometimes choose a piece of artwork that I personally like to have a print made of it, but I also let the marketplace choose the prints I offer. When I have a big response to an image as I did with “Mewsette on the Afghan“, or when one gets a few thousand views on a social network like “Magic Carpet” currently being passed around StumbleUpon, I decide I should get a few prints of the sketch and I am currently working on prints of these two sketches.
Likewise, when someone asks if prints of a certain sketch are available such as “Inscrutable” I’ll decide to offer that sketch as a print. And finally, when a sketch is purchased I’ll often have a print made to make sure I have the image accurately recorded and then I’ll have prints made and offer those as well as I did with “Two Cats After van Gogh“, “A Dozen Shades of Gray” and “World Cat“.
Having prints made
Artwork has a different nature from a photograph, especially a digital photograph, and having prints made is a little more complicated than uploading to a print site. Because I use a variety of media and papers each image and scan the image for greatest detail and clarity they are handled differently when they go through scanning and presentation as well as printing.
I scan each sketch in order to post it on The Creative Cat because the art is pressed right up against the glass of the scanner which naturally catches more detail at that distance, and even texture with textured papers and oil pastels. At that point I make sure it’s adequately represented on my computer screens and other devices, and sometimes that takes a little bit of work as I’d discussed with “Magic Carpet” when I posted it.
But that’s not necessarily how it works for printing because the devices used are more sensitive and read the image differently from the way it’s presented on a computer screen, sending information to the ink jets when printing. When I decide to make a print I need to change my files from RGB to CMYK and adjust the colors to the same hue and brightness, and print a couple of test prints for myself to see how it’s working, then send it off for a test print.
All colors will slip around from the original because the scanner and Photoshop are assigning values to colors in a work relative to the colors in that work, not necessarily what’s actually in the sketch. Yes, that’s probably confusing, but it means that it may represent a shade of red in a hue anywhere on a range from red-orange to red-violet depending on what’s around it in the sketch, so I often need to tweak each color individually to be accurate in prints.
And then there’s the way each different medium is perceived by both the scanner and Photoshop. Watercolors are opaque and sometimes the color doesn’t even show up on a scan because the scanner light shines right through it. Markers, colored pencils, soft and oil pastels, even oil and acrylic paints when used in certain ways aren’t necessarily opaque which can also influence the way the colors are registered in the scan and as I make adjustments. Pastels have a soft matte finish and though there are rich and deep shades they can scan as being a little too brilliant and I have to desaturate them a bit to represent the original. There have been times when I have scanned an image multiple times or scanned just sections of it, and also photographed it, and pieced it all together to get the colors to be accurately represented.Yesterday’s sketch reprise, “Art Cat”, was one such sketch that was all pieced together from the first time I presented it, and then when it sold I made a print just to make sure it matched the sketch.
Sometimes it takes several tries to make an accurate print with adjustments on my end and on the printer’s end in between. And sometimes I change the file format completely when it works better in RGB than CMYK as I do with “Lazy Saturday Afternoon”, or if I make a PDF instead of sending the original art as a TIF, or if the printer makes the print first thing in the day when the machine has just been turned on, or when we have a blue moon. Some prints are never quite right, and I just come as close as possible.
Then I have a set of ten prints made and post them in my Etsy shop!
So after all that both you and I can be fairly certain your print represents the original. All prints are made with archival inks which will stand up to most interior light for years, though sunlight will cause them to fade.
In most cases I leave them the size of the original. Most of my daily sketches are smaller than 8″ x 10″, so I have them printed centered on 8.5″ x 11″ 100# acid-free matte-finish cover, though some older prints were made on 80# cover. Color prints are $15.00 each and prints that are black only are $10.00.
Occasionally I use larger paper for a sketch which is printed on 11″ x 14″ (so it fits in a Priority Mail envelope with adequate packing) and the cost of this print is $20.00, or up to 12″ x 18″ (which I ship in a tube or triangle), and this size is $25.00; black and white prints only do not cost less because the larger cost is the size of the paper.
Shipping is extra on all prints, usually $7.50 to cover any of the package sizes including the Priority Mail cardboard mailing triangle.
And you can also use these prints to integrate into your own creative projects.
Ordering prints and custom art
First, check my Etsy shop in the category “Cat Art and Prints” to see if one you like is already available—I am still working on “Magic Carpet” but all the other images in this article are currently in my Esty shop. If there’s a print you’d like, just comment on the post where it appears, or send me an email—just remember the name of the artwork and even the date because titles, styles and media can be similar and we can be discussing two entirely different prints and not know it. Sending a link to the sketch is best in an email.
I can also offer sketches on custom products or in custom sizes such as a set of note cards or, within reason, a print that is a different size from the original. You can also order just about any other artwork you see here including prints of my portraits and other paintings, and also any of my photographs. Visit “Ordering Custom Artwork’ for details of products and prices and how to order.
And don’t forget, your custom order helps me choose what’s popular and what I can offer in any of my selling profiles from here on The Creative Cat to my Etsy shop and at my Fine Art America profile. I had a profile on CafePress from the time it was founded and this was where I originally had my custom prints and greeting cards made, and also had a Zazzle profile and even a few others as they opened up for artists, but quality wasn’t consistent and at one point I just had too many profiles and eliminated the ones with fewest sales. Despite all the complications of having prints made it’s worth it for the outcome, and just as when I’m a vendor in a show or festival I enjoy being able to talk to my customers.
Take a look at other new merchandise and featured artwork.
Once a week on Thursday I feature something new in my “shop”, whether that’s here on The Creative Cat, in my Etsy shop, on my main website or even at one of the bricks and mortar shops that carry my work.
Read about creating custom items
Find out more about creating custom items for your own home using the images you see here. Visit the “Ordering Custom Art” page to see samples and read bout how to order.
It’s all done under the close and careful supervision of my studio cats!
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Browse some rescued cats and kittens!
All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.