07 December 2005

Taking the Leap

Making a shift from illustration to printmaking/moku hanga means that I'll need to learn more about how the world of fine arts operates. There are quite a few differences between these two types of work that I hadn't even thought about. Just as an example, here in Massachusetts I don't have to charge my clients a sales tax for illustration work because illustration is considered a service. (I'm not selling the illustration itself, but the right to reproduce the illustration.) But sales tax does apply to the sale of a print, so I need to find out how that system works.

In my search for information about how the art world works I found a great book at my local library called Taking the Leap. It talks about everything from writing an artist's statement to finding (or bypassing) a gallery to the ins and outs of copyright and creating a mailing list. It's the best book I've found so far.

Now to figure out matting and framing...


Anonymous said...

Hi Annie,

Not sure about surviving as an artist, but I did spend my day framing prints.

I have decided that people who hang prints are not generally over-fussy about the life span of what is a rather delicate medium. So, for these people I'm happy to have my print sit directly behind an acetate film. It is easy to make very handsome frames for a cost of only a few dollars each. Basically a cardboard frame wrapped around foamcore board with an acetate pane. The cardboard frame acts to matte the image. With a set of templates and 3 types of sticky tape, cutting mat, steel ruler - it all ends up very neat indeed. Once you work it out you should have no trouble framing 20 prints in a day. Another bonus the finished print weighs almost nothing and has no glass, which is good for posting.

Marissa L. Swinghammer said...

Thank you! I am so going to get that book! I have been looking for something like that.

You can find some nice affordable frames at IKEA, Dick Blick and Daniel Smith. I don't do matting but I can see why you would want to with your work. IKEA frames come with matts if your prints fit their sizes.

Anonymous said...

I just stumbled onto your blog last week...how cool! I've recently followed a path similar to your own (moving from commercial graphics to art)...but I digress...

Be very careful about what materials you use for the matting and mounting of your prints. Make sure that everything that you use is acid-free or archival in nature. The acid will leach into your print and slowly disintigrate it. Very bad.

If you're brave, try cutting your own mattes. Matt cutting kits are usually pretty inexpensive (although you can always get the big expensive machines, too) and find and inexpensive source for frames (or use the acetate idea around the mattes). Use mounting strips to secure your print.