Saturday, October 30, 2021

Editioning Days and Business Stuff

Over the past few weeks I've been printing some of my linocuts again. People often ask me how long it takes to make a print. It's such a hard question to answer because there are so many stages to it. Usually the sketching, drawing and carving of the plate take a few months. Then comes the proofing and reworking the plate stage. Once I start printing, I usually print ten to twenty prints over the course of a few weeks, before I take a break to work on something different; all that printing is really labour intensive and yes, it does get tedious if I keep doing the same thing over and over again. I also don't want to have too many prints just sitting not knowing if they will sell or not. After printing, the prints need to be taped to wooden boards while they are damp so they can stretch and dry flat. Once they are dry, they need to be curated, i.e. little flaws need touching up and I have to sign each print. People sometimes wonder about my pricing. Easy math: an edition of 50 prints at $500 per print is $25,000! Wow! That's a lot of money, right? It usually takes me about 5 years to sell an edition of prints that sells really well, so divide $25,000 by 5 and I get $5,000 from one edition per year. That is before overhead costs. If I sell through a gallery, they take 40%-50% commission (which I'm perfectly ok with since they do their own advertising and they bring my work to the attention of different clients). The example is an average price range, since I have some prints that cost more and some that cost less. When I have several editions that sell well, I can get through a year comfortably and I am grateful, excited and thrilled to be able to make a living doing what I love!