We asked a number of artists who offer reproductions this question...
"Has making reproductions of your work had any effect on the price of your original artwork and if so, what has that effect been?"
And here are their responses....
Good question and the answer has changed with the times. Once upon a time in the world of fine art it was considered a downer if artists produced reproduction prints. Only hand done artists prints, i.e. lithos, etchings etc. were legitimate. This had some basis of truth as printing methods then never matched the quality of the originals, and it was common for big print runs to be done, even into the thousands, thus devaluing all but the more famous and most expensive originals.
My own experience since I have been reproducing thoughtfully selected originals with the superb quality giclee method of printing perfected by Mark at Art House has been exciting. I have been careful to limit the editions, all signed and numbered, to 100. This makes them more exclusive and they are selling well in a deliberately selected high end market which includes some galleries. This would have been unacceptable in galleries twenty years ago, including our own gallery. I have found these Fine Art Editions have greatly increased awareness of my work and many early buyers of prints are now returning to buy an original.
So I have steadily been able to increase prices of originals to meet demand from clients, and after a lifetime of painting and hard work can now travel and dine out in style. Ha ha! Thank you Mark.
When I first had reproductions made of my work, I was unsure of how to price my originals. So I followed the advice of my trusted printer and art consultant who advised me to charge 10 times the price of which I would be selling the reproductions. At that point the price was 4 times what I had been charging for originals. I had 10 works reproduced and the originals all sold relatively quickly. I've now been doing this for over 10 years and have sold over 80 originals that were reproduced first.
What has the effect been? 1. Confidence to ask the price my art is worth. 2. Encouragement to keep painting as more and more people want my originals. 3. My art has now become my sole income!
Making reproductions of my original artwork has given me great exposure in Australia and internationally. This has resulted in increased awareness of the value of my original artwork. It is still early days but I am seeing good results.
It’s such a shame that, to date for all of my investment, I haven’t sold many prints of my paintings, but I keep working on it. But simply - selling prints has prompted me to raise the prices of my original paintings to ensure my customers are buying a unique, special piece.
David and Christine Hart - www.davidhartgalleries.com.au
No it has not affected the price of the original work.
Lew Brennan - www.lewbrennan-artist.com
I don’t believe it has had any effect at all on my original art prices.
Lloyd and Wendy Hornsby - www.yuinart.com
No Mark it has not had any effect. We don’t sell a lot of prints as you know. Given our current situation, the feedback we mainly get is, no I don’t want a print I would like the original. I am sure if you ask us this question after we open Glen Innes, this may be different. Tourist market will be different we feel.
Wyn Vogel - www.wynvogel.com
Mark – It doesn’t appear to have any negative impact having ‘Reproductions’ - in fact I would think it has enhanced the whole portfolio of work and made the ‘Originals’ more valuable. I possibly have marked up the ‘Originals’ by about another 10 – 15%. I am careful though if the ‘Original’ is a Commission – I always check with the Owner/Commissioner to see if he/she wants an exclusive piece of work that has not copies made!
Susan Schmidt - www.susanschmidtart.com
No, I don't feel that having Reproductions has affected the prices of my original work. What it is has done, however, is enable me to offer my work to a broader audience without having to 'scale down' or compromise the work in order to have something to offer at a lower price point. It has also assisted with getting the work 'out there' and visible with a % of Reproduction buyers eventually converting to buyers of original works.
Pamela Gough - www.pamelagough.com
No, I don’t believe prints has decreased the value of the original artwork. Some people have thought it was wonderful that other people only had “prints” of their original…
My turn again...
So, I think from that small selection, the general consensus is that reproducing your originals is unlikely to have any effect on the price or sale of those originals, in fact the common theme here is that it increases their value and desirability. Obviously, being in the business of making reproductions I'm delighted to see that for these artists the availability of reproductions has had a positive effect on their core business.