Skip to content

Printed matter if it matters

When I set up the new website recently I knew that even though it was going live there was a big part of it that I had left out.  Not through laziness or not being thorough, but because it was just too B I G  and would have delayed everything else by a few more weeks. And I didn’t want to do that.  So, it got put on hold whilst the rest went live, and I made a mental note to do it when I was able.

Because I knew needed to find out more about it, and have some face to face conversations, and find out more about the subject. As for once, the internet wasn’t to give me all the info I needed for this one.

Because there are so many variations on the subject, it just makes it so convoluted, and complex, so how am I going to explain it to my fans and customers?

And the subject? A delicate one…..


Fortunately the guy I chose to talk to about him doing it for me,  was more than happy to explain his subject, and pass on his ample knowledge to me on the subject, as I stood quietly perspiring, in his shop one hot day last week and asked him what he knew about “Prints…?” An hour later when I left his shop, reeling,  I was far better informed, but no better off, infact I think I may have taken a step backwards! 🙁

He explained he didn’t do Giclee prints, as he hadn’t got the equipment for them and it was too expensive to set up. But for me as an artist it would also be verrrry expensive to start with, to set up the artwork,  as its the high end version of printing. (Ok, well in that case I’ll bear that in mind for sometime in the future but not for the purposes of what I want to do now, thankyouverymuch).

So then he went on to explain about injet printing (its good!), and scanning the image (best option but more money) and the size restrictions (A3)  on that, or photographing it with the right sort of camera (not the sort I’ve got of course!), and how to do that, in RAW format (in whaaaat?!), with the picture vertical (that’s impossible I know from past bitter experience), on an easel (I’ve got some of those!), not behind glass (I knew that! in reflection…) and in the right sort of light (bright sunlight, what in England, you’ve got to be joking!), preferably studio lighting ( I haven’t got that sort of studio, mines full of paintbrushes, canvases and paints), and not putting it through Photoshop (I thought you HAD to do that to enhance it but he shuddered at the thought of it!), and printing onto the right sort of paper (okkkkkaaay) whether it was gloss (no too shiny), matt (no too not shiny)or satin (my favourite both a bit shiny and not too shiny) or canvas (a lottt more money, naturally!), which he didn’t do, but he knew a man who did.

He showed me some posters he’d done, and pointed out that the  red wasn’t as RED as it should be, since it was on matt paper, and not gloss. (Okaay, but if you don’t “know” that it should be a redder red does it really matter in the world of red is red and who gives a shit?)

And he showed me some posters he’d done for a photographer of some photographs of women models, real facial close-ups, and pointed out that you could tell that the images had been photoshopped by the fact that there was the faintest of pinky rash on the neck of one of the women (I could hardly see it even peering at it) and a greenish tinge to the nose of the other one ( I could just see it but only after he’d pointed it out), so I should therefore do all that he had told me regarding the right picture, with the right camera (that I haven’t got) taking the right photograph of that right piture, in the right conditions, the way to do it by not putting it through Photoshop to not enhance it, and taking it to him, making use that it was the right size of image, so that he could print it out for me so that the terrible (that I couldn’t see!) mistakes of the other photographer wouldn’t be replicated in my work.

Midnight blue

It was at this point that I quietly pointed out that my artwork was mostly fantasy or abstract or surreal, that I didn’t do true representational work, it was more artistic than illustrative, and anyway no one looking at the print would also have the original infront of them to compare, and more to the point, if there was *blue” in the picture no one was going to look at it and say “that blue is one tenth less greeny blue  and one 64th more purply blue than the one in the original painting, therefore I don’t want it hanging on my wall”  – no, they’d read it as “Blue” so what the fuck does it matter? (I didn’t say that bit! Mmmmm….. was he being too precious over the reproduction?A tad.)

So we agreed that what I need to do now, is to take a selection of my images into his shop to see how they reproduce. And if they are poor I will have to take more photos, with the right camera, (that I haven’t got) the right lighting, the right way etc etc.  But if they are good, then I’m in business. And I can get some prints done. And sell them, once I know how much its going to cost me to have them done!

But don’t expect it to be easy, cos it isn’t!

Note to self…..I never had this problem at junior school…. you’d get your potato, cut it in half, cut the shape out, then dip it in the bright yellow paint, and make as many prints as you liked, over the paper, over your friends paper, over the desk, over the floor, up the wall……! lol