So, instead of taking inspirational day trips, I'm forced inside to work on tasks I usually do in winter. Hence my coffee table is strewn with card making supplies and I thought you would enjoy seeing my creation process.
Discounts can be substantial if you print more than one of each design, but you only have to order two for a 25% discount or three for 50%, so I usually print 2 to 6 of each image depending on popularity.
1. First, I image my painting with a digital camera and optimize it. Most digital cameras come with an app, my iPad has a good one, or use basic photoshop.
2. Get friendly with your local photo lab. We have a really helpful team in our London Drugs pharmacy and I like that you can order photo prints online. Check the photo printing options in your town; compare prices and test a small batch to check quality. Chat with the tech if possible explaining that you're an artist and accurate color and presentation is important to you. They will generally turn off their automatic photo optimization, so your colors remain as you've optimized. I generally order about 100 printsso assembly can be streamlined.
3. For a 5" x 7" blank, a 6" x 4" photo looks good. Michaels blanks are slightly smaller and work with 3.5" x 5.5". It depends on your philosophy which one you choose, but 6" x 4" are easy to frame and 3.5" x 5.5" are not. If you make income from selling small prints it is wiser to opt for the latter. In
Michaels there are several color options which can make your cards ore appealing. White is standard,
but ivory, black and tan are interesting and bright colors work for simple black and white designs.
Remember to take your prints along to see what works best.
4. This may seem pretty basic, but before sticking the print down, check where the opening is and which way you will apply the photo to the blank card: Horizontal or Vertical. It may be too late after you have stuck it down. I can't tell you how many cards I've ruined by getting it wrong.
5. After much trial and error with glues and tapes that are messy, don't stick or buckle the card, I've opted for Canson photo squares. They are pricey, but there are enough for 125 cards in each box. Attach quite close to the corner. Peel off the backing using your finger nail under the handy tab. Apply to blank card (checking you have it the right way up and absolutely straight).
7. Crystal Clear archival bags. Make sure your bags are archival quality, cellophane not polythene. Poly bags are not very clear or archival and will eventually stick to, or release chemicals onto the photo. Many galleries are hot, cold, humid or dry and Crystal Clear bags rise to the challenge of keeping your art card pristine.
One more word on the bags, make sure they have a peel and stick glue bar and that it is on the back not on the inside of the flap, so if you are taking the card in and out it won't stick to the flap. You will regret it if you buy the others.
8. Pre-printed price tags look classy and save the retailer time, so they will love you. I get mine from the dollar store, and the ones I can't use I donate to the thrifts store.
Printing of image (ink and printer wear if you do it yourself)
pre-printed contact lable
crystal clear bag
pre printed price lable
I dont print my Art Cards on a home printer because professional photo printing is much more classy, the photo print adds stiffness and quality finish to your cards. In order for card stock to go through a printer it is too flimsy to look good. Remember that although you only make a small profit, this is free advertising and a quality card tells the buyer that you offer quality work.