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The Decline of Conceptual Art

Those few people that have talked with me about art, something I am always excited to do, know I am not the biggest fan of conceptual art. I don’t dislike all of it, some conceptual artists have done some amazing things such as Joseph Bueys 7,000 Oaks Project. Always good to plant more trees, even if it’s labeled an art project. However, most of the time when I think about conceptual art I think of Paul McCarthy’s Class Fool performance in 1979, in which he threw himself around in a ketchup splattered room at UC San Diego until injured, vomited a few times and then inserted a Barbie Doll in his anus. Most of the viewers could not stand to finish watching the performance. This type of art makes for great headlines, articles, and conversations, but in the end I feel that this kind of art takes attention away from those artists that create something as skilled technically as it is conceptually, but lack the instant shock factor, or as Jonathan Jones states in his latest article “it’s a laugh, it’s entertainment, it’s spectacular, it’s cool … art now aspires to be all the things fashion is.” (source)

Entitled Art As We Know It Is Dead, Jones talks about the idea that current art is over. It has shown itself as nothing more than “the decor of an age of mercantile madness”. To a certain extent I agree with this. One can no doubt look at pieces by Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, and many more as art-factory-made products, in which the money attached to the piece is more important than the art itself. Of course many of the fans of lowbrow/pop surrealism know that not all current art is like this, and many of the ideas and political/social connections that the more public contemporary art is lacking, this scene is more attuned to. I often think of artists such as Francisco Goya, being inspired by the invasion of the French, created his timeless works The Third of May 1808 and The Disasters of War series and wonder where are the artists today that are creating art based on the issues that are going on in the real world. I think it’s great to be entertained, to escape, and most importantly laugh, but is that balance between reality and fantasy even there with the majority of the conceptual art world? I would like to see more reality based art in the contemporary scene we pay attention to, but I know it is at least going in that direction.

Read the Article Here
Above image is Medicine Cabinets by Damien Hirst.

Social Funding and the Arts

For the past few years I have applied for various blog writing grants, and each time never made it past the first round of applicants. What a grant would mean for the site, is more contests, a better and more professional layout, and working on advertising the get the site out there more. The Creep Machine is doing well, but of course could always be doing better. However, the site is not doing well enough to get a grant. Every year I get denied and every year after I look to see if the winners are still going, and most of the time they are not. You might have a good idea for a site, but do you have the fire and ability to keep going for years? I’m not even posting as much on this site as I would like to be. Anyway, I as talking to some other artists about the whole “arts grants” area, and after talking with Arabella Proffer she wrote a post on her blog about her experience with grants, and the whole idea of social funding, such a sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. She sent over a version of her article to share with the readers, take a look and then comment with your experiences or ideas. Take it away Arabella.

I see so many great artists, designers, creative entrepreneurs who apply for funding, and after going through the ringer, get denied. It seems that it you don’t fit into a certain stereotype — or aren’t already known — the traditional route of seeking business loans, grants from foundations and various non-profits is almost futile. This is especially true if what you are doing is something new, different, or in an industry/genre that these people aren’t familiar with.
continue reading «Social Funding and the Arts»

How to prepare your art for show and sale

One of the most important things next to creating unique & interesting art, is how the art is presented and how you take care of the art when it is shipped to galleries and buyers. Presentation is a factor that is present in everything we partake of, whether it’s buying a new guitar, dining at a restaurant or staying somewhere while on vacation. If your dinner was just thrown down in front of you, and the place was dirty and the people rude, would you feel comfortable about spending your money there? Or if the hotel room clearly hadn’t been cleaned and was run down, or that special guitar you bought was shipped in a cheap box and poorly treated. You would no doubt question your purchase and steer clear of those places in the future.

Buying and owning art is a luxury, and should be an enjoyable experience throughout. Especially when to many artists, the sale of original works of art means paying some bills, purchasing more supplies and eating a little better. There have been too many occasions where I have gone to art shows and witnessed art that was presented in a way, that it gave the impression the artist had little respect for the work they were showing. So hopefully this guide will be able to help in showing some of the best ways to have your art presented and prepared, as well as shipped.

Works on Canvas

Any paintings that have been done on canvas should have the sides of the canvas finished off. The most common way to do this is the just paint the sides. You could either paint it solid black, or one of the dominant colors of the painting. Or like the example shows, carry the work off on to the sides of the painting (example). This looks really cool and adds an extra “oooh” factor to it.
The other method is just framing the canvas. I have also seen a few works where strips of wood were attached to the sides as to create a frame for it (example). The frame should be deep enough so that the canvas fits in flush with the frame. You could also close off the back with paper if you wish, although this is only a good idea if you think no one will want to replace the frame you chose. There are also canvas “floater” frames, where it looks like the canvas is floating within the bed of the frame. These types of frames are really cool looking but you will need to have the sides painted as they are exposed with this type of frame.

Works on Masonite, canvas board or similar

Any type of work that is done on Masonite, canvas board, hardboard or similar surfaces should really just be framed. These types of materials are usually thin so it’s best to add the support a frame can offer. It’s a good idea to deal with them like they are paper, really sturdy paper. You wouldn’t just nail paper the wall at a show would you? I have actually been to a few shows that Masonite was just attached to the wall, and since it is thin and coated with paint you could see the warping in the board. It looked bad. Just frame it, or even mount it to something sturdier.

Works on wood panels

Paintings or drawings on wood panels are one of the more expensive surfaces, but if you can get a AAA rated top where the grain just looks beautiful it can really give your work something special. You can even incorporate the grain into your works, such as Katherine Piro, Amy Sol and of course Audrey Kawasaki do in their work. If the wood panel isn’t very thick it’s best just to frame it. This avoids warping and since your using a classy material like this, you might as well go that extra step and frame it. If the wood panel is thicker you can sand the sides or treat it like canvas and paint them. A great addition is to have the sides rounded. I also like to add little rubber or felt feet to the bottom, so that the wood doesn’t scratch the wall up where it is hanging.

Works on Paper

Paintings, drawings, collages or any other medium on paper always look amazing. So you can either mount the paper onto board, or frame it. If your using a thin paper with straight edges it’s a good idea to have the work behind matte board in the frame. It looks classy too. If the paper is thicker and if you have the edges deckled, you can attach the paper to a board or matte so the work is kind of floating there in the frame. Do not use any non-archival sprays or adhesives to mount the paper. It will ruin the paper over time. You can use mounting corners, I’ve seen clear plastic mounting wires, or even use dabs of wax. The most fancy being rice paper hinges, but if your paper is warping the hinges will not stop this. So if you have heavily warped paper, you can use “Yes” glue to mount it. You don’t want to do anything permanent that will be hard to change, or anything that will alter the back of your work. Make it easy for the work to change frames if need be. Luckily “Yes” glue comes off very easy.

Prints

Fine art prints are a great way to earn some extra income, as well as allow users to collect your work. Once a painting sells, thats it, it’s gone. But prints allow fans to have that image of your work they may have missed out on. So any prints shipped to buyers should be prepared for shipping so that they can withstand anything. It’s too easy to damage them, and once they have folds or nicks, they are worth far less. So you can either ship them flat, or in tubes. If you opt for tubes, make sure you use really sturdy tubes not those flimsy Christmas wrapping tubes, or to save money you can even buy strips of plastic pipe and use those (examples). To stop the print from rattling around in there stuff some tissue paper in both ends to secure as well as protect the print. If you’re going to ship the print flat don’t just pop the print in an envelope, secure and protect the print. I bought a James Jean print that was protected between two pieces of Masonite. Dean Mcdowell protects his prints with strong cardboard, and both prints arrived unharmed. It’s your print vs. the shipping service, protect your print so that it will show up in good condition.

Sculptures

This is an easy one. Any type of sculpture or 3d dimensional work should be wrapped like it’s going be handled by a Rugby team. Wrap the work in tissue then bubble wrap. Get a good size box so that you can place this wrapped item in a bed of Styrofoam peanuts, or any other soft material that will protect it. It’s good to recycle and use different materials for packaging, just make sure that the material will provide enough support and not inflict any damage on the work. It would suck to work hard on protecting your work, and then the one thing that damages it is the material you used to protect it. So try to stay clear of paper bags, wood chips, sand, broken bits of plastic & likewise. Oddly enough I have seen each of those materials used.

Try to stay clear of…

..using plastic or paper envelopes to ship your work.
..using boxes that have been shipped far too many times. Recycling is good, but don’t go overboard.
..using any kind of non-archival glues or adhesives.
..permanently mounting prints or paper works on to a matte or foam board.

Make sure to…

..clean up any pencil marks that were used as guides for mattes and cutting.
..use a good, strong tape to seal your boxes.
..be clear enough in descriptions so that the buyer knows exactly what they are getting.
..seal up any holes, and tape off any loose hanging wires (example).

Shipping and Packaging

Now that you have your painting or drawing all ready, how to package and ship it? I know it costs a lot to really ship your work well, but the investment is worth making sure your art makes it to the gallery or new owner. When frames are involved, you also risk the chance of the glass being broken and ruining your work. So wrap your work in bubble wrap, or even foam. Turn that work into a mummy, and then lay it a bed of foam/peanuts or bubble wrap. Foam peanuts are really annoying to deal with, but I’m sure people would rather deal with those than a damaged piece of art. When that’s all ready, make sure to use a sturdy box to ship it in. I have also seen people use shipping services to package the work (example), now this does cost more but it looks great and is real sturdy. The new owner can even use this setup to protect the work if they move or decide to sell the piece.

Do something special & unique

So now that you have some amazing art that is presented in professional way and will be wrapped up for shipping the best way possible, what about something unique? You can do something special in the presentation, it might be a unique frame, a certain way you cut the wood you paint on or materials you use.. Sarah Bereza has very unique custom frames for her works, Michael Hussar sends his prints with a certificate of Authenticity and even a wax seal on it. It could be something as simple as putting a thank you note in the box you ship, or throwing in some stickers. I’ve seen a lot of artists put in upcoming or previous show cards in the box. This is good for advertising, and many people like collecting show cards.

Receptions and Art Shows

I’ve had a few people ask what they should do to spice up those art show openings. First let’s look at flyers for the show. The standard is postcards. You want to draw people to the show, so skip the xeroxed paper flyers, unless thats the vibe your trying to throw. A well designed, clean show postcard is the best way to go, many people as I have stated before collect these cards. Sites like Psprint.com and jakprints.com are good places to get the cards done. I have also heard good things about Vistaprint.com, for Custom
posters
and even postcards. Just pop some of the art from the show on the front and put show info on the back. As far as the reception goes, you can have snacks and drinks there if you wish but the goal is for people to look at art, not eat. i know some galleries that have beer available, so if this is an option (and is safe) go for it. Otherwise just present the art in a nice professional manner and you should be good to go.

Conclusion

So that’s about it. I have talked to many artists, some that went to state colleges and some that went to private schools, and many have stated that there were parts left out of the education. Mainly how to deal with the business end of art. I’m not claiming that this article will prepare you for the business end, but I hope that it will at least help give your art that edge when it comes time for a potential buyer to decide to buy your art or someone else’s. The old saying is “sell the sizzle, not the steak”, so make the presentation priority. But art is not steak, and is not as cheap as steak is. So make the art sizzle in presentation as well as in content and you should do fine.

Is going to school for art worth it?

The discussion of whether or not it’s a good idea to go to an art school, is one I have read, overheard and been involved in many times. It’s a difficult question, one with a potentially very expensive outcome. In some areas of art, I do think it could be a good idea to go to art school. Photography, graphic design as well as 3d animation have very technical aspects to them that can be cleared up from higher education. One could possibly teach themselves all these aspects, but it seems more likely that higher education will really help these disciplines. So for the sake of this article, I’m taking fine art and illustration as a kick off point.

Reasons: So first of all we should figure out what the reasons there would be to go to art school to begin with. Of course the main reason should be learning new skills and honing the ones that you have. If you are lucky and don’t have to work while you go to school, you get the perk of being able to work on your art and thats it. Another perk that I have heard a few times is being surrounded by other artists. You get inspiration, learn tricks and form friendships with people that can alter your career for the better. Many colleges, such as the Academy Of Art claim to provide job placement once you are done with your stint there. Private art schools are also a good place to learn how to display your art, present it to potential clients and be prepared for the business side of the art world.

The Costs: The most important detail about going to school, is ultimately how much you will be paying for it all. It is not cheap once tuition, living expenses, materials and health care (which many schools demand you have) are all added up. You could be pushing $30,000+ per year. On top of this, some schools such as California College of Arts add one extra year on, so if you already have your A.A. your looking at three years until you get your B.A. Not too bad really, one more year of learning can really help your craft but that one extra year will be very expensive. Another thing that I have noticed is that many of the best art schools are located in very expensive cities. San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Pasadena and others. If your aren’t living in a dorm the cost of living in these cities is really high.

The Negatives: Everything has negatives, the idea is to minimalize them as best as possible. Of course the cost of tuition is a big negative, but what are some of the other possible problems you might encounter? One of the main concerns I have had and one that I have heard from many others is getting stuck with bad teachers. I can think of nothing worse than spending all that money only to be taught by someone who shouldn’t be teaching. I have had some teachers that were quite hard to deal with, but they were still competent and very talented. I’m referring specifically to those teachers that follow the old saying “those who can’t do, teach”. Why learn from someone who in essence is a failed artist? You can help to avoid this however by checking out what others say about the teachers on sites like Rate My Professors.

What about those schools that offer job placement? Academy of Art offers this and supposedly their success rate is in the upper 90%. I would love to see what kind of jobs these are and where they are. When I took a tour of the Academy of Art I asked about the job placement and they were very vague about the details, and it seemed that if you did get a job it would be right in the city the school is at. So if you want to stay in the city you learned at, then you might just have a job waiting for you. As far as fine art goes, a degree from an art college will not guarantee your success in the gallery scene. I have seen artists with no degree sell out shows, and artists with degrees bomb. It’s about the art and area really.

The Alternatives: If you still feel the need to get a degree you could always go to a state college and concentrate on art there. Many state colleges often get overlooked and many have very good art programs. San Jose State University is a great example. They have classes in a huge variety of mediums and I have yet to hear bad things that would really push me away. The tuition is also 1/10th of the price of a private art school. There are also Ateliers that you can learn art, the most popular one is the ConceptArt Atelier, these are very hard to get into. So ConceptArt puts on these weekend learning workshops once a year. The industries best artists share their tips and tricks there and you get some hands on training. Shawn Barber stated that “these workshops are superior to any education you could ever receive in four days, anywhere. It rivals a four year experience”. I would go to these weekends anyway, every artist I have talked to so far has said that they learned the most on the job as opposed to in school. So these workshops are kind of like that.

There are also sites like Imaginism Studios and Entertainment Art Academy where you can learn online from some of the best in digital illustration. But what about the perk of being physically around other artists and forming friendships and learning skills? You could always start a drawing group in your city, see if there are any life drawing groups or maybe even a Dr. Sketchy’s. If there isn’t one Molly Crabapple (the creator) can show you how to start your own.

When it comes to the business end of art and diplayign your, you don’t need an overly expensive art school to teach you how to do that. Learn from others who have gone to art school. ImagineFX magazine also has a lot of articles dealing with this, and you could always join forums like the ConceptArt forum and ask around there.

Conclusion: Regardless of what this article may come off like, there are positives to going to art school and I have met many people who are happy with their decision to go. I just want people to be aware of the possible negatives and to know that this is not a necessity. Many artists do quite well without ever going to art school. If you feel that the extra education could help, maybe give the state college a try or check out one of the alternatives I have listed above. If you have any ideas that I might have missed out on, please feel free to leave them in the comments area.

Edit: I would like to add one thing that has come up recently. In my own experience in looking at local colleges, many of them don’t have programs setup to really take advantage of what is going on in the art world right now. Digital illustration, advanced computer arts programs and so on. Many of the schools are also filled with teachers stuck in the 70′s. You don’t need a professor that will paint or draw like you want to, but you also don’t need a professor that might have skipped out on some good lessons so that they could further their style which is now dead. Private art schools often have young fresh teachers, and many programs in computers and illustration.

Best ways to show your art on the web (Revised)

This article is inspired by an article over at ‘Lines and Colors’ called: “How Not to Display Your Artwork on the Web”. It’s a great article, quite sarcastic but there are some great tips there. In the many months that I have been running the Creep Machine, looking for featured artists, images for art of the day & prints and originals for sale, I have seen some amazing web sites and some really bad ones. So I decided to write down some tips, to make sure that your art gets seen. (Last Edited Jan 2012)

Of course this whole article is filled with my opinions, but as someone who spends hours a day looking at art as a fan and webmaster, I have collected some great tips and tricks to make showing and selling your work online an enjoyable process. So let’s get started.

Where should you host your work?

I strongly suggest staying away from using sites like Myspace (people still do), or even Facebook as your portfolio. Social networks are a great way for you to interact with your fans, keep them up to date, and help you sell you work, but you want something solid and clean for your portfolio. You also want your art to be as accessible as possible. The viewer should be able to see your art as well as your information in just a few clicks. Sites like DeviantArt are ok, but once again they are more setup to be a community to share your art with other artists. Even artists like Justin Degarmo, Dan Harding and Josh Taylor have a main homepage along with their DeviantArt account, which also has started a new portfolio service that is minimal and professional. So if you can’t afford to buy your own hosting, you have two other options.
1.You can use a service like Blogger. This is getting more and more popular, as it’s easy to navigate, your work can be seen quickly and people can learn about you if you post thoughts as well. I would say that this type of portfolio is best for ongoing projects, or “daily drawings” type of sites.
2. You can use online portfolios such as: Carbonmade, Behance, Otherpeoplespixels & DAportfolio. Most of these are free, and gets your art seen quickly and efficiently.

Simple and catchy domain names

If you have your portfolio on blogger, or one of the free portfolios I mentioned, you’ll be stuck with ‘whatever.carbonmade.com’ for example. Not much you can do about that. However, if you decided to pay a small amount, and have your own website you should pick a great name. You want something catchy, easy to spell and easy to remember. If your name is way too long and people need you to spell it out for them, try something different. Use a nickname, or even just name your site something nutty. Greg “Craola” Simkins uses the domain name ‘imscared.com’. Very simple to remember, and unique as well. Domain names are pretty cheap now, so get one even if you use a site like blogger. If you can’t get a .com name, you can also think about using .us or even the new extension .me. A good place to register domain names is Namecheap.com

Keep the design simple

I think this is the most important tip. Unless your a web designer and are trying to sell that skill, keep your web page simple. I know it’s tempting to make a page that is graphic laden and will just “wow” your viewers, avoid it. Wow them with your art, not your bloated web design. Stay away from animated graphics, obscure link names that you think is clever, or unnamed images for the page links. Clearly show the areas of your page: ‘Bio, artwork, links, contact’. I know this is boring, but it works. Don’t make the viewer have to hunt to see your artwork, trust me they’ll give up. I often do.

Avoid flash based websites

Flash is cool for very few things. Once again if your selling web design skills then go nuts. But if your trying to have your art seen, avoid 3 minute flash intros, people just want to see the page.
Flash galleries are also bad, they are a pain to use and don’t allow your viewer to see nice big images of your work as well as share your work. Viewers sharing your work with others is a great way to get exposure. I can’t tell you how many artists I have avoided, simple because I can’t share their work. The amount of people using mobile devices to visit web pages is growing more every day, and flash does not show up for iPhone/iPad users.

Get ready for mobile

More and more people are using their mobile devices to check out websites, and the design standards are beginning to change. You want this rapidly growing portion of traffic to be able to see your site clear and easy. So, while your designing your new site think about how a mobile user will be able to view the site. If your using wordpress there are some amazing “responsive” themes out there, that are able to fit to whatever device they are viewing your site from. You can also create a separate css file that will detect if your users are viewing via a mobile device and change the layout for them.

Keep the image gallery simple and functional

Like I said above, no flash galleries. Avoid watermarks as well. Flash galleries and watermarks are often used to stop people stealing your work. Trust me, if someone wants your work bad enough they’ll just use a screencapture tool and have it, and you also stop the important people from getting your work. I use the images from artists sites to post here, help sell prints, and share with galleries. Also avoid using odd thumbnail images, or text. Just show the thumbnail. Not showing the thumbnail is either used to integrate the thumbnails into the site, or to make the viewer have to enlarge the images. Don’t make the experience tedious, just make it simple. If you really feel that you should use a watermark, check out how Chet Zar went about this. Elegant, but not obtrusive.

Let them be informed, social, and in touch

Make sure that your website has a small bio area, contact area and news. People like knowing who the person is behind the art. Your sharing your art anyway, and this can be personal depending on your content. Make yourself known as well, or at least a resume, and make your contact information easy to find. One of the problems I see on blogger hosted sites, is that there is often no contact info available. How can I work with you, and even buy some art?
Add a news area, and even a mailing list. Keep your viewers informed. A news area lets people know what is going on, any upcoming shows, or even works for sale. It also lets people know your still active. I’ve found a few sites were it looked as though the artists hadn’t done anything in years. A mailing list also keeps people informed of whats going on, and you’ll know that they”ll get the info for sure.
One of the latest new additions to websites is social media buttons. Not only have buttons that link to your personal social profiles, but you can also add “like” and “tweet” buttons to your posts, individual pages, or items for sale. This way fans can help spread the word. Pinterest is a new social sharing site that you might also want to think about, and there are buttons for people to “Pin it” and share you work. Keep in mind though, that while many people are happy to share your art via tumblr, pinterest, or other similar sites, they don’t always state who the source is. So maybe a small unobtrusive watermark isn’t such a bad idea.

Selling your work

Aside from having your work sold in galleries, many artists are doing quite well selling their artwork and goods themselves. There are some great ways to empower yourself and offer your goods to your fans, while minimizing fees. Ebay is still used occasionally for artists to sell work, but I often see it used for charity auctions which it is great for. There is also Etsy, which could be considered a “arts and crafts” version of Ebay. You can list all the items your want, pay a small fee, and take advantage of your work being entered into a marketplace that users can search. There is the possibility however that your work can be lost in the immense amount of goods offered for sale.
Aside from created a shop area on your own webpage, or even using ecommerce plugins for the WordPress users out there, there is some standalone sites that give artists the ability to sell their work, accept payments, and take care of all of the little details for you so you can concentrate on making art. Bigcartel is the one I recommend the most. It’s easy to use, clean, and even looks good on mobile devices. You can sign up for a free account to get started, and once things really get rolling you can upgrade your account for more perks. There is also even an app that allows you to embed your shop in your Facebook profile. As opposed to other standalone shops that leave you in the wild, Bigcartel has an artist directory so fans can find you while stumbling around for artwork. They create a top stores list, and a “recently updated” list as well which helps even more with exposure.

How about some examples?

So, after these little tips, I think it’s best to show some sites that I think fit the tips very well. Many of these sites are from very popular artists, and look how simple their sites are. Maybe their on to something eh?
Dan May :a good example of a portfolio software in use, Otherpeoplespixels.
Mark Ryden :simple, easy, to the point.
Chet Zar :love that gallery, nice big thumbnails and info.
Chris Ryniak :his gallery is flash based, but its also linked to his Flickr page so people can still see the work easily.
Jeff Soto :I think his site fits many of the tips here, perfect.
ThinkSpace, Shooting Gallery SF & Jonathan Levine :my three favorite art gallery sites to visit. Filled with content, but easy to navigate.

I’ll refrain from showing bad examples. If your site doesn’t get many hits, and it’s been hard to get your art seen, check out these tips and examples and see if you can’t make it better. Many artists take inspiration from successful artists when it comes to the art, it should be no different to take tips in web design from successful artists websites. I know not everyone is sold on social media sites, but they can be a great tool to your work seen by others. You don’t need to create an account on every site available, a good, efficient, and active social profile is better than multiple rarely updated ones.

Thanks for reading, you can also check out the article that inspired this one as well.
How Not to Display Your Artwork on the Web

Guide to buying art/prints on ebay

Besides buying art off of the original creators website, or even through a gallery, another potentially good resource of buying art is through auction sites like eBay or Etsy.

Along with the good deals, is also the probability of problems. So this lil article is basically just giving readers a heads up on what to watch out for.

1. Its ideal if you are given the provenance of the art, or the origin or source of where the art is coming from. This is also very helpful when the piece is quite expensive. Provenance is one of the perks of buying from galleries, since you know who had it before you. Many artists also sell their art directly through eBay or Etsy for example. So if you know its the actual artist selling the work then you know your safe.

2. Watch out for print auctions, where the print might have been made from a photograph of the work. Ive seen it a few times where the seller had simply taken a photo of the work, and then have prints made. This is a waste of your money, and it doesn’t help the artist out at all. This goes along with copies of prints. Its good to know if the print has a number attached to it, as in #24/100. If you can, check the artists site and see if a limit has been put on the print your looking at.

3. Another type of auction that I have seen quite often, is prints that are being removed from books or publications. I’m not quite sure how the artists take this, since it does come from a book that was sold, but as a buyer you are not getting a nice large, collectible print.

4. On eBay especially there are many art specific sellers, try to stick with them if you can. Or make sure you check out the feedback of the seller, and take a look at what they have sold. If they have sold art before, you know they hopefully know how to treat art.

5. Finally, make sure you can really look over the art. Nice clear pictures of the “actual” art is ideal, not just pics of the art taken from other sites. It’s always nice to see the art in person such as in a gallery, but if you are using auctions sites ask the seller for better pics of the work. If they wont give them up, then be wary, don’t waste your time.