Way back in 2005 I received a lovely letter from a lovely lady from California. She was starting up a new kind of company for the time, an exclusive online venue for selling fine art prints. She had seen my website and thought my work would be a great fit for their initial offering. It was very exciting, offering a whole new way for my work to reach the public and offering the possibility of secondary income. Fantastic. High end photographs were taken, cd’s were burned and we embarked on the new thing. The quality of the reproductions was excellent. I think I sold one print over the 4 years that these dear people kept their new company afloat. They called it quits in 2009.
By this time online print companies had proliferated, there were plenty to choose from. I chose Imagekind. I’ve been a member since 2009. Imagekind was a wonderful way for my family to purchase prints from the exhibit I did about my folks – Marg’s Museum. And they have purchased a few others. One of my friends bought one. The quality of their reproductions was excellent. But that was it. 2010 was the last sale. Could I have done more to market this – sure. But I am a painter and I prefer to spend my time painting – after all, you want to keep up production, so you always have fresh new things.
Until a couple of months ago I had never been asked by a serious collector or a gallery if my works were available as prints. No one seemed concerned about it. Then I had a conversation with a collector who told me they wanted to feel secure in the knowledge that the image in the painting they bought would not be available to anyone else. And just last week I lost a sale because the collector had seen the image of the painting he was considering on Imagekind and apparently did not believe it when the gallery told him that there were no prints of it out there. [ I did have knowledge of every sale. ]
Now while I could have a discussion on the pros and cons of whether or not the collectors idea is a fair one for the artist, I’ve decided to go with the exclusivity that these collectors want. I am not an alla prima painter, my work is time consuming. And in light of the lack of print sales I feel that the best decision is to withdraw all my work from the online print venues. Goodbye Imagekind.
Now – hopefully – prospective collectors will feel more comfortable.