Potpourri - Dear Redimat
Dear REDIMAT,' features a sampling of a few of the questions (and
expert answers!) we've encountered over the years. Whether you're
an artist, photographer, or one of REDIMAT'S framing enthusiasts,
you'll be certain to learn a little something that you didn't know
before in this issue's Q and A.
Dear REDIMAT: Though I've been a photographer for years,
there's one thing I've always had a question about. Where is the
appropriate place to sign my work? I've seen some signed on the
print and others signed on the mat-so what's the right way?
Signed, Confused about Signing
Great question-and one that we've heard before. Signing your
art or photo is one of those things that is, oftentimes, a matter
of pure personal taste. That being said, there are a few factors
to keep in mind:
---When you have white space visible, sign on the print: Assuming
that there is an area available, go ahead and sign on the bottom
right portion of the print in pencil.
---No white space? Sign the mat: If the print has no white space
available, then the mat is the place for your visible John Hancock.
However, make sure that you also go ahead and sign on the print
under the mat. This ensures that the print owner can identify
you as the artist, even if she's reframed the work.
---Include your contact info on the back: No matter where you
sign, make sure you include your full contact info, including
your email address and your web site URL if you have one. Write
it in pen, or affix a sticker that has the info pre-printed on
it. Memories fade, and this way, you're assuring that the purchaser
knows exactly who the artist is-and how to get in touch with you
to buy another piece!
Dear REDIMAT: I'm exhibiting at my first outdoors art expo
this fall-and I'm excited. I have a white 10 x 10 tent and that's
it-no real idea of how I'm actually going to display my work while
I'm there. Do you have any suggestions?
Signed, Dismayed about my Display
Congratulations on your upcoming art expo! Don't fret-there are
plenty of ways to creatively showcase your wares without breaking
---It isn't just for garages anymore! Pegboard, which can be
found at your local home improvement store, can serve as a cost-effective
way of showing off your work. You'll want to make sure to choose
the plastic version rather than the pressboard, which has a tendency
to warp over time (not to mention get quite soggy should a rain
shower pass by!) Pegboards come in a variety of colors and have
lots of options for hanging and hooking items and artwork to them.
---If you're selling matted prints rather than framed works,
consider a display bin. Some display bins can
cost a bit of money; if cost is your major concern, you can
also consider building
your own display bin that incorporates its own storage areas.
---After you've gotten a taste of how art expos work and have
decided you want to do more, you may choose to spend the money
on a slightly higher end display solution-and one such solution
are the metal
display panels created by Graphic Display Systems. With panels
starting at $75 and going up, choose this option if you're planning
on attending several art expos throughout the year. Your initial
investment will be higher, but you'll save yourself time and trouble.
Dear REDIMAT: When I'm displaying my work, how important
is the title of the piece? I will typically try to call it what
it is-like 'Tree Frog' or even 'Landscape 17' if I'm doing a series.
But I've seen other artists with seemingly elaborate titles. Does
one sell better than the other?
Signed, Nonplussed about Names
What an interesting question-and one we bet plenty of other folks
have, too. To get your answer, we took informal surveys during
a variety of art shows and art fair events we have attended. And
their verdict? Interesting titles matter.
"Something like 'A Summer of Discontent' tells me much more
about the image-and the artists' frame of mind-than a simple title
like 'Sunset' does," noted one buyer. "It affects the
whole way I encounter the painting and they way I look at it."
"We've noticed that works that have emotional titles seem
to sell better," one gallery owner mentioned. "The buyers
react to emotionally named works more than they do those that
have more 'detached' titles. Now that doesn't mean you want to
go overboard on creating puns or completely elaborate, over-the-top
names for your works, but you do want to give it a title that
lets the prospective buyer feel something of a connection with
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