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Questions About Selling The Original Artwork Opinions of those who have sold and bought originals

#1 User is offline   ranefea 

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 02:00 PM

Although I've been doing the Artist's Alley for years now, I've never sold my original drawing/sketches except in the case of commissions done at-con. And to be clear I'm not talking about originals as in original characters vs. fanart but as in the original pencil/ink drawing on drawing/sketch paper vs. a copy or a print. My questions are as follows:

To Artists: I know I've seen other artists selling their originals before - what is your experience with this? Do they sell well? Are people interested in buying the actual drawing? Do you think it is worth it to give up the original?

To Patrons: Have you bought non-commissioned original drawings before? Would you be interested? What was your experience with this if you already have? If you had a choice between a one of a kind drawing or a copy of it, which would you rather have?

I greatly appreciate any input on this. Please be as detailed as possible; this will be a great help to myself and any other artists wondering about the same things. If you know anyone who has or might have an opinion or experience on this, please direct them here!

Thank you! ^_^

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#2 User is offline   Crizl 

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 05:37 PM

I've also been doing artist alleys for years, and I always like to look around to see what sells and what doesn't. I've noticed that alot of other artists don't have much luck selling originals either, it's not just you! ;3 Don't worry!

I've seen plenty of patrons who would love to have the original artwork, but most people can't afford it. Cons are expensive, especially Acen, and now days it's even harder with the bad economy. ^^" So if people have the option of a $5 print or the $30 original, most will opt for the print.

I think the only time I saw an artist sell a few originals, was one who did huge paintings on canvas of anime and game characters. I've also seen a couple who framed their originals and sold them for low prices.

I would still keep trying to sell your originals though! It's always worth a shot! :thumbup:

#3 User is offline   Ladre 

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 02:04 AM

I've seen several people sell originals at their tables, sometimes with fixed prices, sometimes as mini-auctions, and sometimes with a "Make me an offer" sticker on them. I personally have a hard time letting go of originals, and am of the opinion that no matter how hard of a time you are having selling it, you should never let it go for less than it is worth to you personally. If I sell originals it is usually in the Art Show, and it is usually something that I drew specifically to put in said show, therefore I am less attached to it. At a small con here in Texas last year, I brought a relatively simple colored pencil drawing that ended up going for $100 in the show, so I think there are definitely people out there who are willing to pay for the specialness of a hand drawn piece of work, if it's a character they love or a particularly awesome original character (In my case, it wasn't fan art, but I tried to make it something that someone would want to own and look at).

#4 User is offline   frzndaqiri 

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 04:27 PM

I've bought both fanart, originals, and original takes on characters (like an original char "cosplaying" someone else - so a mix).

I really like buying originals. I like supporting someone who takes the time to come up with their own character and has the guts to put it out there (sometimes it's easier to just go with fan-art just because people buy anything with so-and-so on it, not to say that those who draw fan-art aren't as talented). I'm not a huge "fan-girl" where I seek out certain items with a specific character or source, so I'm really taking a hard look at what it is and how it will look displayed (because if I'm buying it, it's useless in a drawer, I better be able to picture it hung up at home).

In short: I buy what I like. That said, I see too many who don't take the time to polish up the art before making it a print. If it looks like you sketched it on the bus on the way in, and then plopped it on a self service copier... no.

Ditto to the "original is (and should be) priced higher, and often not affordable to those stretching their budget" - and therefore preferring prints. I HAVE splurged on more expensive "limited run" prints that are numbered and signed, and once or twice on an original or commissioning a sketch. When I've done this though it's either been something amazing caught my eye or it was an art auction and I didn't want it to get away.

The other thing is if there is a large enough portfolio on the table to make me stop and flip through.

If what is immediately visible doesn't strike my fancy, and you've only got 10 pages, it's likely you don't have a lot of variety (true or not, that's my thinking process) BUT if you've got a nice sized binder of art for perusing then I'll stop and figure odds are there's something you've done that will take my interest.

It also seems to me that it's a one or the other deal. Most folks have JUST fan art or JUST original, I'd love to see more people doing both (if that's your thing). If you dabble in both, keep one of each prominent so someone glancing over can know, and you'll get interest from both types of customer.
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#5 User is offline   ranefea 

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 08:45 AM

Thank you all for the input! based on what you guys and some others have said, I think that I'm going to have a few originals that I can let go of out for sale. Whether or not they sell, I don't see a point in NOT bringing them, esp. if there is a chance someone will want one. =)

And to frzndaqiri, I'm one of those who has always sold fan art and original art. ^^ I usually have two binders open displaying works, one for fan art and one for original art and then several more prints of each on stand up display. =3 It has seemed to work well so far, although it's always been the case that fan art sells better.

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