When I was first approached by a publishing company, with a view to supplying them with some images for cards, I was worried it might have a detrimental effect on my sales. After all, why would you want to pay £250 for an original linocut when you can have the card for £2.50?
I’m not sure if I’ve had an upsurge in sales of original work through this (although other artist friends say they have) but they do raise your profile very efficiently. I’m quite happy to walk into the Royal Academy, say, or the Transport Museum, and see my cards displayed in their shop.
There can be the odd drawback, though. Not so long ago, I was taking part in a printmaking demonstration to coincide with a gallery exhibition. Alongside me was a very successful printmaker friend, who also happened to have a beautiful range of cards of her wood engravings. A nice couple came up to tell her how much they admired her work.
“We’ve just bought six of your cards” they told her, smiling enthusiastically, “and framed them for the kitchen. You really can’t tell that they’re not the originals”.
All said with the best intentions, I’m sure……..