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  1. #1
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    your Posters at deviantart - do they sell?

    Hi there!

    Not that I think my art is good enough just yet, but I always wonder if people sell posters through deviantart? Because there is so much artwork you can order as a poster I always think it's pretty limited.

    Maybe some more experienced artists have some knowledge to share.

    Thanks in advance.


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  3. #2
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    In three years there, I've made $2... But then, I suck.

  4. #3
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    Marketing yourself on dA is a huge feat because people on that site have very particular tastes. The market there is also quite poor with people not really willing to spend good money on artwork unless it's from someone insanely amazing or well known.

    It doesn't hurt to try their free print service for a little bit but I wouldn't invest money in their premium prints account.

  5. #4
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    If you get a lot of page views you may sell posters but when I do buy stuff at DA these days it's the other items like cups and mousepads (I only got so much wall space). What I often see is artists make prints and then sell them at cons.

  6. #5
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    I'd wager most of their print trade is artists buying their own work as an exercise in ego-appeasement...
    On the whole, human beings want to be good, but not too good, and not quite all the time.
    - George Orwell


    By all means let's be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.
    - Richard Dawkins

  7. #6
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    Through dA I've sold fourteen prints in five years.

    (One to myself, to see how the quality is...)

    Worth it? Not really. I think, even though it takes more work, it's better to make and sell the prints yourself (instead of letting dA or some other company do it) - that way, you keep 100% of the profit, and can make limited editions and sign your prints too.

    The deviantart prints are very good quality, though.

  8. #7
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    Yeah, it's true; I've been selling my prints at cons for years and it can be a really educational experience.. I've learned loads about what I'd call "taste brackets" as in, what sort of people buy what sort of thing over another... and of course marketing! All useful skills.

    As for getting popular on DA; maybe I'm just bitter here or something, but it seems to me you really have to pander to a particular crowd to get serious pageviews... and don't get me wrong, a self marketing artist is always going to have to make concessions here and there, but there's concessions and there's just betraying yourself.

    But again, that's not to undercut all the hard working artists who do become popular on DA because of their sheer skill, I'm just talking about... well we all know who I'm talking about.
    Follow Me! | DeviantART | Twitter

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    I would give up on DA and maybe sell at cons. It's cheaper, no middle man, and you get to talk to people. I had a so-so experience one time, but it was at a small con in a tiny, ignored, artist alley. I still managed to make a little money that could buy me some food there.

    But you have to keep in mind... There's not that many people who are willing to buy prints. Maybe other things though. Comic books? Buttons? Mugs? Mousepads?

  10. #9
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    I haven't used DA since 2004 I'm guessing. I don't remember my old password or even user name, but they won't let me register. I hated that place anyways. I am working on getting started in the poster business, so that option would be helpful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JJacks View Post
    It doesn't hurt to try their free print service for a little bit but I wouldn't invest money in their premium prints account.
    They've actually merged premium print service with normal premium accounts now, so if you have one you automatically have the other (instead of having to pay extra - paying extra just for the print account was never worth it unless you were one of the minority who sells lots of prints.) Also they've changed their pricing system so it's somewhat better than it was...

    Still, don't expect to sell a lot of prints there unless you're already uber-popular on the site. (And yes, being uber-popular usually means appealing to the 13 - 20-year-old crowd, who don't have a ton of money to spend anyway.)

    I think I've sold, what, 2 prints in 3 years? (and my mom buys greeting cards occasionally, but that doesn't count.) Though I haven't been pushing them (the stuff over there is just for fun anyway.) I tend to submit prints as an afterthought, I don't really expect to sell many but it doesn't cost me extra to submit something as a print, so why not.

    Speaking of selling prints, anyone know anything about RedBubble or Zazzle?

  12. #11
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    Selling prints overall is just tough, whether it be on a website, or at cons. I feel it's a little easier to sell at cons since people there do tend to have money handy, and also they get to physically see the print, and see how well it's printed, and nothing replaces that first hand experience. But even then, you're not gonna get rich. It costs money to exhibit at conventions, and in general it'll be a success if you just break even, even for professional artists. But getting to meet people directly is a very cool experience, and has always made the experience worth it to me.

    But anyways, getting back to the original question, don't feel bad if you haven't sold many prints online, that's generally the norm.

  13. #12
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    some artists think its kind of a rip-off, cant remember how much percentage dA keeps. and if you're super amazing and/or well known you can probably sell 'a lot' of prints (relative to how much prints other sell-known artists manage to sell). just like the real world except online

  14. #13
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    To be honest with you, I hate buying prints because I'd rather download the art you have online. Hell, I'm perfectly willing to pay 20+ bucks of a CD filled with artwork with sketches or processes pics you normally don't post. I also like sketchbooks too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arshes Nei View Post
    To be honest with you, I hate buying prints because I'd rather download the art you have online. Hell, I'm perfectly willing to pay 20+ bucks of a CD filled with artwork with sketches or processes pics you normally don't post. I also like sketchbooks too.
    That fascinates me. Instead of an art book or something - do you feel that a cd based collection may do better? I hadn't really explored the possibility. Perhaps rarities or step by steps? Hmm.

    I have great print sales at conventions but closed my DA shop... there was no interest there. Still brainstorming new things to venture into for next year's cons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cmalidore View Post
    That fascinates me. Instead of an art book or something - do you feel that a cd based collection may do better? I hadn't really explored the possibility. Perhaps rarities or step by steps? Hmm.

    I have great print sales at conventions but closed my DA shop... there was no interest there. Still brainstorming new things to venture into for next year's cons.
    To be honest I think it would. It has been done at other cons like Furry ones or smaller conventions quite often. This is because the artwork is more of a focus so people are very into the artists more than the fan art of series they produce.

    I had suggested to some people to start putting in Open Canvas 1.1 files (for those who have a PC it's an even better bonus) or do a screen capture/vid of some of their progress and throw it in. Hell if you have a few custom brushes for those interested, throw them in too. Just remember whatever you produce try to make it multi-platform as much as possible.

    There is the slight drawback of labels or burning, but here's some suggestions.

    Print labels: I am not sure how this goes but I know there are printers that make cd labels. Some complaints is that it may warp the cd/dvd.

    Lightscribe: if you decide to do simple burnings through there, avoid trying to do big logos or full blow images because you're looking at at least 30 mins for a good image burn

    If Lightscribe is too slow, go with the regular sharpie and jewel case. Buy postcard paper and say with each CD have a quick sketch with every purchase. (this does take time however) - to save more money, use sleeves and DRAW on the sleeve.

    Although this is just me, I really care less about the high end presentation of a CD/DVD because I usually back up everything anyways. I just know I'm perfectly willing to buy collections over prints because it's easier to store. After all, how many of us are saving our favorite artists and their works now? I think quite a few.

    Now to list drawbacks:

    Re-distribution. Expect the work to be redistributed at some point (which is more related to the "exclusive stuff"). But one good thing you can do, is make your CD collection- pay the money to the copyright (US) office and copyright the entire collection for that year. That could probably be the cost of 2 CDs you sell. I think that gives you a benefit in the end because 2 CDs you have an entire large collection of artwork under registered copyright. I'm rather sure you can sell way more than 2 cds of work before it gets redistributed (unless you have other kinds of protection on the work).

    Time of burning. This depends on how many you make on your own of course. I know the time to wait and make sure burns are properly verified and not coasters can be rather cumbersome. (I usually do my burning on a separate PC and often more than one drive - I got a few externals).

    If you produce a lot of work every year sketch dumps and such just keep doing the same thing and put them up on CDs to sell for cons.

  17. #16
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    I looked into printing my own stuff (not through a site like DA) and came to the conclusion that it's not worth it, financially speaking. And if you factor in time spent on admin then you're going to make a loss unless you (a) sell in massive volume or (b) you're Jacek Yerka and can charge $1000 per print. I've had a few reqeusts for prints but I suspect that none of these would materialise into sales unless the price was far too low. Although I concur. I would never spend more than $30 on a poster-type print, let alone ten times that, which is what you'd really need to make any sort of profit.

  18. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arshes Nei View Post
    I'm rather sure you can sell way more than 2 cds of work before it gets redistributed
    Not necessarily. From what I've seen, you're likely to see a pirated copy of your CD/DVD on a torrent site within 1-2 days of when you make your first sales. The good news is that not everyone will download it for free, even when a free one is available. There are thankfully still people out there willing to pay people for the hard work they put into something like this. The question of course is are there enough people willing to spend the money to make the project worth it in the first place. Only way to know that is to give it a try.

    That's one nice thing about a print, far harder to "redistribute"

  19. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmalidore View Post
    Instead of an art book or something - do you feel that a cd based collection may do better? I have great print sales at conventions but closed my DA shop...
    I've tended to find art books sell even better than prints.

    I've racked my brain as to why, and the best I can come up with is that a book is something that can go on a shelf, it can be part of a stacked "collection", and even though space is never unlimited, people tend to think of shelf space as something that's less finite, whereas wall space for a print is usually thought of as a finite space. When people buy a print, they tend to think "Where am I gonna put that, and if I don't have a place for it, I probably shouldn't buy it". Whereas a book it's more like "Well, of course I have room for that, it can go with all my other books". That's been my experience anyways.

    So if your prints are selling well, an art book may be in fact an even better idea.

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    Quote Originally Posted by soulburn3d View Post
    I've tended to find art books sell even better than prints.
    I think part of the appeal is you get more pictures for not much more money, usually... same with calendars. I'd be much more likely to buy a book or calendar than a single print, partly because I feel like I'm getting more bang for my buck and partly because of the whole wall space issue...

    Plus you can put a book anywhere, and curl up with it on the couch and look at all the pictures up close, etc. And calendars are useful, and then when you're done with them they can be treated as books.

  21. #20
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    I'm not surprised at all you would sell more prints in real life then you would online. That instant gratification impulse buying isn't there shopping online.

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  24. #22
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    I can't believe ebay would be a better deal. You have to take on all the printing and shipping costs, listing fees and their cut. If your running prints through a third party then your paying their overhead +ebay.

    Can't see that being more profitable then DA unless your selling prints gangbusters.

  25. #23
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    i am setting up a small online art shop, will be offering prints and will feature other artists too.
    HQ artworks only and very fair share. Shop will take care of the sales and shipping
    other products will be added later, pillows, shirts, DVD and so on
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