Ever since the first time I showed photos of my drawings to other people, the topic of sales was broached. Maybe it’s superstition, but at the time I could not even entertain the idea of selling any of my work because it felt like counting chickens before they were hatched.
But the inquiring party got me thinking. How does one go about presenting and selling their work in the digital age? She suggested setting up an Etsy store which would allow me to attain on-line orders. Handling money would be done through PayPal – I’d need to set up an account. And then, how would I present the work to prospective buyers? It would be nice if the work was already matted. Which then brought up the idea of framing and how could I keep that economical for my buyers.
In my previous post, I mentioned that I sold two pieces, and the buyer wanted them matted, framed and ready to hang. So I began to look up resources and here’s what I found. If you’re buying in bulk, it saves on shipping costs:
Frames: Westfall Framing company – framing wholesaler with simple metal and wood frames for artwork, along with other supplies for hanging and finishing art. Frames are sold by the inch. The design of their framing kits is simple and genius – anybody can put them together and they look great. Caution: they are “old school” and their on-line interface is less than ideal. No rush orders, no way to check your order status on-line.Mats: Golden State Art – matting supplies. Holy Cow! Buy in bulk or you’ll be reamed by shipping costs. I found 100 acid free/pH neutral mats comes with free shipping. Also, backing board in 50 pieces. And they have “chrystal clear” protective bags which are great if you’re selling at a show or street fair.
Glass: I found a decent price on framing glass from Dick Blick, which I can get locally. These come with a beveled edge, which is good because it reduces injury, and it is sold as part a clip frame. In fact, for contemporary art, it is reasonable to present the work this way. Just be aware, it’s like dressing a piece of work in a suit without the coat and tie. If you want something more formal or professional, go for the frame.
Dick Blick also carries Neilsen Bainbridge frames and frame kits with mat included. If you’re framing 1 or 2 pieces, this is the way to go. It may cost a little more than all the parts bought separately, but the savings in time and headache may be worth the cost. If I sell another piece, I may direct the buyer here and save myself the trouble of framing things myself. Framing is not my area of expertise, and if I were smart, I would charge for my time. Learn from my headache – this is a way for your buyers to offset a couple hundred dollars per piece in framing costs.