Saturday, November 24, 2012

Before You Can Sell You Must Prepare

First things first… If you’re going to sell your art online, you’ll need to digitize your portfolio.  If you’re a digital photographer or graphic design artist, you probably already have a collection of digital images that you can use.  If you’re a painter or sketch artist, however, you’ll need to spend some time scanning or digitally photographing your artwork in order to prepare your files for selling your art online.

HELPFUL HINT:  If you’re taking photographs of a painting or other works of hand-made art with a digital camera, make sure to shoot the image from directly above the center of the piece and with diffused light on all four sides.  This will ensure the image is captured with minimal warping to the perspective and prevent unwanted shadowing or overexposure in the final digital image.

Whether you end up selling your art displayed on objects or as individual prints make sure your images are of the highest quality possible.  This means bright vivid colors, no noise, good composition, and creating high resolution images.

I use, and recommend, Photoshop as a means of editing and preparing digital images, but there are other, less expensive, programs on the market you can use.  A word of advice for people that aren't versed in Photoshop – don’t spend hundreds of dollars on this program if you don’t also intend on investing a fair amount of time learning how to use it.  While the latest versions are fairly user-friendly, it is capable of doing so many things that it takes a great deal of time to learn how to use.  I've been using Photoshop consistently for the past 8 years and still don’t know EVERYTHING about the program.  If you’re willing to make the investment of money AND time, Photoshop is THE BEST program on the market for creating high quality digital images.

If the program you’re using to edit your files allows you to embed keywords into the file as metadata, then you should do that for two very important reasons… 1. It allows you to organize your files, and 2. It helps people scouring the internet for art to find YOURS!  You should keep these keywords simple and include both broad and specific information.  For example if you have a photograph of the Seattle skyline, then you should list as your keywords for that file: architecture, skyline, Seattle.

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