I have been literally drawing a blank on ideas for my next drawing. A fellow artist told me it’s probably best to take a break, so that’s what I’ve been doing but I’m not taking a break from being creative. While I’m recharging my battery for pointillism, I carved up a few designs for some mini block prints. Nothing too fancy, just some simple designs based off of lotuses and spiritual symbols. In the picture above from left to right the symbols are Dao, Om and Gye Nyame, which is a African adinkra symbol for the supremacy of God. Surprisingly I didn’t get too frustrated while carving these so I’m claiming them as officially my first mini block prints. 😃
I’ve finally completed “Dahlia”, which is now my second available print. I’m still working out the small details to printing but I’m getting there. It’s nice having full control over everything but it is work yet, I don’t think I would have it any other way. I’m now on to my next pointillist drawing. I’m thinking of doing something with some orchids.
As promised. I said that once I got my new COA cards I would release my first print of my drawing “Quiet Agony”. It’s a small run, only 15 are available, at a size of 5×7. I wanted to keep the edition small since it’s my first printing but also because this piece is a personal one that is near to my heart, so I don’t want too many prints floating around out there. I’m nervous about how this run will go but excited and hopeful. The thing about being an independent artist in this day and age with technology and the internet, is that you have a bit more freedom to do things your way. You’re not so tightly bound by industry gatekeepers but if you want to be taken seriously and be professional you have to do some research on best practices on things like how to sign and number limited editions, the basic information that needs to be provided on a certificate of authenticity, how to do quality prints and archival techniques. The last four weeks have been a crash course in the art biz for me and now I’m putting that information to use. Funny thing is last month I wasn’t even thinking about all of this until a buyer came along and swooped up four of my original pieces and I was faced with the dilemma of having to crank out more drawings on top of having to do two carving commissions. I felt a bit overwhelmed and finally saw the need to start doing some prints. So here’s my first limited edition print that’s now available in store at: www.qrumbley.com 😊
I think I got this printing thing worked out fairly decently now. I found the perfect paper. I got my archival varnish and now I’m just waiting on my newly designed little “Certificate Of Authenticity” cards to come in and I’ll be all set. First I’ll be doing a limited run of “Quiet Agony” which is also my avatar and logo. I’ve been asked on occasion about this drawing so I decided to release some 5×7 prints of it. Since, for now, I’ll be doing my own prints, I’m sticking with sizes that I can handle (4×6, 5×7 & 8×10) and small runs of limited editions (10-50). I’m pretty much a one woman show here so I’m trying to keep from overwhelming myself. This is a new direction for me and I’m learning as I go. So here’s to the best of new adventures and growing in my career as an independent artist. 😊
Over the past few weeks I’ve been working out the details for doing my own prints, hence the slow progress of my current drawing “Dahlia”. In the past I have ordered a few prints of some old works from a few printers and really didn’t like the quality. Plus I just like to be involved in every step of the process of my work. In other words, I’m really a DIYer. So keeping that in mind I decided to take the plunge and do the prints myself. At the moment I don’t have $500 lying around all willy nilly to just up an buy one of those wide format Epson printers that are often praised by artists who do their own prints, so I’m just working with my Canon Pixma.
Making good quality prints can get a bit involved. There’s the issue of paper quality, ink quality and preservation of the print after it has been processed. I’ve learned that for the best quality you want a printer that uses pigmented ink rather than dyed ink. Pigmented ink apparently are longer lasting compared to dyed inks, are of archival quality and have better color stability. Unfortunately my printer uses dye ink along with most office printers. At first I was discouraged but then I got to thinking, maybe there’s something I can put on a print to protect it from things like UV rays from sunlight, moisture and dust which is what pigmented inks are suppose to do. Luckily there is, it’s archival varnish spray. I don’t currently have any but I just ordered some. Lastly I need a good quality paper to print on, preferably archival paper which is acid free and lignin free. I already have a pack of Epson Ultra Premium Presentation Matte Paper that I’ve been testing out. So far the prints have been turning out pretty good. I don’t know if the paper is archival though. I did some research and learned that it used to be called “archival matte”, then it was switched to “enhanced matte”. Now it’s called presentation matte. No where on the packaging does it say that it’s archival so I’m going to assume it isn’t but it still yields a really good print, which you can see in comparison to the actually drawing below. Anyhoo, I’m now on the hunt for some quality printing paper for my art. My plan is to start out with a small limited edition of 4×6 or 5×7 reproduction prints. If everything works out, I should have everything worked out, with my drawing finished and prints ready to go by the end of this month. Wish me luck. 🙏😊