I have just got new sets of postcards printed from my art. These have been ordered from Moo (affiliate link) and are now available at Paivieerola.com. Here’s how I see the pros and cons of making postcards of your art.
Pro: Seeing Your Art as Collections
When selecting art for postcards, group similar work so that you can make sets. You can also aim for the specific set size and make more pieces with that style. This way the postcard project can inspire you to work in series and explore a certain topic, medium, and style.
If you like to fill art journals as I often do, go through the journal pages too! This girl was just a sketch but I really like it as a postcard!
Pro: Saving Good Pictures of Your Art
It’s easy to neglect taking good pictures of finished work. However, there’s more use for them than just postcards. It’s easy to browse your pieces quickly when they are archived digitally. You will also share them more!
If you organize the image archive chronologically, you also see your progress at a glance. The archive also brings memories and inspiration. Whether you make postcards or not, it’s always good to take good pictures of your finished projects.
I use a tripod and manual settings of my DSLR camera to get the best possible photo. Then I crop and process the photo using Photoshop. New phone cameras take good pictures that don’t necessarily need more adjusting than cropping. Taking photos outside is also a good option!
I like to use white cardboard so that I can adjust the image according to the white area first, and then crop it away.
Pro: Playing between Digital and Physical
If you like to create digital art, seeing it in physical postcards is wonderful. I also like to play between physical and digital art so that I scan the elements of collage art, and then make the final image by combining them in Photoshop.
I really like this digitally composed but hand-drawn zebra postcard! You can find the instructions for drawing zebras in my class Animal Inkdom!
Pro: Getting Ideas for Other Products as Well
If you have good images and great collections, you can also make other products as well. There are services like Redbubble or Zazzle where you can make a variety of products. I printed some stickers to go with the postcards at Moo (affiliate link).
Pro: Postcards Market Your Art
By getting your contact information printed with the postcard you also spread the word of you as an artist.
I also like to think that postcards spread the joy that’s packed in my art. When I hear people keeping my postcards visible so that they can look at them often, it feels good and makes producing the cards meaningful.
Cons: Making Postcards Can Be a Bad Financial Decision
Good-quality postcards are expensive and selling postcards alone is not good business. Especially if you want to sell original art or bigger art prints, having postcards in the same shop or sales table can reduce other sales.
But I also have other experiences. If I go to an art fair or another small local event, I find it easiest to introduce people to my art by letting them select a business card first. Then I introduce them to postcards, then to prints, and finally to originals. That’s why I always get a selection of small business cards printed too, showcasing my latest work.
People love selecting their free image! They often explain it in detail why they selected it. It’s fascinating and useful information for me as an artist!
If you print cards – postcards or business cards – make sure that there’s some contact information where people can go to look before contacting you. Many are shy to call or send an email right away. Having a website is the best thing. But if you don’t have a website, write the address of your Instagram feed or set up a Facebook page for your art.
My final advice is to start small and print a very limited set and let people curate the collection. The image that appeals the most to you is most probably not your best seller. At least that has happened to me many times! As artists, we value the process of creating, but as customers, we only see the result and how it fits with our home and perspective. Sometimes the beauty of art is more in the process, sometimes more in the result. So, whether you make postcards or not, keep creating!
Buy my art at Paivieerola.com!
I ship every order personally from Finland!