Thursday, October 22, 2009

More on Signing Your Artwork...

This may seem simple but be sure to sign your artwork - redundantly. Sign your painting on both the front, AND the back. And on the back please write the name of your painting. And this is why...

I just finished hanging a show. As we went to label the show we ran into an issue. An artist had two paintings accepted into the show but we couldn't figure out which piece was which so we couldn't place the labels. The titles of the works didn't give us a clue and there was no writing on the back of the paintings. The problem was that one piece was for sale and the other was NFS. We wound up making a guess based upon the titles but hope we haven't made a mistake in case the wrong one sells! This may seem like a small detail, but to folks hanging a show it can become a problem and the issue could get lost in the confusion of prepping for an opening. And it can certainly be a problem for an artist who winds up selling a painting they labeled NFS! Human error happens so you do what is commonly called redundancy - you provide important information not just once - on your paperwork - but again - on the back of your artwork.

Bottom line is the suggestion that you be considerate to those who will be handling your work out of your presence. Paperwork WILL get separated from your artwork. People cannot guess that this painting is "Polly's Pond" and that one is "Pine Pond Impressions". And if you carry an inventory of work at a gallery people will be moving things around, pulling work out to be shown to clients, etc. You want to easily facilitate this and not cause confusion and extra work for your dealer.

This is what I do. I sign the front of my artwork with my last name. On the back, on the lower left, I place the copyright sign (lower case c inside a circle), the year, my full name, and the initials of my affiliations. In the bottom center I write the name of the painting. I also place the name of the painting on the backside of the artwork before it is framed - in case the painting is separated from the frame, so future owners will know what piece it is.

BTW, don't put a businesscard or your email or any contact info on the back of a painting if you will be taking it to a gallery - the gallery won't want clients to be contacting you directly and will want you to remove it. However, if you are selling your work yourself it is a GREAT idea to put your contact info on the back of each and every piece.

That's it for now....

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