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« Art Business: Email Contact Information - Don't Make People Hunt You Down | Main | Art Business: The Art Print Market »

Art Business: Ten Things Every Artist Should Know About Images

  1. Whether you want to sell only your original artwork or you plan to offer prints or license your designs, you'll need great images of your work.
  2. The images should be very high resolution, including close-up detail shots. 
  3. Most artists should not be photographing their own work. Remember, that image may be the only time a potential buyer sees your work before they buy.
  4. Get the images made as soon as you complete your artwork. You may not have a chance later if you sell the piece or if it's destroyed, damaged, or lost.
  5. Never alter the original high-resolution images. Make "knock-offs" (copies).
  6. Embed copyright info as part of the image.
  7. Get model releases/permission forms if you use images of people, well-known landmarks, other artwork or anything designed or owned by someone else.
  8. Keep a backup disk of your images in case your computer crashes. Seriously. I back up all my images (and my computer) to external hard drives (two of them) and rotate them every couple of days into a fireproof safe.
  9. Keep an inventory of your images. Use a spreadsheet or software designed for that purpose. Include all the information you have about the image that you'll use later (marketing, copyrights, website).
  10. Never use high resolution images on your website.  Reality check: It's really easy to grab images off of websites, even if you have them disabled for copying. Really. Thieves can't do much with a low-resolution image. Besides, high resolution = large image file and that will slow your website down and cause it to load slowly.  If you make your low-res images right, they'll still look stellar.

If you are struggling with any of this, running into problems or you've tried it on your own and realize that you need some help, I'm here for you. I work with artists and their images every day, and I specialize in creating low-cost business and marketing solutions for creative people just like you. 


For a complimentary 15-minute consultation to ask a question and see how we might be able to work together, click here to fill out an online request form.  


All my best to you and yours! 

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"Robin is an artist with computers and a doll to work with...Even more important than her skill and creativity, she has a knack for intuitive understanding of what we want before we even know it. Hooray for Robin! She is the best."

~ Connie Bransilver, Business Manager, Nicholas Petrucci, Artist, LLC


"Robin's well-honed marketing and computer skills are quite simply the best. The work she did for my website was all-encompassing. She built it from the ground up and then taught me how to keep it updated. Fabulous!"

  ~Patrice Federspiel

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Reader Comments (4)


great information! There are some of your points I haven't kept in mind -especially putting pictures with a lower resolution on my blog, I thought they'd better with high res. Also the copyright info, haven't thought of it. So thanks for this!

Franziska San Pedro

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFranziska San Pedro

Thanks Franziska! If you work it right, your images will look hi-res even tho the file size is small. If you use Photoshop you can go to the File>Save for Web menu and do it that way.

February 14, 2011 | Registered CommenterRobin Sagara

I think that the internet has done a lot of good to artists like me, I don't have the money to exhibit my art in galleries, the only way to exhibit my art is on the internet, but at the same time we are also exposing our works to easy thefts, I have seen a lot of theft paintings on the cheap market here in China, no artist knows about this unless the artist (himself) (herself) sees the works, an unknown artist like me cannot take legat actions even if I know that my work has been stolen, if you are a well-known artist, may be you can take legal actions.

January 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterZhenlian

Hi Zhelian: You make a good point about how there is a lot of theft of paintings on the cheap market in China. I've heard from several artists who have spotted their work, stolen and used as reproductions and as designs on merchandise. I'm not a lawyer, but I do see how difficult it is for them to take legal action, so the best thing to do is to try and protect your work as much as possible before it gets stolen. Of course your original images should be high-resolution, but don't use those on the internet. Use small low-res versions because they don't print well and look terrible if enlarged. Watermark them if you think that will help. Good luck!

January 27, 2012 | Registered CommenterRobin Sagara

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