Let’s talk about printing your art, more specifically let’s talk about the benefit of printing your own art yourself.
There are so many options for printing, it’s tough to figure out the best option. For the longest time I used to use online printers for my prints, and while it was very inexpensive and the quality was decent there was definitely room for improvement, so I invested in my own printer: A Canon Pixma Pro-100. I purchased it refurbished, it ran me about $200 and I am so happy I bought it.
The expenses of ink and paper can add up, but in my opinion the quality improvement alone makes it all worthwhile. I absolutely LOVE being able to control what my prints look like, I no longer end up with prints that are too dark and I am free to print on whatever type of paper I like. Using good paper can really make a world’s difference!
I really like Canon’s Museum Etching paper. While a little costly per sheet, it makes your illustrations look absolutely gorgeous. It has a lightly textured surface and the sheets are nice and thick, none of that flimsy easy-bend paper. The only minus is you can’t do full-bleed on the Museum Etching paper, the prints have to have a 1,5 inch border. However with this paper you’re basically doing your own gallery quality Giclée prints at home.
For a more inexpensive paper option Canon’s Photo Paper Pro Luster is also excellent. This has the added benefit that you can do full-bleed, so you get beautifully large prints and it also has a lovely half-matted surface. I use this type of paper for my larger 13″ x 19″ prints.
Another benefit is when you can print your own prints as you need them you no longer have to order minimum 50 copies of one illustration that you potentially wind up not selling and therefore have to store or dispose of, it’s just less waste.
Lastly, I live in another country than my family, so being able to print a single print of new art or a few photos on the spot whenever I send birthday cards or letters home is just wonderful. For family and friends there’s just something nicer and more personal about receiving a physical print rather than seeing it online.
The Cons and Pros
All in all it’s a trade of, my expenses are higher but I’ve deemed it worthwhile. Here’s a Cons and Pros list for your convenience and an Amazon affiliate link to the products I use, should you be interested in checking it out for yourself.
- Printer cost and maintenance
- Ink cost
- Paper cost
- Quality control
- Full color calibration
- Pick your own paper
- No excess prints
- Test print art whenever you need to