Those of you that follow me on social media will know by now that I recently started making my illustrations available as Giclée prints – this is something I’ve wanted to do for ages, mainly because I get a bit upset parting with my originals, and also because I wanted to make my illustrations available to more of you.
Last week I added a new print to my Etsy store, in the form of Cousin Louisa Gentlepaw – you might recognise her from my previous post:
There she is looking pretty in a frame, and here’s a close-up:
She’s printed on 240gsm archival quality Archelles Aquarelle Rag paper – the texture is beautiful, and I think it really adds to the character of my illustrations.
I spent a lot of time researching the different methods of reproduction, and finally decided to go with Giclée printing, as it would give folk a gallery-standard, archival quality print – and the examples I’d seen looked beautiful. Yes, it’s more expensive than other digital print processes, but I wanted quality rather than quantity. Digging more into the Giclée printing lark, one of the first things I discovered is that it’s pronounced zhee-clay. I also learned that there are three main things that make a Giclée print a Giclée print…
1. The resolution of the original. It must be created at a minimum of 300dpi to make sure that the output print is sharp.
2. The paper it’s printed on. It must be of archival quality, which means it has to be acid free and either cotton or rag based.
3. The inks and printer used to print it. The inks must pigment-based rather than the dye-based inks you find in your standard inkjet printer. Pigment inks will last 100+ years without fading (providing you don’t hang a print in direct sunlight, which to be honest you should never do with a picture – even an original oil painting!). The printers used are generally large format printers with 8 to 12 different colour ink cartridges – as well as CMYK, it also has different shades of each colour to make the prints look even smoother than is achievable with just CMYK.
Further research led me to a company in Nottingham who specialise in work for artists and galleries, which meant I could keep things local – even better! I’ve now visited them twice with work for outputting, and am so impressed with their attention to detail and willingness to spend time with you making sure that the finished results are perfect. I took this picture on my first visit and can’t tell you how excited I was seeing all my cats creeping slowly out the printer!
One of the best things about now selling Giclée prints instead of originals is that at last I’ve been able to offer for sale prints of a large picture I drew way back in 2001 – I’ve been loath to part with it, but now it’s available as a print and looks absolutely smashing!
I have plenty more cats in my sketchbook, so keep your eyes peeled for new prints!
Finally, you may or may not know that I’ve finally set up a website – it’s rather basic at the moment, but has links to my Etsy shop and this blog. Head over to stupidcats.co.uk for a peep!