Importance of Proofing Prints
This is my worst nightmare of a story, that I thought I would share with you, which is slightly embarrassing. Proofing prints, it is the most important thing that you do in the process of getting your picture out there, getting it to a gallery and hanging it, if you don't proof your prints properly, first of all, you're not gonna look good for your gallery, they're gonna think that you've lost your mind, because this is your precious baby and you did not look at that work close enough. So, let me take you back to January 4th, 2017, when I did not proof my prints properly, I did not realize that, I thought I had done a great job, there was a lot of excitement, when I went to proof them, my friends were with me, we were all really just eager to see them really, really big in print and I thought everything was great, I signed them, which is a huge no no, if you're gonna sign that and number that and send it off, you had better make sure that that is a perfect print, I signed them, I numbe...
red them, I got them to the framer and then the day before my gallery show, I got a call saying, "We think there's a problem with your print," and I said, no, that's impossible, I proofed all my prints and I was very certain, that I had done this and then they said, "No, we're pretty sure "that this is a printing issue "and not, you know, a scratch or anything like that," and I again said, no, no, there's no way, just send me a picture and then that's the image that I got, which if you look closely enough at it, you will notice that we've got some issue with the printing here. Is that my fault that it happened? Yes, I know that my printer messed it up, that there, clearly there is an issue in the printing process, but who looks bad, my printer? No, I do, because I proofed that print incorrectly, so proofing prints is massively important, I had to print that image as fast as I could, I was freaked out, tears and everything, it was like a whole freak show event, I was flying to New York that day to go to this gallery opening, at which time I learned that also the model in this image was also flying to New York to see the show and I was facing two decisions, one, frantically get this new print in and frame it as fast as possible and hang it on that wall as fast as possible or take her print out of the show, that she had just flown 3000 miles to go see, so I frantically printed it and we got it there, thank goodness and they framed it, thank goodness and one hour before the show, we ran it in there and we hung it up on the wall and it worked out, but it very easily could have not worked out, so proof your prints everyone. (laughs) Here's what I do, I scan the digital file line-by-line, before I ever send it in to the printer, so I will go through my file, if I've got it up in Photoshop and I scroll to the very top at 100% and I go straight across using the... slider bars, what are they, scrolly bars (laughs) on the bottom and top, so that I don't miss anything, so I'll scroll right across, go down a little bit, scroll across again and check every line of my digital file, I then scan the print line-by-line, did I do that in this case? No, I did not, big, big regret, but I should, make sure that there's full ink coverage, so making sure that there aren't any little spots, that you think might just be like dust from the printer, it's very easy to have pieces of paper from your prints sort of like come off, like little pieces of dust in the printer, they sort of stick to the ink of your print, so you have to really check every single time you see a little, white fuzzy to make sure that it's not a gap in the ink and that it is something that will come off of your print and that happens a lot in the printing process. Compare color, so make sure that you are really, really certain that that print, that just came out of the printer looks the same as the other prints that have come out of that printer, that looks the same as the one that you have on your computer, making sure that it's perfect, tonality as well, lightness, darkness, mid tones, make sure everything works out and then make sure that whoever you're sending it to proofs that image as well and that was another mistake that I made, I had shipped these prints directly to the framer and this was the very last print, that they were framing and only then, right before the show did they realize that something was wrong, had I asked them to open up that box, when they got it, which was three weeks prior to that, I wouldn't have had to overnight rush ship and frame everything, I would have had three weeks to deal with this problem, so that was also my fault, not their fault, my fault. This is an example of my certificate of authenticity, so we talked about this a little bit and this is just really, really simply the piece of paper, that somebody would get if they bought a print, but wanted either more assurances, that it was mine, I would send this, of course, it would be signed and dated, the other reason is if you can't sign your print, you would send a certificate of authenticity, if your print was being framed in such a way, that it covered the signature, you would wanna send a certificate of authenticity and a lot of people do this for every print that they sell, just because they can and it's extra assurance for your person purchasing and it can't hurt, so this is just another example of that, different size, different edition, but everything stays the same from certificate of authenticity to the next, except for the edition, the size, the title and when it was created, but the medium isn't changing, the artist isn't changing, I simply change that little thumbnail and I send it off and I print these on the same paper, that I print my prints on, so I send these to my printer and he prints it on that beautiful paper and then it's just a little nice touch, instead of it being, for example laminated, which will take away the value of your certificate of authenticity, just doing it on the same paper is nice and simple and easy. So then finally the back room, which I love talking about, because galleries have this, I feel like it's a cute little secret, it's not really a secret at all, but they have exhibitions and then they'll take those works and they'll put them in their storage room, their back room and I am amazed at how many prints sell from the back room, from not being on display, but just imagine, we're gonna like role play, okay, so you're coming into my gallery and I'm showing you the exhibition and trying to sell you on whatever is on the walls or whatever it may be and maybe you're interested, maybe you're not and if I sense you're not, then maybe I'll say, well, we have a lot more works in the back room, if you wanna see and then I take you into the back room and you see kind of like the blankets covering the prints and things like that, that are protecting them, but it almost feels like an exclusive club, because you're being taken into the space, where they store the prints, you know, it's like a little bit more intimate and a lot of prints are sold from the back room, a lot of prints, at least a lot of my prints, so like I said, I'll have an exhibition running, I'll sell maybe one to four prints on average from that show, but then the whole rest of the year, I'm selling prints from that back room of the gallery, where my prints are housed, when they're not on display and this is my favorite thing about galleries is that you don't just have that exhibition, once you're represented, they really take care of you and sell your work all year long, they're looking out for people, who might express any interest in what you have to do and then they're showing your work to those people, because they think that what they have will sell, so I think the back room is a pretty interesting thing to sell from and as a tactic of sales, which I hate talking about, sales tactics and that's why we have galleries, isn't it, so then they can do that.