Questions for Barney Davey

Q.       What is new in the Second Edition of How to Profit from the Art Print Market?

 A.       It has much more information with 30% more copy and four additional chapters than the first edition. The Resources section has been vastly enhanced to 500 listings of companies, services and information sources for artists.

The book reflects the enormous changes in the print market since 2005 when the first edition was published. Both print-on-demand (POD) technology and e-commerce have made huge strides in how art gets to market. The rise of social media and mobile computing have changed how consumers access and process information. Trade magazines and tradeshows have been nearly brushed aside by these changes.

 Q.      With all this change, what has stayed the same in the print market?

A.      Artists still need to figure out what they want from their careers. If you are going to some place you have not been before, having an idea of where it is and a good map and compass will get you there. The book helps artists grasp what is important to them so they can take appropriate actions.

The basics for operating under good economic principles remain constant regardless of current market conditions. The need to study how those who have attained success got there also remains steady. The book addresses these needs.

Q.      Besides technological changes, how else are things different for artists now?

 A.       The idea of making a career working for a publisher was viable in 2005. Today, both poster and limited edition publishers are facing great difficulty to maintain market share. This means artists more than ever need to be in control of as much distribution of their work as possible. The good news is there are better tools and ways for artists to do this as never before. The book goes into great detail discussing how e-commerce, social media, artist’s websites and alternative marketing all can help artists’ career self-sustain.

Q.       What other content does the second edition cover?

A.       Readers are going to find more information on copyrights and Certificates of Authenticity. There is greater emphasis on proper use of basic business marketing techniques. The idea of publicity, self-promotion and self-belief also are covered in more depth. The chapter on giclées and digital prints comes last, but is far from least. It offers solid advice on how giclées are made, what the giclée workflow looks like and how to choose and work with a digital fine art printmaker.

There is a discussion on whether using limited editions with digital prints makes sense, or whether it is a vestige of other art print making eras. The discussion goes into whether the term “giclée” has become passé and if it should be changed to the suggested “convergent media.”

Q.       Despite its name, can artists who do not use the print market find value in it?

A.       Absolutely, I have been told repeatedly by artists who have read the book, and likewise those who read my blog that the information they glean from it is nearly universal to all creative types. Whether you are a painter, sculptor, digital artist, photographer or graphic artist, you will find a wealth of information and practical advice to inspire and motivate you and help to advance your career.

Q.      You introduced the directory at the same time as you announced the second edition. What is the story behind that development?

A.      As I wrote the second edition, I did quite a bit of research to make sure I was offering my readers the best and most up-to-date advice available. As I went along, I kept a spreadsheet of the most interesting and useful links. I realized a printed version is not nearly as useful as a digital one. First, you can’t hyperlink printed material, so it requires more effort to utilize printed directory. Secondly, I realized the thing would be nearly out of date before I could get the book published because things change so much so quickly. As a result, I spent quite a lot of time developing the directory in order to make it as useful as possible for readers and companies that are listed in it.

Q.      What is up with the advertising in the book?

A.      For years I have encouraged artists to seek revenue sources in alternative spaces. This was a case of me following my own advice. The directory list of giclee printing services is quite lengthy. And, due to the economy, the changes in it are substantial. I did not want to publish a Resources section that would be dated too soon, so I left out giclee printers from the Resources section of the book. However, I wanted those companies to have a chance to get their message in front of my readers who have to be their best prospects.

I am sure my years of advertising helped me conjure up the idea of offering advertising in the book. Although no reasaonable prospect is excluded, giclee printers are the likely best prospets to benefit from advertsing in the book. I believe the combined marketing value of the various components of the advertising program make for a compelling offer for advertisers. Any advertiser in the book stands to get back more in product and services than the cost of the advertising.  Not many publishers can make that claim.

I am proud of the content of the book and the advertising program in it. I would not put any advertiser in the book who does not have a useful product to help my readers advance their careers.

Q.      The first edition was published in 2005. What took so long for you to publish the second edition?

A.      That’s a great question. For the longest time, I kept waiting for the investment firm ownership of ArtExpo, Decor Expo, Art Business News and Decor magazines to get bored with the business. I hoped a buyer with some passion for the business would come along and get these vehicles moving in the right direction. It seemed to me the industry was desparate for inspired leadership. Something it had been missing for years. I thought if I waited things would turn around and I could offer solid advice on continuing to use trade vehicles to grow art businesses.

Eventually the envisioned and desired sale happened. Unfortunately, it came as the industry had been rolled by a series of tsunami force waves that put it on its knees as never before. The beginning of the end were the 9/11 attacks that canceled the Decor Expo Atlanta show scheduled for 9/14/2001. Then came a massive influx of cheap and increasingly higher quality Chinese oil paintings.

The rise and increased importance of online retailers forever changed consumer buying habits and helped decimate the poster publishing business in the process. Changes in home design by builders included far fewer wall spaces for hanging art. Print-0n-demand technology made not only a cheaper way for artists and publishers to make art. It made it easier for consumers to create and hang their own art.

Big box retailers got into the picture (pun intended) and made wall art a commodity, much of it is tchotchke quality, but good enough for many homeowners. The growing use and importance of social media and the housing market bubble bursting along with our downtrodden economy all helped knock the wind from the sails of the art market.

Basically, I kept blogging at to keep my readers abreast of changes as I saw them and waited until now to get the second edition out. I wanted to find a time where things had come to some point where change was not happening at breakneck speed with no let up in the amount or volume of it.  Now seemed as good a time as any for the forseeable future.

I work full-time in customer development for a large high-tech consumer company. It keeps the bills paid and I have great health insurance. But, it takes a toll on my time to get projects like the book and the directory together. Anyway, I am pleased to be rolling with the second edition and believe it will be a valuable tool for visual artists seeking to grow their business in the print market. The chapters from the new version are listed below.

How to Profit from the Art Print Market – Second Edition – Table of Contents

Chapter One – Goals and Vision
Chapter Two – Understanding Art-Print Media
Chapter Three – First Things First
Chapter Four – Traits and Attributes of Self-published Artists
Chapter Five – Economics of Self-publishing
Chapter Six – Exemplary and Successful Self-published Artists
Chapter Seven – Finding and Working with a Publisher
Chapter Eight – Copyrights and Certificates of Authenticity
Chapter Nine – Trends and Inspiration
Chapter Ten – Business Marketing Basics for the Self-Published Artist
Chapter Eleven – Publicity, Promotion and the Power of Self-Belief
Chapter Twelve – Websites for Artists
Chapter Thirteen – Online Marketing and Social Media
Chapter Fourteen – Galleries, Dealers and Alternative Spaces
Chapter Fifteen – Licensing
Chapter Sixteen – Giclées and Digital Prints