After years of considering editioning of prints , watching Ed Burtynsky and others in my home town I have came up with the following strategy for myself.
First consider that I print in many forms, I am not stuck on any one process . I feel that the Image is the most important aspect of this process.
so my editions are based on numbers of prints I make from any image, regardless of size , materials used.
I am now making 10 to be my largest number of any one image , with two artist proofs .
I am over the next 10 years going to print out the editions of images that I like. I will print them on the material I think appropriate, but will be open to consider a replacement
image on another material, if this happens I will tear up one of the numbered prints to make an appropriate sale.
for example take the image attached[ATTACH=CONFIG]70236[/ATTACH
I am ultimately making tri colour carbons of this image, I will make it and edition of 10.
I already know that I can sell this image as a much larger inkjet .
Therefore I am publicly stating that if you want this image, you can purchase a smaller colour carbon pigment print.
or you can purchase a larger inkjet.
I will be honest with what I percieve as life span of each .. with the colour carbon 10 -20 x the life span of the inkjet.
But in both cases the print I sell will be one of the edition.
The number will go down in each sale, whether it is inkjet, carbon transfer, or even a BW conversion.
This may not be the classical case , but watching threads about Eggleston and the lawsuit that followed I believe, that if you are upfront, realistic and honest with
your prints you will be OK.
Thanks Bob. Your method is exactly what I have been thinking but am now reconsidering. Whether it's 8x10, 20x24, standard developed 10 years ago or lith developed yesterday, the edition is for that image. This is what I'm running into with a normally printed image I printed 25 years ago and sold several copies of. Don't know how many...maybe 3 or 4. Now I'm lith printing it with a totally different look and range of tones. If I were to edition I'd have to guess at how many I previously sold. Some would say it could just be a new edition. I think it's interesting that various prints in an edition could be way different from others, reflecting the photographer's evolution.
Can I ask why you are limiting to 10, and what you think about the argument for keeping it open and available for that 11th print? I agree with you but am curious about your thoughts. I really don't buy or appreciate the allegation by some that creating "artificial scarcity" to pressure the price up, if you're able, is a bad thing. Artists rarely cover a fraction of their costs and to try to get a respectful price for hard work is a normal goal.
What I had been thinking is that, if a buyer likes/values that a print is only one of 10 GSP's out there, and they believed in my work enough to buy it, then I'm thankful and would be happy to provide them with that guarantee. And it would save me having to print the damn thing too many times! I want to drive towards NEW stuff!
Well....time to pop open a cold one and actually print. Enough philosophy!
I only know a few who actually print all the images in the editions, due to fame, finances and time. Ed Burtynsky is my hero when it comes to workflow, I have watched
him for over 24 years now and am amazed at his continued excellence. There are others but he is quite significant and someone to watch.
I have limited to 10 because I feel that knowing the number of images I have, and the fact I own all the equipment to logically print out my work, I am
challenging myself to actually start printing out the images I have grown to like and exhibit.
I think it may sound completly silly to some to have a room full of boxes that archivally store up to thousands of prints that I intend to print.
Even if I end up with 1000 images I want to print, we are talking about 12000 prints, not to mention the expense of separation film to make the colour carbons.
I would have kept it to 5, but in some cases, it takes a year or two seeing different versions before you are happy with your interpretation of an image.
It does not mean your first attempts were bad, its a confidence thing, so therefore I am mixing the looks within an edition and letting the buyer decide which one they like.
Re printing out the edition before you kick the bucket.
What silly ass in his right mind would do such a thing, but then I remember the **build it and they will come** line of thinking and if I do not do it.*** A full time printmaker** then who would? This will take me the rest of my life to finish, but I have a great person Laura my wife behind me and she is doing the same thing , so it makes sense in my family.
I see your pain about images you sold earlier , and yes you do have a dilemma but I think you can come to a workaround, I would be trying to find out who purchased and have an open discussion with them about your editioning dilema.
I have taken stock of all the images I have made, the bulk of the images I have were taken in the last 10 years as the 20 years before I was learning how to cope as a printmaker. Therefore any I have sold I am aware who they are and I have already started the process of informing them of my goals.
Over the next 10 years I plan to exhibit internationally as much as I can financially and physically manage.
If I have any talent , people will buy my work and the silliness will make sense.
If I am a loser and nobody likes my work then , I have the memories of hundreds- thousands of days in the darkroom doing what I love to do.
I do not play golf, I do not play an instrument and my days of hockey and baseball are behind me so I figure its a good plan for me.
This is only my personal opinion, but I find the whole idea of editions and artists proofs completely pretentious.
You are entitled to your opinion.
Originally Posted by cliveh
Pretentious: "Attempting to impress by affecting greater importance, talent, culture, etc., than is actually possessed."
I see Tim Rudman has limited edition prints. He's about the least pretentious person I've ever met. I'm sure there are many other artists in many mediums who edition and have valid reasons! I agree it's unnecessary for the vast majority of us, me included.