Orders for our current Print Offer close today at 12 noon Pacific U.S. Time, which is 8:00 p.m. in London. We only run each of our sales for a limited time, and when they're over, they're over. So today is Last Chance day on this one! Don't delay.
[UPDATE 12 noon Pacific Time Friday 6/5/15: Sale has ended. Thanks for your interest! If you need to contact him, you can email Ctein at firstname.lastname@example.org. —Ed.]
(By the bye, if I can be permitted a little editorializing—and isn't that what a blog is all about?—let me just admit that, yes, I turn salesman during our print sales. And that is organic. I've long been a bit of an evangelist for original prints. I especially love getting real prints into the hands of people who might not otherwise buy art from living, practicing artists. Hearing from our first-time buyers is always a satisfying sidelight of our modest little print offers.
The origin of this proselytizing impulse comes from long ago. I was working as a handyman at a garden center close to downtown Washington, D.C., and had just taken up photography. To learn how to mat and frame my own work (which I have never done since, but never mind that), I took a job moonlighting at a frame shop run by a woman named Sue.
I learned a lot at Sue's frame shop, not least of which was that all work and no play made Mike a dull and sullen boy—I think I peaked at 66 hours of wage-earning work a week, and, I discovered, that was more than I cared to slog away, nose-to-grindstone, week-in and week-out. I was not an angry young man, but although I was pleasant and good humored to outward appearances most of the time, I was more often peevish, cynical and somewhat irascible on the interior; lots of things about the way the world worked irked me. One thing that bugged me was the parade of customers who would come filing in with the same tired cheap-ass posters to frame, all of them thinking they were exercising taste and that their taste was unique and they weren't sheep. Well, that was obnoxious of me...wasn't my place or my business to judge them like that. Told you I was pettish then. Callow and green.
But the other thing that still rankles me a bit is that most people out in the great mass of the public at large (all present company excepted, I assure you!—TOP readers being all good-looking and well above average) will not spend as much on what they put in a frame as they will spend on a frame. That, if I recall, was Sue's guideline for the art she'd put on the frameshop walls—it had to cost less than the shop's own custom frame that might contain it.
Her belief seemed justified by her customers. Of course, there was a welter of self-interest and selection bias at work in that small sample I was reacting to, but it still seems like a shame that people can think less of art than they do of the frames meant to hold it.
Another great thing about our print sales is their nice effect on our featured artists. It's very gratifying to them to earn several thousand dollars at a pop from their photography. Too often, even good—sometimes even great—photographers feel themselves toiling in undeserved anonymity, with no society of interested parties to support them. This has been a nice week for Kate, I am guessing, just as each sales week is a happy time for most of our featured photographers.
I think I should end this parenthetical now.)
More later, after this sale closes. I've finally decided which one to buy for myself; it has taken me months to decide.
Original contents copyright 2015 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved. Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
Jack: "I can attest to the pleasure a TOP print offer photographer gets from receiving orders from around the world over a five day period. For me last June [here's Jack's sale —Ed.] it covered four continents, and 13 countries, with little alerts from PayPal for each order. Ctein is perhaps jaded by now, but I suspect for Kate every order was fun."
R. A. Krajnyak: "Thanks for the opportunity to purchase one of Kate's lovely prints. I immediately fell in love with her work after your first post about her. I went to her site and looked at everything she had posted. One image in particular resonated with me a bit more than the others. I had little hope that out of all Kate's work on her website it would be offered in the sale. Imagine my delight when it was one of the images in the print sale. I wasted no time Monday putting in my order for Bird At Window Feeder. Thanks again...."
Ruby: "What you say about frames is so true, and has long baffled me. My husband's sister has several paintings displayed—the sort of thing one might expect in a hotel room—and when she points them out she'll say, 'Look at this frame,' referring to some wide, hideous, lumpy, pseudo-gilded, appalling-to-my-eye monstrosity that is in some cases two or three times the size of the art it contains. She gave something similar to her mother, lovingly pointing out the enormous, ghastly frame dwarfing and overwhelming a tiny and largely uninteresting beach scene. I guess to her the frame is the art, and the picture is merely an excuse to display it."