- What are you having framed? Is it something rare, or something that can be easily replaced?
- Just remember, to keep value, No Glue, Acid Free and UV
- Limited edition and limited edition signed art - as well as original art and collectibles should always be conservation framed, it protects the value of your artwork. Old photos that have no negatives should be considered limited ed/originals.
- When to use glass and mats? Oil paintings, acrylic, canvas, wax resist and treated paper do not need glass. The frame designer can tell you when you need glass to protect the piece being framed.
- Mats keep the glass from touching the artwork, as well as adding colour as a design element - you should never have glass directly ontop art or a photo, as it can lead to image transfer and condensation. There are sometimes exceptions made for pastel or charcoal artworks.
- UV glass - protects your work from fading - it’s not much more than regular glass and it’s really worth the price, once that pic has faded, and particularly a signature, you can’t bring it back.
- Acid-free mats and backing - ever see old art or photos that have brown freckle marks and yellow-brown patches? That’s acid burn, it happens when you have a material high in acidity (cardboard, wood pulp, paper) up against your art. If you have any pictures backed with cardboard, run down to the craft shop, get a big sheet of acid-free foam core for under $10 and replace all that cardboard.
- Conservation mounting - framers will use a hinge of acid-free tape, acid free clear corners, NEVER GLUE or use non acidic tape. Dry mounting is gluing, you can choose conservation dry mounting for large pieces that you want to stay completely flat, however, the long-term effects of this method haven’t been tested yet.
- Pinning - some items are framed using pins, like fabrics, jerseys, needlework, it is better to have the item sewed down using monofiliment, that way there are no holes left, and if is more secure
- One way to save money is on the frame, since you should not skimp on the UV glass and acid-free mats. You can go to a shop and ask them to cut a frame you already have down to size, or get new mats and glass for an existing frame. If you make your own frame, you need to have a 1/4 inch rabbit or lip to hold the glass.
- Never use window glass for framing, it is not clear, has inclusions, is too heavy.
- For really big framing jobs, you can use plexi instead of glass to reduce the weight - more weight, you need a bigger frame with larger corners.
- Wood frames cost less than metal, but for larger framing, metal is a good choice, metal frames come in more finishes, textures and colours these days.
- Frame to the art, never to the room. You will have the art a lot longer than it will be hanging in one room
- You wont’ save money going to craft stores for framing, they have artificial ‘sales’ each week, they have a limited supply of frames and mats . Local custom shops know who their competition is and price accordingly - also, a custom frame designer knows what you are bringing in and how to frame it properly, their designers have been trained in conservation techniques as well as having to have a sense of art history, period detail, colour, scale, taste and design, - craft stores have a high staff turnover with only the most basic training - and I know, cos I’ve worked at both ends of the custom framing spectrum!
- Check the leftover stock, discontinued moulding sometimes people return frames because they’ve changed their minds, even if it’s an odd size frame, you can have a mat cut with multiple openings to suit your uses.
- Artists, save money buy ordering ready-made sizes online or learn how to frame by watching tutorials, if you know how to assemble a piece, you could save the fitting fees by just ordering the materials from the local shop.
Here is the thing my mentor told me when I was getting out of art school. Never Do Work For Free.
For one thing, the people hiring you can afford to pay you, they aren’t a charity. (unless they really are a charity, in which case you are paid by the tax write-off, but I digress) What they do is get young new artists and tell them oh, this will give you Experience! It’s published work! (I would love to try this on a new plumber or a mechanic)
They never mention that if the work is good enough to be published, it’s good enough to be paid for.
The company getting your work is double billing their client, one fee for themselves, one fee for your art - which you never see.
So you have a portfolio of art you’ve done for free, and you shop it around town, and you get - you guessed it - more work for free! That’s what you become known for. I’ve had friends who were fantastic artists have to move to another part of the country just to get out of the pro-bono hole they’ve fallen into.
Now my mentor, who was offered this dead-end deal of no pay would always take his work back home, and would get a call within an hour or two, and voila, he’d get the gig and was paid what he wanted. He said to me, Act like a professional and you’ll be one, act like an Amatuer, and you will be paid accordingly, in all honesty, the quality of your work doesn’t even enter into the equation. (and as a result I’ve never done work for free that was not a gift or for charity)
Do I sound angry about this? Yes I am angry, because I’ve seen this all my life, my friends, my peers, my students, and particularly these days when ‘contests’ are rife online, make this picture for my etc. etc, and it will get you … pretty much no where.
These are in some cases, corporations, getting this free work, which they own all the rights to in perpetuity - when you sell art legit, you only grant certain limited publishing rights for a time period and never give up your copyright.
Just think how this looks on a resume/portfolio ‘I won a contest’ or you could say ‘these are my clients ‘
And maybe you want to do that contest for fun, and that’s your right, but after a time, you’ll feel cheated, particularly when you figure out you’ve not only given your work away, but paid for someone to take it, because you are now out your time, education, and materials. You’ve also helped to devalue your profession, because with a wide audience out there, willing, and even grateful to do work for free, why pay any artist for their efforts?
other than the fact that people who repost are defacto taking credit, (because people send them messages regarding my art and not to me) and then people can’t track the work to me and see more of the stuff I’m doing, and that this is my profession (artist) this is how I find a lot of cool blogs and make new friends, by checking out who’s liking and reblogging on my pics. So another request not to repost, but reblog, thanks.
In reference to my artwork where Dean is sewing a heart onto his arm for Valentines Day
daughter wondered how he could sew the heart when he’s holding the needle using his right hand (when it should be his left) and I said, well, you can see the stitches are all the way around, so he’d done sewing, and he knows that we are watching him, he’s using the other hand to er, cover himself up.
and I then I went onto say, he’d use a curved needle, but I supposed that people wouldn’t know what that was, or the forceps -which would appear as scissors. It’s fantasy. Then I told my kid, of course, you would ask that question, she pays attention to details.