Exclusivity And What It Means For Digital Artists

When it comes to the most legitimate benefit of art, creating exclusive pieces aka originals, digital artists seem to have a hard time.
Digital study of traditional art (Elvgren)

Traditional artists have a better way of establishing themselves in the arts because of limited originals.

However, it makes sense to make a difference between original art and originals; the latter means there is only a unique piece and the other means there is an original idea. That idea can be executed in both ways, traditional and digital.

With around 10 years of experience in digital imaging, printing and working digitally, I found that it is not necessary to worry if you are working 100% digital. And if you believe you can only work on commissions, remotely or in the entertainment industry, there is a growing different market.

But it may occur that you have to educate your customers about originality and values.

In this post I want to shed some light about one of the most misunderstood terms of all time: Exclusivity.

According to the Dictionary the list below are the most appropriate for artists of all genre:

limited to the object or objects designated:
exclusive attention to business.
fashionable; stylish:
to patronize only the most exclusive clothing designers.
charging comparatively high prices; expensive:
exclusive shops.
Charging comparatively high prices is a common practice in the traditional art market, but also in any market with luxury goods.

Now when you think about why a car that is limited to 10.000 pieces is more worth than the 2 canvas prints you have ever sold of that one digital painting, you begin to feel hopefully less bad about your own values.

It is just numbers

People love the numbers game and companies give it to them.

As artists you think you have to put a limit on a print run, but here is why I have given up on that game:

The main reason is that it keeps me from doing things. It takes a considerable amount of time and energy to keep a list, to update this list and to promote this aspect. That time can be put into new paintings, simple as that.

When someone wants to put the value of a canvas or art print down because it is not limited, I try to explain exclusivity like this:

You pay extra prices on ebay for stuff that regularly cost only half the price, just because time is running out but you blame me for not gambling?
I also look for good prices, but I also pay higher prices if I know I support individuals directly without the middleman.
So, when I sell 10 Canvas prints that I have produced and framed myself, it means 10 people out of 7,3 billion on this planet only have it and share the same appreciation, does´nt this sound exclusive? Why do you need a number and pay extra for it?

It may sound harsh and if someone went away because of my argument, it means they were not my customers anyway. I believe it is time to liberate the arts and digital painting does a lot to make art affordable to anyone, not just an elite group of high-income people.

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Oliver aka Fantasio is a creative blogger who likes to share his insights about art, marketing and social media. Follow Fantasio on twitter or facebook


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