I put some terms on Facebook recently to see what my non-artist friends knew about them:
While many people may have heard these terms before, one friend made a very telling comment to me when I explained that these terms were for art print choices:
“Wait—what? Those are for ORIGINALS, right? I thought prints were just on paper.”
Her comment confirmed my suspicion that there is definitely some room for explanation about the various choices available when buying art prints. Having a better understanding of these options will give you a full understanding of the power of art prints to cost-effectively transform your space, and it will help you choose the best option for your needs.
Let’s go through the various choices and then I’ll talk about why high-quality fine art prints are the best way to up your decorating and gifting game.
The artwork is printed on heavy cotton canvas that can be framed, mounted, or stretched for later use. This option is a good choice for my many international art collectors —your shipping costs will be the most inexpensive (usually around $30) because I can ship it compactly rolled in a tube. You can then have the print framed in your own country.
Another reason to order this type of print would be that you plan to use your own frame or frame the print yourself for a one-of-a-kind look. Custom framing can be expensive, so an alternative is to buy readymade IKEA frames and just get a custom mat to insert the artwork. However, if you already own an incredible frame, an art print that fits and goes well with it will be magnificent—and worth the fee for the framer’s expertise and advice. For these reasons, canvas roll is still the most popular option in my shop. It has no risk of tearing, it's inexpensive to ship, and gives you the flexibility for display and storage.
This is a personal favorite and I'll show you why. The artwork is printed on cotton canvas and then stretched onto a wooden frame. I have all of my prints stretched over 1 & 1/2" wood with the art continuing around the edges as shown in the first photo at the top of this article. You can hang it on your wall out of the box! This is a clean, minimalist look that goes very well with today’s contemporary style. It’s easy to hang and maintain. I love this option because it's as close to an original looking piece as you can get and often feels like the real thing in a room.
You can pop a nail in the wall and hang the print directly, or sit it above a mantel or bookshelf. I love to use stretched canvas prints in dining rooms as well as living room statement pieces above the couch.
My friend was right—prints are also sold on paper! This is a great option for gifting, long-distance shipping, those with a special small frame in mind, and those on a tight art budget. It’s a wonderful way to bring your favorite artist’s work into your home for everyday joy. It also makes for nice additions to a budding gallery wall. You can mix and match small paper prints for under $50 and decorate like a pro!
So, why are art prints the best way to boss up your home design and your gifting? Let's count the ways…
They are an affordable way to invest in beauty! Original art costs 3–4 times as much as a stretched canvas print, if you are lucky. There is a print for every budget.
Because they are not expensive, they are not a huge commitment. Decorate your home and be happy! These decisions should not stress you out or make you feel burdened.
Prints are fast and easy. Commissioning an original painting is a long, involved process. Prints provide quick gratification, and you are sure of what you are getting.
The quality is superb. All of my art prints are printed professionally using archival materials. This means that your print will NOT fade as many cheaper alternative tend to do.
Canvas roll and stretched canvas prints look almost as good as originals! They are a very classy way to decorate.
As with all art, art prints are an expression of your personal aesthetic and style. They provide you comfort and joy for years.
What other questions do you have about buying prints? I’m here to help.