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Professional Tips for Presenting Your Artwork

When you are done creating a piece of artwork it is now time to finish your artwork so it is presentation ready. Here are three tips to do so.

You have been working hard on a new piece of art. You have gotten to the point where you feel it is done. What a feeling? Feels good to get to that point doesn't it? I know the feeling, when you look at a piece and you think to yourself, "yup, I am happy with how it is." Whew! You did it. You created something original and unique that only you could. So you are done now, right? Well I hate to say it but no. You still have some work to do to get your art ready to show or present.

We are going to talk about the top three things to finish your artwork so it is presentation ready.

Tip #1 - Hanging Hardware - ADD IT!

As a gallery owner it seems silly I am even talking about this but it is something that gets forgotten often on artwork we receive. Your artwork needs to be ready to hang. What does that mean? It means you should have professional hardware on the back of your artwork that will support the weight of it in a safe manner.

The hardware you will use will depend on what you have created your art on and also the size and weight of it. For painters and mixed media artists you are most likely working with a stretched canvas or cradle board. If you are not having the artwork professionally framed you will need to add the hardware yourself.

We recommend using a wire whenever possible as it is one of the safest ways to hang artwork and prevents a piece from falling off the wall accidentally. Before the wire is added you will need to add eye hooks or D rings to the wooden frame on the back. We recommend measuring down a little less then a 1/3 from the top of your artwork and mark that on the artwork on each side. This is where you will add the eye hooks or D rings. If your wire is attached too high it will show when hung and if too low it will force the artwork to lean forward. For example if your artwork is 12x12 inches in size measure down about 3.5 - 4 inches from the top and mark it with a pencil on each side.

Make sure your eye hook is closed and doesn't have a gap where the wire could slip out.

This is a D Ring and you would screw these into the back side of your panel. I recommend with the D Ring facing in if you are adding wire.

If you have a drill I recommend pre-drilling holes to help the screws get started. Also make sure your hardware will NOT go thru the edge of your work! Now you can screw in your eye hooks. Make sure they are twisted far enough into the wood so it is secure. Eye hooks can be used on light weight artwork and come in different sizes.

Now you can add your wire! Oh boy, if I could have a collection of images of all the bad wire attached to artwork, I'd have a lot! Wire is weighted as to how much it can hold. You do not need thick 50lb wire for a small piece of artwork. The standard is around 10-20lbs which is what most of you will need. If your art weighs around 10lbs always go up to the 20lb wire. Error on the side of stronger than weaker. Insert the wire thru one eye hook. Then measure out your wire thru the other eye hook.

Braided wire for artists. This is flexible and allows you to wrap it easily.

Now read this one twice. Pull the wire tight. So it is straight across. Now give it just a little bit of upward slack, just a little as shown below. This is where you want to tighten the wire and secure it in place. You don't want it too tight that you can't get it on the way but you also don't want it too loose that is shows and the artwork hangs forward off the wall. There is a sweet spot and you need to be patient to find it.

Tip #2 - Bumpers

No we are not talking about bumper cars. We are talking about the small little round rubber looking pieces you add to the back corners of your artwork. But why or why would you want to add bumpers? These lovely little pieces of magic help protect your artwork from sliding on the wall, so they keep it level. They also keep the artwork from touching the wall and either scratching the surface or scratching your art from movement. And finally they help keep your art flat against the wall. They are a must for final presentation and something that pro framers know about, you should too. The ones shown below are the clear rubber ones but they come in other materials like cork or felt. Choose what works best for your artwork.

Tip #3 - Framing

Of course whenever possible we recommend framing your artwork. Framing finishes the artwork. It adds a polished and professional presentation. Don't forget that whether you are framing yourself (please only do this if you have experience doing so. I worked for a pro framer in Minneapolis so I am familiar with different framing techniques.) or having it done at a frame shop to add the cost of the frame to the final price of your artwork. The frame is meant to protect the artwork but also visually finish it. Keep it simple. Thin black frames, natural wood or white are the top three colors. Choose the color that compliments your artwork. If you don't know what to choose then go to a pro framer. Less is always more unless your style is ornate then by all means go that route!

The frame can also be something that extends your artwork. Some artists use the frame to continue the design onto. Whatever your style is follow that. If you are framing with glass always choose a UV protection glass. UV is your enemy. Archival materials should be used as well to extend the life of your artwork. If shipping glass is not a good option so think of the light weight plastics now being used for framing but again UV coated is key and opt for non glare as well. Non glare is so you can see the artwork and get reflections showing up in the glass when you view it.

Remember framing adds value. This is one last thing the customer needs to do. I am speaking of original artwork. With your reproductions those are prints in different sizes that are more affordable to purchase but then the customer needs to do the work to get it ready to hang. Many people like their artwork framed and understand it protects their investment of original artwork.

The final touches elevate your work.

Show your customers and followers you understand what it means to create a final presentation of your artwork. Your originals should stand out from your reproductions. When you finish your piece you are in full control of the final look of it. Again, if this is too much for you to do or you don't want to take on this task then find a trusted framing professional. Let them know you will be a repeat customer and you could get a discount for bringing them work on a regular basis. Either way, take your work to the next level.

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