The idea: One of a kind fine art prints based on your input
Around a year ago I had the idea to start selling fine art prints of my generative art. I took a look into the NFT art space and really liked the idea of buying one of a kind editions of a generative project. What I didn’t like is that you don’t know beforehand what your edition would look like and that it would be completely random. I came up with the idea that you as a potential buyer can give your personal input to one of my generative art algorithms which in turn will render a unique and personal edition. I reviewed this idea with a couple of friends who really got excited about it. One friend actually promised to buy the first print! He wanted to use the unix time stamp of the time and date of the birth of his - soon to be born - son as his personal input. I immediately got a deadline ;)
From an idea to reality
To make this idea into a reality I started to create a list of steps that I needed to take. High-level the list looked something like below but with lots of sub tasks per list item:
- Refine and review idea with peers
- Come up with a marketing plan
- Create a website
- Research & buy a fine art printer (I wanted to do the printing myself)
- Research packaging & shipping
- Make my algorithms ready for printing and receiving personal input
As soon as I got this list - otherwise the plan - I started working on it.
To get my idea into the world I needed to do a couple of things. The first thing was creating a nice webpage where I can explain my idea. This would also be the place where people can buy my work. I started designing a landing page where I explained my idea. During this process I have reviewed the design and copy a lot with friends and improved along the way. After I was happy with the design it was time to develop it into a real website. Since I’ve experience with programming I also did this myself. Next to the website I also made a small plan for making posts on my Instagram and Twitter.
Printing, packaging & shipping
From the start I really wanted to make my own prints so I needed a fine art printer. I started doing research online and the first choice I needed to make was the type of inkt I was going to use. I got two options dye or pigment. Pigment is much more long-lasting than dye but is also more costly. After some thought I wanted my art to be as long-lasting as possible so pigment ink was the way to go. This choice also decided which type of fine art printer I was going to buy. After watching a lot of reviews about the EPSON SC-P900 (especially the reviews of Keith Cooper) I was convinced this was going to be the printer that I wanted.
During this time I also did some research into packaging material. I made the decision to use A4 or A3 size paper which sent me into the direction of using hard cardboard envelopes for the packaging with a cellophane sheet as an extra protection for the fine art print.
After a month or two of working on my tasks I got the good news that the son of my friend was born! I immediately thought - I missed my deadline ;p. The same day I bought the EPSON printer and started to speed up for the launch. A couple of weeks later I soft launched my website so friends and family could test it and I could resolve some bugs. After posting a reel about my webshop on Instagram the idea became officially a reality when the first orders were coming in.
During this period I learned a lot and made plans to improve my concept and webshop. I also dropt by my friend so we could frame his newborn son’s edition (and my first sold print ever ;) )
I’m currently focussing on adding more algorithms, improving my webshop and getting more traffic. One way of getting more traffic is this blog where you can read more about the work that is getting into making my generative art.
Hope this blog gave you some insight inside my process of launching my fine art shop!