Pixels.com Offers Alternative to Traditional Art Licensing

If you would like to sell more of your designs, art, or photographs, now is a great time to check out everything that’s possible through Pixels.com. Their “set-your-own-price” alternative to traditional art licensing gives you greater control over how much you can earn from the sale of your images.

Pixels.com is global print-on-demand marketplace that allows design enthusiasts to choose which images they would like to have printed on more than 25 different products, including framed prints, metal prints, wood prints, greeting cards, T-shirts, hoodies, tote bags, duvet covers, men’s apparel, women’s apparel, throw pillows, shower curtains, beach towels, smartphone cases, and more.

Custom tote bag with starfish image by Katherine Young
Tote bag printed with image by Katherine Young-Beck

Pixels handles all the details associated with printing, matting, framing, packaging, shipping, insuring, and customer service. Orders placed through Pixels.com go to one of 14 production facilities in 5 countries around the world. This makes it easy to print and ship your products to customers anywhere in the world. For example, if a buyer in Germany orders a product decorated with one of your images, the product will be printed and shipping a facility in The Netherlands.

The Pixels site, which attracts 5 million unique visitors per month, typically receives a surge or orders in November and December from holiday gift givers.

You Set Your Own Prices

Unlike licensing deals in which the publisher sets the price and dictates the amount of royalties you will receive, Pixels.com lets you set the price for the products made with your images.

As a seller, you will see a base price that covers production and fulfillment costs for each item. The amount you add as the mark-up will be the selling price. When the product sells, you earn 100 percent of the markup amount.

You can also choose which of your images you will permit to be printed on which products. For example, a high-resolution nature photograph that looks spectacular as a large metal print might not look the same on a beach towel or duvet cover.

Pixels.com was founded by Sean Broihier, the self-taught programming whiz who started the Fine Art America platform in 2006. Pixels.com complements the Fine Art America site by appealing to a broader base of customers who may be interested in photo merchandise, fashion apparel and accessories, and home decor items.

Sean Broihier was one of the first e-commerce entrepreneurs to enable all living artists to sell their artwork online. He said the “set-your-own-business-model” has been a big driver of the growth of the platform: “It has always been my opinion that artists should be able to set their prices as high or as low as they want to.” If an art publisher chooses to sell a canvas print for $50 and offers artists a 10% royalty, the artists shouldn’t have to decide whether or not they are willing to accept $5 for the sale of their art on the prints.

Multiple Options for Sales and Marketing

Over the past 11  years, Broihier has really listened to the concerns of artists and photographers who sell their work on the site. So he has continuously developed tools that enable you to adapt to all the different ways that art is now discovered, promoted, and purchased.

For example, here are just a few of your options. You can:

  • Sell Pixel’s print-on-demand products through your own Shopify store.
  • Sell print-on-demand products through your own branded storefront hosted by Pixels.com
  • License individual images and set your own terms for royalty-free and rights-managed licenses.
  • License images for streaming to digital displays.
  • Connect directly with buyers who express interest in buying one of your originals.
  • Print sample products for display at art fairs or in your studio. You can also print sell sheets that show potential buyers how your art will look of various products and explain how they can order them.
  • Publish news releases, blog posts, e-newsletters, and e-mail marketing programs through Pixels.com.
  • Run automated marketing campaigns on Facebook and Twitter

You can even use an iPad app as a sales tool. If a potential buyer of your art wants to preview how it might look on their walls, your can use the augmented reality interface on the Pixels.com iPad app.

The Pixels app takes the guesswork out of buying art online. After the customer the size of the print and how it will be matted and framed, the buyer can view an actual-size preview on their own walls. They can even see what the finished product will look like from different angles within the room.

Everything the viewer sees is perfectly to scale. For instance, a 24 x 36 inch canvas print will appear on the wall at exactly 24 x 36 inches. As the individual walks around the room, the app uses the iPad’s video camera and a unique tracking algorithm to keep the image perfectly positioned in the desired location on the wall.

Pixels.com also has deals with retailers such as Deck the Walls, The Great Frame Up, and the Framing and Art Center to sell artwork at more than 150 retail locations in the U.S. and Canada.  Plus, Pixels.com has special programs available for large-volume buyers in the hospitality and design fields.

Special Features

If you want to see the types of art that buyers purchase through the Pixels.com each day, you can see it. Pixels.com also publishes real-time comments and reviews from customers who are (and aren’t) totally satisfied with the ordered products.

You can also join online communities of like-minded artists.  The site includes more than 1900 groups dedicated to topics such as office decor, self-promotion, historical buildings, the Adirondacks, orchids, and photographs edited to look like paintings.    

If you would rather spend your time creating more art than worrying about how to get it reproduced, promoted, and sold, Pixels.com can help.

The site was set up to power sales everywhere artwork is bought and sold: “It doesn’t matter if you want to hang your artwork, carry it, wear it, license it, or stream it.” Millions of buyers all over the world decorate their homes and accessorize their lives with Pixels products

Gallery Offers Photographers Open-Ten-One Print-Sales Model

CapturedGlobal.com is a new online gallery that sells fine photography from renowned international photographers working across all genres.

The gallery was started by Peter Johnson, who has been collecting art for 35 years. Instead of the multiple-size, multiple-edition, multiple-price model used by some online fine-art photography galleries, Captured Global respects the creative goals of each photographer by printing each image only at the size the photographer requests.

As a photographer who aspires to the level of talent of the artists he represents, Johnson understands that envisioning the size of a final print is actually part of a photographer’s creative process. Just like any other artist, a photographer starts with an idea in their mind’s eye of how a certain picture should be presented.

Photographers can choose to have their works reproduced in (1) an open edition; (2) a limited edition of 2 to 10 prints; or (3) an edition of one. Johnson believes this “Open-Ten-One” model gives photographers more control over their work in the marketplace, provides a platform from which photographers can build a fan base, and more closely aligns the collecting of photography with the rest of contemporary art.

“Castleton Leap” by Krystle Wright is available as a 30 x 40 print through the Captured Global gallery: www.capturedglobal.com

“For many artists, it’s difficult to break into the gallery scene. For every one photographer picked up by a gallery, there are hundreds of others producing extraordinary, collectible pieces,” says Johnson. “So we present a very intriguing option to the typically higher-priced, limited editions that galleries establish in an effort to create and control demand.”

Open vs. Limited Editions

An open edition means that there won’t be a predetermined limit on how many images will be published. Rather, the images will only be available for a limited period of time. Open editions offered at reasonable prices can help photographers build a fan base of collectors-a critical mass of people who love the work, says Johnson.

He disagrees with those who question the merits of open editions. As a collector of fine photography himself, he says he never once thought: “Oh, I love that piece because there are only five of them in the world.”

“When you think about it, it shouldn’t matter how many prints are in circulation, because you should be buying work because you love it and will enjoy it every day,” Johnson explains. “While limited editions were created as a means to establish urgency and ‘future value,’ the strategy only works if the edition sells out and returns as a resale on the secondary market.” On the web, you can find limited editions that haven’t yet sold out even after 10, 20, or 30 years.

“Famous photographers such as Ansel Adams, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Julius Shulman offered images as open editions, many of which hold tremendous monetary value today,” says Johnson. “At Captured Global, the images, the artists, and their stories are our centerpiece, and we deliver great value for nearly anyone’s pocketbook.”

“Our open/ten/one strategy helps our artists establish ‘real value’ for their work,” says Johnson. Once open editions have helped a photographer build a good, strong following, “We’ll work them on offering a limited-edition image (no more than 10) at a higher price. Then, as their reputation grows and their work becomes more sought after, we may offer an edition of one, creating real value and demand for a singular, exceptional image.”

Participation by Invitation Only

Johnson digs deep to find intelligent and culturally relevant work worthy of private and public collections. Each of the 18 photographers whose work is currently shown on CapturedGlobal.com has been invited to participate. These selected artists have been asked to invite others whose work they admire.

“This unique curatorial process ensures highly reputable work and lineage of talent,” explains Johnson. “Collectors will find the work of young, emerging photographers side by side with established masters whose work is found in private and public collections around the world, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Getty Museum, the Scottish Museum, and the National Gallery in Prague.”

“At Captured Global, we’re all about getting as many images as possible into the hands of as many collectors as possible,” says Johnson. “It’s a win-win for both artists and collectors.”


Captured Global

FolioLink Helps Photographers and Artists Promote Events

FolioLink develops visually rich Flash and HTML websites for photographers, artists, and galleries who want to showcase, sell, and deliver images online. The sites combine distinctive aesthetics with features that make it easy for creative professionals to manage and update the sites themselves.

Regardless of where your current website is hosted, you can use FolioLink’s new Promote Me Pages service to create online self-promotion materials that deliver high-impact visual content without interfering with your main portfolio website.

You can use Promote Me Pages to advertise events, new lines of work, publications, gallery openings, behind-the-scenes videos, workshops, and other activities.

The service enables you to create elegant, standalone micro-sites that support text, imagery, and videos. Each micro-site can be aesthetically tailored so that your self-promotion efforts are visually consistent with the look and feel of your website. The pages can viewed on PCs, Macs, laptops, iPhones, and iPads and can be used to drive traffic either to your main website, or other destinations such as Facebook pages or your Twitter account. Promote Me Pages can also be used in conjunction with your blog.

The introductory subscription price of $99 per year enables you to publish 99 PromoteMe pages . FolioLink clients can benefit from the Promote Me Pages services at a discounted price.

FolioLink is part of ISProductions, a Virginia-based technology company founded in 1987. FolioLink develops Internet tools geared to help photographers and artists capitalize on the business opportunities of the web.

Earlier this year, they announced the ability to automatically optimize clients’ online portfolios for the iPhone interface.

FolioLink also offers an Image Archive standalone e-commerce website with the workflow, proofing, and presentation features needed by commercial, stock, editorial, event, and fine-art photographers as well as artists and galleries.



Examples of Promote Me Pages

Sell Instagram Photos as Prints, Cards, and Posters

Instaprints is a new online marketplace for buying and selling Instagram photos as framed prints, canvas prints, greeting cards and posters. Instagram users can open a free account on Instaprints.com, import their photos, and begin selling print products in less than a minute.

Instaprints was founded by Sean Broihier, the same programmer/entrepreneur who started the Fine Art America online marketplace for fine artists and photographers. According to Broihier, Instaprints was designed for anyone who wants to turn their Instagram photos into an online business: “Instagram users love transforming their photos into stylized works of art. Our website allows those users to generate income by selling their photos as actual art products which you can hang on your wall.”

Instaprints sets a base price for each available product, to which you can add your own markup. When a sale is made, you keep their entire markup. For example, the base price of an 8 x 8-inch canvas print is $25. If you sell it for $100, you keep the $75. The base price of a 16 x 16 canvas print is $42.50; the base price of a 20 x 20 canvas print is $42.50.

For each photo you sell, Instaprints handles all of the processing, including: printing, framing, matting, packaging, shipping, collecting payments from the buyers (and sending the profits to you). Each print is manufactured at one of Instaprint’s three U.S. production facilities and delivered ready to hang with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

In addition to providing an online marketplace and order fulfillment service, Instaprints.com includes community features that allow buyers and sellers to follow their favorite photographers, participate in online discussions, advertise local events, chat live with other members, and comment on their favorite photos.