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The Fine Art of Success

(April 2008) posted on Wed Apr 09, 2008

Exploring the potential profits in fine-art printmaking.

click an image below to view slideshow

By Clare Baker

For the past two years Muslin has been capturing her images with an 8.2-megapixel Canon EOS 20D digital SLR, but before that, she shot with a standard Nikon FM2 and then scanned the film with a Nikon Super CoolScan 4000 film scanner. Since 2000, Muslin has been outputting her images on an Epson Stylus Photo 2000P with archival inks, printing on both Epson matte presentation paper and watercolor paper.

'I've run into very few problems printing my own work,' she says, crediting her education and her experience with digital printers for her success. While Muslin acknowledges that printing her own work can be time consuming, the major benefit for her is the control it provides. 'When I’m doing the printing myself, I’m in control. I don't have to go through a proofing process. If the color isn’t how it should look, I can adjust it right away. I don’t have to go anywhere. If I need something on the spur of the moment, I can make the print myself.'

The 2000P, however, limits Muslin to producing prints no larger than 13 x 19 inches, so in 2005 Muslin relinquished some of this control and began outsourcing the printing of her larger artworks. She turned to Brooklyn Editions (, a small nearby shop, to print some of her pieces on canvas. At the time, the shop was using an Epson Stylus Pro 9600 with photographic dye inks, so there were some headaches that occasionally arose with the proofing process. 'Getting the final print to match the proofs I had output on my 2000P would sometimes involve various degrees of color adjustments and multiple proofs printed on canvas,' Muslin explains.

Also, she says, turning to an outside print provider means that the price at which she sells her final print has to be raised to offset the cost of printing-often to a price point that she might not otherwise choose had she output the print herself.