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The Nature of Fine-Art Printing

(March 2007) posted on Thu Mar 15, 2007

Five print providers share their experiences working with fine art and artists.


By Clare Baker

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Today, Duganne Ateliers (www.duganne.com), with a staff of three (including Duganne and his wife), has a strong client base, attracting artists primarily from the West Coast as well the Midwest, New York, and Europe. He outsources his scanning to ArtScans Studio, a scanning service begun by a former colleague at Nash Editions, David Coons. "All my profiles are created and [ArtScans] has them on hand there, so everything is dedicated to the printers and the inks and papers that I’m working with." And with Duganne’s extensive line-up of printers, his clients are sure to have their specific needs met. "The needs of the artists and the type of imagery they bring in," he says, "will determine the type of printer I’m working on." In addition to two Iris printers, Duganne uses an Epson Stylus Pro 10600 and 9800 and a 72-in. MacDermid ColorSpan X12 for printing on very large canvas and watercolor paper. Duganne also has several HP printers including the HP Designjet 130, 8750, and the new Z3100.

Just down the coast of southern California, Jim Respess also has capitalized on the power of word of mouth to establish himself as one of San Diego’s leading reproducers of fine art. After a successful career in medicine and science, Respess decided to pursue his passion for art. To further his education, he enrolled in classes at a community college, and it was there he discovered Photoshop. "I was very motivated to use Photoshop for my own artwork because I had all this surreal imagery I was trying to do in the darkroom...it’s as if I was waiting for Photoshop for several decades."

In searching for print providers to produce his work, however, he found that "while the equipment was there, there was an element of talent missing." Respess began doing most of the work himself on various shops’ machines. After learning the ins and outs of fine-art printing, he says it was a "no brainer" to begin printing for other artists. He opened Green Flash Photography (www.greenflashphotography.com) in 2000 and since then, has established a consistent client base almost exclusively through word of mouth. "I’ve built my reputation with my artists, and then they’ve sent other artists. It’s really snowballed."


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