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Old 03-08-2014, 09:16 PM   #1
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Post A GUIDE: Prints, Posters & Drawings oh my!

Here is a presentation consolidating information on collecting art prints, posters, drawing, paintings and the like. In my years of collecting art I have had many inquires and blunders alike. Here I would like to consolidate this knowledge in hopes of helping anyone new or old to collecting paper artifacts. So without further adieu lets get this party started.

-Before you can collect one needs to be able to obtain! Once only a market exclusive to some the collecting of art over the years has shifted with the birth of the internet to a consumer based and i use this term loosely "product."
-There are many portals for obtaining works be it local galleries & art shows, direct from the artist as a limited run or a commissioned piece. Online purchasing seems to be the norm for most as it opens a huge window to those of us not available to obtain in otherwise limited methods.
-Unless you are solely in the market for the profit, (which is an ongoing dilemma for many of us) art as anything should be held at its personal value per person.Should you pay $500 for a print or $25,000 for a original piece of art?
-What ever limits you have or do not have at your disposal are not always a justification for price. You might find much more joy in a piece framed for $40. It is all about what YOU like and what the personal value is to yourself.
-I always try to keep that in mind as sometimes driving prices from resellers do not always hold their monetary value so make sure what you are buying is for yourself. Not only an investment of hard earned cash but rather an investment of the soul.

Here are some links to some popular online portals to get your motor running.

-Works of art on paper are by tendency fragile and should be treated thusly. There is a reason for the way museums display the art they have in their collections. Its not just to keep kids with runny noses and clumsy people with all thumbs at a distance. There are many factors that can affect any works of art not just paper artifacts.
-Here are some factors to take into consideration that could adversely affect your paper or other collectables:

*LIGHT Sunlight and artificial light both can fade out the colors of the inks or paints and yellow paper. Once this process starts there is no reversing it. A conservationist for a large sum of money can restore art to a better condition but the damage will never be fully recuperated. Not that you cant have your framed print in a room that receives sunlight just keep it out of direct "beating" light. Also framing a piece of art is not truly considered a way to conserve but is more a way to display. Even with the best frame up and the best glass and keeping it in a climate controlled light controlled room the effect of exposure will eventually be noticeable even if only to a very slight degree.

*POLLUTION Sweat or oils from skin, dust, dirt, acids and other contaminants such as mold and insects are all the bane of collectors. Always avoid storing any art or collectables where these issues are or could become a factor. Any kind of matting used in framing or a backboard, poster board, glassine/PH paper paper basically anything that comes in direct contact with the print for any given time NEEDS to be ACID FREE if you want to ensure the quality of your works.

*HEAT Controlled temperature is not a issue for the vast majority but fluctuations in temperature or constant exposure to higher degrees can cause the fibers in paper to become stiff or brittle. Do not hang art even in a frame over or close to a heat source or vent.

*HUMIDITY This is the major cause of mold. The term foxing is used here as the humidity causes spotting on the paper. This can often happen when stored in a basement or likewise condition with little to no air flow. Complete lack of humidity is also not desirable. A range of about 50% should be maintained. Yes paper sure is a fussy. Fine art is like women in many ways...I kid, I kid!

-Before you can care for and or conserve your art you must first handle it. Wearing cotton gloves many would recommend as the oils from your even newly scrubbed clean dry hands can still leave impressions or stains on the paper. This is not absolute of course and is more again just a matter of preference. I have a pair and use them from time to time.
-Handling your art work at all should be as limited as needs be with caution even if protected in a sleeve as to not wrinkle or crease the paper accidentally.
-Keep away from open flames, water,food, children, pets, tornadoes, tsunamis and other likely destructive forces.
-Rather than plagiarize, I cannot explain it much better and there are already pictures and everything you need to know about preparing a print for shipping here HOW TO ROLL A PRINT
-With transportation of art being a needed part of collecting there comes the unsakely task of preparing a print for storage or framing. If it is shipped rolled is.....getting it FLAT! I do believe this to be one of the most asked questions with a very long list of answers. so.....

-First off how about a quick whack at what NOT TO DO. Please remember this is my opinion from personal experience and in no way reflects on any kind of absolute answer. Always feel free to do what you think is best and be innovative this is just what it is a guide.
-Back-rolling prints or rolling against the curl. I would not advise this. I do not like this method though some do. My reasons for this are: Your exposing the art on the outside of the roll making it easy to catch dust or dirt or get scratched even with PH paper intact. Another is the fibers in the paper have a "memory" and resiliency and I have seen many a time after back rolling (and then flattening with weights and foam boards) that that "memory" is there and it creates a wavy effect in the paper the same way as if you try to flatten a print with a heavy curl to fast right out of the tube. Another is I have also seen where the ink gets spider-webbed from it cracking under the duress of being rolled to long in one direction then rolled up against the curl. This is very particular in relation with prints on canvas.

-Some people use a iron without steam to speed along the process. I do not concur with this either. Its seems far to easy to damage the paper using this method. If you wanted to go this route or need it flat fast take it to a frame shop or print place they have a press that they use to flatten it out and usually wont charge to much for the service.

These are my methods for flattening which are tried and true and im sure you will find a large majority of people with similar methods:.

-Start by removing all the tape from the craft paper it was rolled in so it does not accidentally catch on the print or the PH paper. Find something suitable to hold down the corners of the print like a magazine, dvd case, cloth bean bag or a couple of glasses etc.

-Gently start to unroll the print and place the weights on the corners. Unroll almost all the to the end then gently let it curl itself back up. The weights are there to prevent snap-back which can potentially cause damage. I remove the corner weights and just let it sit and let it uncurl on its own for a bit.
This might or might not be a option if you cannot leave it sit without worry of tampering but I let it sit for at least a few hours sometimes a day. This gives the fibers in the paper a chance to loosen themselves without force.

-After it has had a chance to loosen itself some I lay a piece of glassine/PH paper over acid free foam board then place the print with the curl down.(usually print side down) The other piece of PH paper it usually will come with I place on the backside then place a magazine on each end or each side with the magazine protruding off the edge of the foam board.
-After that is all together I place the second foam board on top and place gentle pressure on one side (where ever the magazine is placed) and slip the magazine out rinse and repeat for the other side.
Now all that is left is to add some weights to top but not so much weight that it cause any creasing or caving of the board as that will end up reflecting on the print. Ive heard of people putting prints between boards and parking their cars on them...seems a bit excessive but whatever floats your boat! I use a small stack of magazines on each corner of the board with a 10 lb barbell weight on each stack and one in the center.Boom done! . It could take as little as a day or as long as a month for really stubborn curl in a thick paper to become flat. The hard part is done now its just tick tock tick tock.

-Also you may try to forgo or rather jump ahead a step and place the print a archival print protectors. or polyester (Mylar) sleeves before placing between boards and weights to flatten. This is tough and you risk damaging the print if it has a strong curl to it. Remember even though these sleeves and prints and drawings alike are assigned a size does not always mean the proportions are exact! I say better to be safe than sorry and wait till it at least is mostly flat before sliding into a protective sleeve or bag. Saran wrap or plastic food wrap might be good for a lot of things but so is duct tape. Would you put that on your art? Leave the kitchen in the kitchen on that one.

-Having multiple pieces of acid free foam board in different sizes might be suitable for your situation. I stick with the bigger size as It fits all my prints.If there is more than one to flatten I can stack them in that process without using anymore space or worry about weight distribution from different sizes being stacked which is also convenient.

-There are other viable methods but this is inexpensive as you can reuse all of it again and again with the occasional replacement of the glassine/PH paper and every so often the acid free foam board. I store all of these components in a large plastic bag (folded under itself to keep out dust etc...)under my bed when not in use. If you are in a pinch or need a substitute for whatever reason to replace the PH paper or just need something acid free I have found some acid free smooth finished water color paper in larger sheets at a local craft store for $5 a sheet.

-There is this nifty way as well and it does work awesome but it gets expensive if you want to do multiples or need to replace it. I have a single sheet myself and I do use it for prints with a heavy curl or on very thick paper. At some point I will probably buy more if I can find a better price. It is using Silcone rubber sheets. You can get two sheets at 24x36 for about $85 shipped. Also you can find similar silicone sheets for baking although cheaper they are a thicker size than the 1/32 and do not roll up well. Also remember you want them to be smooth and not to have any kind of ridging molded into them.

-Tubes are the worst form of having to store your prints or drawings for a length of time outside of underneath your mattress or in the freezer.
- The top forms of conservation and storage are archival in nature and material. The first and foremost and of course the most expensive and cumbersome are flat files. these come in a variety of shapes, sizes, materials and colors. Your prints placed in archival print protectors (some of which have a resealable top) then stored in a flat file assure the utmost quality and protection.
-Metal constructed flat files are generally preferable over wood. The archival quality paint finish ensures no out-gassing like you might get from wood and that the atmosphere in the flat files has no acidity or alkalinity (ph) created by the finish. There are wooden files treated properly to prevent this.
-The top side can also be used as a convenient place to flatten your paper artifacts and as you can see in the picture they can be adorned with coasters for easy movement as well as a top side presentation that can be easily changed out. Most of the drawers that make up the file come with a hinged hood and flap on the opening to encapsulate your works from further harm.

-An easier more affordable and maybe more desirable method depending on your tastes are archival museum boxes, presentation cases and portfolios.. Presentation cases are different from portfolios in that they almost always contain a ring binder and sheet protectors, but similar to portfolios in that they have zip closures, and often handles as well. They are designed more for presentations than for transportation, so they aren't available in sizes as large as portfolios are. Both cases typically comes with several sheet protectors but, the presentation case may have the capacity to store more. Additional sheet protectors, compatible with the ring mechanism, can sometimes be ordered separately.

-Please note also that not all are of the same make and quality and even size. Common issues are sized prints not quite fitting to the dimensions of the sleeve and getting two prints per page isnt always going to happen. Also the bindings on the edges of the sleeves can start to tear and the rings can come loose or fall open. I haven't owned enough of these to justify a vast opinion on quality but I will say my picturesque vs the small Itoya I have I prefer the Itoya.
-Be aware that these get quite heavy when they are filled and you could easily rip or tear the handle when picking them up if the design is faulty or the quality of the case is questionable. The last thing you want to do is drop a whole case full of your time and effort.

Well thats that I hope this finds its way to those who find it useful. There is plenty of research and options out there in product lines so make sure you do a little checking around to find what suits your needs as the links I provided are only from my own research, use and needs. I will add to this and revise as time goes and knowledge is gained. Im out, stay true believers.

Last edited by Sithlord32; 03-09-2014 at 09:20 AM. Reason: revise
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Old 03-08-2014, 10:15 PM   #2
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Thank you! This post was very helpful for me
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Old 03-08-2014, 10:44 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by RabagaZt View Post
Thank you! This post was very helpful for me
Your welcome! Glad it was put to use!
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Old 03-09-2014, 02:15 AM   #4
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really help full info ,, now i have to flatten couple of my prints
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Old 03-09-2014, 02:54 AM   #5
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Old 03-12-2014, 08:40 PM   #6
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Good stuff Sithlord. Lots of great advice and tips there. This should help a lot of collectors new to the hobby and probably even some uninformed veterans as well.
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Old 03-12-2014, 08:51 PM   #7
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Great stuff mate. Thanks.

Although I'm quite partial to the "buy prints on mass, stuff them into a portfolio, don't frame them and don't look at them again" philosophy to print collecting.

You guys should try it
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Old 03-12-2014, 09:08 PM   #8
What's another word for Thesaurus?
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Originally Posted by Hellboy View Post
Good stuff Sithlord. Lots of great advice and tips there. This should help a lot of collectors new to the hobby and probably even some uninformed veterans as well.
Thanks Hellboy! I will try to add to it and make it definitive as I can.
Originally Posted by Nidgit View Post
Great stuff mate. Thanks.

Although I'm quite partial to the "buy prints on mass, stuff them into a portfolio, don't frame them and don't look at them again" philosophy to print collecting.

You guys should try it
Haha. I think those of us that collect art have to do this at some point as there is never enough wall space for every piece BUT I would recommend looking at them from time to time at least. Its very refreshing and enjoyable or you could just use em as kindling but let me have a crack at em first
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Old 03-12-2014, 09:19 PM   #9
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Great post.
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Old 03-12-2014, 09:59 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by FROBAY View Post
Great post.
Thanks Frobay! I appreciate all feedback from everyone and if anyone has any insight I would be more than willing to work it in!
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