19 Jun 13

How To Manage Electronic Art Images – What All Artists Should Know

As I’ve mentioned before in the Smart Art Blog Series, artists need to keep electronic versions of all of their individual pieces of artwork.  This is not only important to keep an organized and detailed catalog of your work for your own reference and use but electronic versions of your artwork are almost always needed when entering various art contests, submitting your work for a jurying process and for use on websites and other online uses.  In today’s blog post, we will focus on the following things:

  • What steps each artist will need to take when getting their electronic images ready for submission

  • What is asked for in a typical call for artists to compete in an art contest

  • How to get photos ready for online presentation

Here are several steps below that you can use:

Step One

You will either need to own, borrow or use a high quality capturing device - high quality camera or high quality scanner.  You will have to do some research to determine which type of camera or scanner will work best for you, your type/size of work and your budget.  Ask other artists that you know or a professional photographer what they use or would recommend.  You can also hire a professional photographer or a digital imaging company to capture high quality images of your work if that fits in your budget.

Step Two

Make use of a photo manipulation program (i.e. Photoshop) in order to make your photographs look as close to the original artwork as possible.  This is important because you will need to manipulate the images of your work to accurately represent the original pieces of artwork.

Step Three

Now that you’ve gotten your work captured, you must understand what the digital requirements are for each contest you are interested in entering.  Each contest should advise the artists what the maximum size the electronic images can be (ex. 1200x 3000 pixels). They may also specify the resolution that the image needs to be (ex. 200 or 300 dpi). These are all of the types of things that photo manipulation software is used for.

Step Four

You need to have your images set-up in several different ways such as images ready for printing the largest file size and the highest resolution that you can get from the image (the highest dpi).  Note: when an image is downloaded from a camera, it will automatically be downloaded in the highest resolution so you will need to make sure that you keep that level of resolution throughout your photo manipulation process.

Step Five

In addition to the photos used to enter art contests and for responding to calls for artists, you must also have photos of your work that are ready for placing them on a website.  These images must be small enough to use on the Internet and that can also be emailed.  These images will be of a smaller size than the ones used to submit to art contests and will be a lower resolution (ex. 300-400KB and 72 dpi).  Always remember to watermark your images to protect your intellectual property especially when placing them on the Internet.

Also remember that you will need to name each photograph and have a short description that you will be able to use for each whether posting them online or emailing them in response to a call for artists.  If you follow the steps above you will be ready for any of your electronic artwork needs!


Visit my Meylah store where you can download the template that  will allow you to track where your various pieces of artwork are being shown at all times. 

Artists who exhibit their work in many places at one time often have a hard time keeping track of where everything is. 

Posted by: Nakeesa Frazier

Posted in: business management

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1 Roger Safont commented on 06/19/2013

I am not artists but i have some close friends as an artists so your some points are understood by me and i have copied it on doc. file and will mail my friends as its useful for them to kow this. Thanks for your post.

2 Nakeesa Frazier commented on 06/20/2013

Hi Roger Safont,

Thank you for passing along the information to your artist friends! I hope that they find the information and the free download helpful.


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