Blog / 2020 / How To Love Your Art #8: Document Your Work

March 16, 2020

During the course of this whole “how to love your art” blog series, we’ve covered lots of emotional stuff—things like hating on other artists and figuring out your little love connectors with your art as well as playing with your self-expression versus communication ratio. Today we’re going to start diving into the more practical stuff.

Loving your art means making it the star of your photo files.

You probably take tons of pics of the people you love, so why not photograph your art too? Just as looking back through old images of loved ones can bring back the things you adore most about them, seeing old pics of your art can remind you why your work is important.

You should be documenting the process, the finished work, and the display of your work along with the people who love your work—hopefully including yourself! I show more of the things you could document around your art in this video about how to start promoting your work, and I explain one rudimentary way of setting up a photo booth for paintings in this ancient blog post. These days, I mostly use my large format flatbed scanner to get digital images of my art, and I explain that process in the video below.

If you do not have the funds or space for your own scanner, please remember that a regular photocopy machine is a large format scanner. You just need to figure out a digital output for the copy machine so you can get your images. Also, smaller flatbed scanners that measure 8.5 by 11.7 inches are usually less than $200. They might require you to stitch together more scanned images since the working surface is smaller, but if you generally make mini art they are absolutely worth the investment.

Technical notes:

  • In the video, I am using my old computer, meaning I am using Photoshop to stitch together the images. Since filming, I’ve gotten a new computer and started using Affinity Photo instead. The programs are fairly similar, and Affinity is way more affordable. I bought it during a sale for a one-time fee of $35, and I think it’s normally $50.
  • The scanner is an Epson GT-20000 that I purchased new in 2012. I use my Mac’s Image Capture app to interface with the scanner.
portrait of a woman in her garden, pulling out the weeds of hate and bigotry
Gwenn Seemel
The Activist (Evelyn Standing Out)
2017
acrylic on bird’s eye piqué
18 inches in diameter

This painting is part of a pair that is part of a series. Notice how crisp the images is! You can even see the texture of the material I painted on if you look at the detail delow. Bird’s eye piqué has an almost pixelated appearance which is visible in the dark green by Evelyn’s ear.

painterly portrait
detail image of The Activist (Evelyn Standing Out)

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