Get Creative With Prints

Here’s an artistic idea that can increase your personal style points quickly, without spending a lot of money: learn to get creative with prints.

Prints are reproductions of original artwork, usually photos and paintings, that are available at a lower cost. Some are limited editions that carry numbers. Some are produced more widely. When combined with the affordable custom framing now available online, they all offer very cool creative possibilities.

Prints are an extremely economical way to decorate. In fact, they can transform the job, whether you are doing a room at home or an entire office. Prints allow you to use beautiful, eye-catching imagery that sets the right tone, without the hassle and costs of running down original pieces to match your vision. In fact, you can do most of the work from your laptop.

You also won’t have to spend half a paycheck. Using prints, you can create a high-quality hanging image—with custom framing and matting—for about $100, if you work in standard sizes. Shop around and you can cut that price substantially.

That also makes it a trick you can use to give interesting gifts. Keep a few well-chosen prints in professional frames on hand and you’ll have exceptional gifts for birthdays or when you head to a friend’s house for dinner. (You can also skip that emergency trip to the local wine shop.)

The Prints

To get started, go shopping for prints and select a few that you love .

Prints cost far less than original artwork and there is a greater variety of material available, which means you can afford to experiment. Remember too that prints can be beautiful . Just because they are not original does not mean they are not artistic. Some prints even come on canvas.

ASPIE artists offer all kinds of prints. Take a look at Jonathan Whitlock’s Roses print—one of those that comes on canvas—or the print of the painting Discernment to see how much impact this medium can have. The same could be said for Dorrin Gingerich’s Active Forrest II print or of any of the photographs by Jesse Buckwalter.

ASPIE prints have some advantages. The money you spend goes to support artists with disabilities and to help them grow more self sufficient. It is also tax deductible.

Of course, there is an entire world of prints out there to explore. Take a look at Great Big Canvas, where you can browse by subject, artist, style or color palette, for a taste of what’s available.

The Frames

Improvements in framing technology have dramatically expanded what you can do with prints. The fact that you can but frames online has made the entire exercise easier and cheaper.

There was a time when obtaining a custom frame and matting meant bringing your image to a shop and then picking up your framed artwork a week later. It was time consuming and often more than a bit expensive.

Today, you can choose from a broad range of frames—in wood, metal or synthetics, with all manner of finishes—as well as matts and treatments and have the entire package shipped directly to your home or office. You simply insert the print into the frame to create a professional-looking piece of art. To order your frames, all you need is the size of your print and a credit card.

Check out sites like Frame It Easy, and Picture Frames Warehouse to see what’s available.

This is fun stuff. It’s simple, affordable and strangely addicting. Get creative with prints—you’ll see what we mean.