Click on the image above to be taken to my Geospatial Art On-Line Store.Â There are about 200 maps in the store right now!
I’ve literally waited for years for a company like this to come along and I’m really excited about how successful the on-line store will ultimately be. It works similar to the way Cafe Press operates but instead of branding various products ImageKind fills the void for print on demand artwork.
Imagekind allows artists to upload their digital art files and set the price mark-up to their satisfaction. Customers pick out which map they want, choose the final print size, paper quality, mat, and frame. Basically, it’s a one stop shop for my artwork.
Before I’d have to wait for the customers come to me (and given my website’s hidden nature, customers were only people I’ve met in person), have them choose the map they’d want, upload it, order it, wait for it to arrive, contact the customer, meet with the customer and/or mail the print. A process that would take about 3 weeks per map. Now it’s all automated and quite streamlined. Best of all, my maps can be printed quite large at 60″ by 40″ at a reasonable price!
What I’ve been working on this last week is populating my on-line store with the hundreds of maps I’ve made in the last few years. Starting in June of 2006 I began to save my maps at their original size (most at 18,000×12,000) and at their half size (usually 9,000 x 6,000) in jpeg format. I started to do this because Kodak had a file size limit for their on-line store. Yet in order to populate my Imagekind storefront with older maps, I need to open them up again, which takes about 30 minutes each, and reduce their size so I can upload them to my store. Once uploaded, I then have to add some information about the map in the store. I decided to simply hotlink a graphic from my website to store so customers can see a detail of the map and have the option of viewing the details currently on my website. All in all, it takes quite a bit of time to add each map to the store, but I’m doing it, albeit slowly.
There are some general worries I have about the store. First and foremost is that what I’ve kept in limited editions is now available in unlimited quantities. This is the commoditification of my art, as in, now it’s about being a product instead of a hard to find piece of art. I also lose the ability to know where my art is going. Before I’d know exactly who was buying what, and now I just know that I sold a map, with little additional information. Further, I don’t know the quality controls in place. They have a 30 day money back guarantee, but what I’m worried about the most is if the prints at 60″ x 40″ look pixilated or not. 9,000 x 6,000 printed at 60″ x 40″ yields a print at 150 DPI, when it could be printed at 300 DPI if I were to upload the source files instead of their reduced size versions. Lastly, there is nothing stopping someone from ordering a print, scanning it, then refunding it. But ultimately this is what I have to deal with and I’m okay with it because now people around the world can purchase my maps quickly and easily.
Regardless, I’m very excited about the store. So, dear reader, what are you waiting for? Go check out the store! I’d love your feedback.