The allure of 'limited edition'

General art-related discussion.
rerocustom1989
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Sun May 18, 2014 11:13 pm

charter wrote:I don't buy from anyone that willingly craps on their fanbase.

Also...there are posters at Walmart or on Etsy that are readily available to hang on your walls...and much more affordable.
Sure, it would just be nice if those posters had as appealing subject matter as the limited stuff out there.
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jrsheppa
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Sun May 18, 2014 11:18 pm

jkw3000 wrote:
alexfugazi wrote:And it has worked, and will work for a time. But it won't work forever. See also -Beanie Babies.
I respect you Tim but I HATE whenever somebody uses this analogy. It assumes that the value of all art by all artists is equal, which is pretty much not true - be it in the secondary market value or by sheer popularity.

The value of art itself is an illusion. It provides no intrinsic value to our basic survival (unless you're burning the paper to provide heat or something). People buy these things because they're aesthetically pleasing or hit them on a personal, emotional level, and that kind of value is purely in the eye of the beholder. Not everybody values every artist the same, and that won't change no matter how much art by other people suddenly floods the market.
I completely agree. Tim, you're wrong man. Art does not equal Beanie Babies. Sure, certain types of art will go in and out of style. Perhaps reinvented the movie poster genre will lose value as certain artists gain and lose value. But you will not come back one day to find all art everywhere not worth anything.

To answer the OPs question, limited editions make the art special, whether you agree with that statement or not. There is value in you having something awesome looking that you know only a few other people have. In addition to making the ownership more valuable, it also makes the process of collecting more worth it. Tracking down a long time ISO, and finally finding it, makes it mean more to you personally than buying a copy of the umteenth bullshit edition that some artist has mass produced.

And Tim, you think people dislike you for making multiple editions. They don't. They dislike you for not being up front about it. Too many noobs to the art scene see that your runs are "limited," and think they are 1 of 250 to own the piece. Then you do another edition. And they feel cheated. People don't have problems with open editions, they have problems with being deceived into thinking they are purchasing something that it is not.

Do whatever you want, make multiple editions to you hearts content. But if you intend on making multiple editions, just put a disclaimer up with the first edition to make sure people understand that if the print is super popular then there might be multiple editions. That way, when people bitch and moan, at least you can tell them you warned them. However, I suspect you do not want to do that since it will most likely negatively effect sales...
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jkw3000
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Sun May 18, 2014 11:19 pm

rerocustom1989 wrote:
charter wrote:I don't buy from anyone that willingly craps on their fanbase.

Also...there are posters at Walmart or on Etsy that are readily available to hang on your walls...and much more affordable.
Sure, it would just be nice if those posters had as appealing subject matter as the limited stuff out there.
Well this actually leads to a decent, non-cynical reason as to why it is limited: licensing. The alternative movie/pop-culture art scene exists partly because people got tired of what currently exists (as signed off by the license holders) and wanted something different. Galleries that don't have licensing have to do small runs to stay under the radar lest they get slapped by the license holder, and galleries that DO have licenses have to stick with the runs the license holder chooses and the direction that their folks choose. Case in point: Daniel Danger did a Fantasia piece for Mondo's Disney show and it got struck down because it's a licensed show and they didn't want it. If he did it under-the-radar it would have to be a small edition or he'd get sued to oblivion by Disney, as the official avenue for it basically said "no."

Not the biggest reason for limited edition but definitely a big one.
Last edited by jkw3000 on Sun May 18, 2014 11:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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bkboy77
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Sun May 18, 2014 11:20 pm

alexfugazi wrote:People bring up the 'Wal Mart' argument all the time, but they're missing the point. At no time can you purchase hand-made artist-produced work made in the US (or England, or where ever you're from) at a reasonable price. It's just an argument made in error. But it makes them feel superior, so I guess it's something, at least. It's a form of making fun of poor people. As in- "If poor people can buy it, then what good is it?" Ha-ha, it's fun to make fun of disadvantaged people. Actually, no it's not. It's a dick thing to do. But thanks.
If you check the Banksy forum, there is a thread there for 50 gbp and under art. There are actually artists who make one of a kind or a limited run prints and still sell it for a reasonable price.

I do not make fun of poor people. I actually work for a non for profit providing care to children with special needs. Please don't judge people based on your pre-conceived notion of what ebeaners are. It's a dick thing to do.
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charter
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Sun May 18, 2014 11:21 pm

rerocustom1989 wrote:
charter wrote:I don't buy from anyone that willingly craps on their fanbase.

Also...there are posters at Walmart or on Etsy that are readily available to hang on your walls...and much more affordable.
Sure, it would just be nice if those posters had as appealing subject matter as the limited stuff out there.
They do, you just haven't looked. Let me guess why you came here. Is it because of the allure of limited edition posters that you think are awesome but can't get your hands on?
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jrsheppa
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Sun May 18, 2014 11:22 pm

alexfugazi wrote:It's a form of making fun of poor people. As in- "If poor people can buy it, then what good is it?" Ha-ha, it's fun to make fun of disadvantaged people. Actually, no it's not. It's a dick thing to do. But thanks.
This is one of the stupidest statements I have ever read on EB.
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jkw3000
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Sun May 18, 2014 11:23 pm

Hey, poor people already still buy some of this stuff. Hi OtomoChaser! :wink:

I kid because I love.
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alittle
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Sun May 18, 2014 11:25 pm

jrsheppa wrote:
alexfugazi wrote:It's a form of making fun of poor people. As in- "If poor people can buy it, then what good is it?" Ha-ha, it's fun to make fun of disadvantaged people. Actually, no it's not. It's a dick thing to do. But thanks.
This is one of the stupidest statements I have ever read on EB.
Would you expect anything else from him? I think he does it on purpose because the hate is the only thing keeping him relevant around here.
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alexfugazi
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Sun May 18, 2014 11:27 pm

jkw3000 wrote:
alexfugazi wrote:And it has worked, and will work for a time. But it won't work forever. See also -Beanie Babies.
I respect you Tim but I HATE whenever somebody uses this analogy. It assumes that the value of all art by all artists is equal, which is pretty much not true - be it in the secondary market value or by sheer popularity.

The value of art itself is an illusion. It provides no intrinsic value to our basic survival (unless you're burning the paper to provide heat or something). People buy these things because they're aesthetically pleasing or hit them on a personal, emotional level, and that kind of value is purely in the eye of the beholder. Not everybody values every artist the same, and that won't change no matter how much art by other people suddenly floods the market.
I understand where you're coming from, but that Beanie Babies analogy is part of a larger discussion about the collector base, rather than the artists. Although the artists do certainly feed this mentality.
What I'm getting at is this- Beanie Babies are sock puppets stuffed with beads. They're for children to play with and enjoy. Some people got it in their head that these things should be collectible, and so a secondary market started that greatly inflated the price of some of the older toys that were no longer made. Which then drove up the demand for the new ones. Which meant that the manufacturer made more, and then a bunch of other manufacturers saw the collector fever that was happening, and started making product to cater directly to that market. People started making very unwise financial decisions based on the idea that this would never end. (I used to work at a Baseball Card store in the Dallas area where I sold a 'Humphrey the Camel' to some dude for 2K back around 1995 or so). But what happened is that all the VERY. INTENSE. COLLECTORS. soon realized that they were just trading cheap toys back and forth faster and faster, and that they were in fact the only ones still doing this, (casual buyers only wanted the new and easily available ones) and then the whole market collapsed. The marginal start ups who were trying to ride the tide, and cash in on the collector base went out of business. The collectors would say it's the mfr's fault for making and selling TOO MANY beanie babies, and they ruined the market. From that perspective, it would seem that Ty (the Beanie Baby mfr) became a huge failure. Not so- Ty is still a healthy company, and sells tons of stuffed animals to a wide audience still today. They didn't lose sight of their mission- to sell as many toys to a wide an audience as possible. And they're still doing this. They are still standing. The very fact that there was a collector's base interested in investment at all was an aberration of the market.

That's how I feel about the poster industry today. You have a bunch of people in the middle of an investment bubble, buying just about everything they can get their hands on, and promising themselves that they will pay for their retirement, or their child's education with this stuff. And you have manufacturers and galleries catering to JUST this base, lining up to take their money. And this will work. For a time. Until it doesn't.

And then you have what I would consider more reasonable artists who diversify across as wide a band as possible, get the art into new places where regular, everyday customers are- who just want cool art at a reasonable price, and really don't care about re-sale value. That's who I try to cater to with most of my personal releases. I think it's a more sane, long-term goal. But that's me. We'll see.

The end lesson? Just buy what you like, the rest is just noise. If you want investment- speak to a financial advisor.
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RambosRemodeler
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Sun May 18, 2014 11:28 pm

alittle wrote:
jrsheppa wrote:
alexfugazi wrote:It's a form of making fun of poor people. As in- "If poor people can buy it, then what good is it?" Ha-ha, it's fun to make fun of disadvantaged people. Actually, no it's not. It's a dick thing to do. But thanks.
This is one of the stupidest statements I have ever read on EB.
Would you expect anything else from him? I think he does it on purpose because the hate is the only thing keeping him relevant around here.
Bingo!
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choke wrote:I won't give up a flip that I can get myself to someone who is convinced they need it. None of us need any of this fudge. It's art. It's not medicine.
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charter
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Sun May 18, 2014 11:29 pm

Tim is the only artist I have ever seen that gloats about his secondary market (ebay) in his on sale emails. So it's hilarious to see him bemoan collectors.
alexfugazi
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Sun May 18, 2014 11:32 pm

bkboy77 wrote:
alexfugazi wrote:People bring up the 'Wal Mart' argument all the time, but they're missing the point. At no time can you purchase hand-made artist-produced work made in the US (or England, or where ever you're from) at a reasonable price. It's just an argument made in error. But it makes them feel superior, so I guess it's something, at least. It's a form of making fun of poor people. As in- "If poor people can buy it, then what good is it?" Ha-ha, it's fun to make fun of disadvantaged people. Actually, no it's not. It's a dick thing to do. But thanks.
If you check the Banksy forum, there is a thread there for 50 gbp and under art. There are actually artists who make one of a kind or a limited run prints and still sell it for a reasonable price.

I do not make fun of poor people. I actually work for a non for profit providing care to children with special needs. Please don't judge people based on your pre-conceived notion of what ebeaners are. It's a dick thing to do.
I hear you, and that's good what you do for a living. It's very important work.
I think you mis-understood, and I realize my sentence structure was a bit tortured there- what I meant was this- Walmart doesnt' sell hand-made work by artists. So comparing larger edition hand-made screenprints to work available at Wal mart is a non-starter.

You must admit though, that saying something is 'walmart' like, is trying to associate people's general disdain for walmart and the people that shop there- with an artist's work, which I find elitist.
alexfugazi
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Sun May 18, 2014 11:36 pm

charter wrote:Tim is the only artist I have ever seen that gloats about his secondary market (ebay) in his on sale emails. So it's hilarious to see him bemoan collectors.
ACTUALLY- you might want to check that. I like to point out that things I'm giving away for free with my orders have a secondary market value, which means people could buy my work that they want, and then flip the freebie, thereby offsetting the cost of the purchase. Which is kind of actually helping my customer out, but I guess you could interpret it as malicious if you wanted to paint me in that light.

Also- I find it hilarious that people so obsessed with secondary market value of an artist's work can't stand it when an artist acknowledges the existence of such a market, and uses it to his advantage.
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alittle
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Sun May 18, 2014 11:40 pm

Mods, can we just merge this with the "The Tim Doyle/ Nakatomi Art Thread"?
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alexfugazi
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Sun May 18, 2014 11:40 pm

harrykeogh wrote:
alexfugazi wrote:People buy prints for different reasons.
Outside of this particular corner of the internet, most people don't seem to mind buying larger edition prints, at least in my experience.
I used to only make smaller, single editions of all my work, but I quickly realized that not only was it limiting my cash-flow, it was severely limiting my audience. Now, for a select group of prints- I keep them in print in successive editions (some prints, not all of them, mind you) and it has greatly increased my fan base outside of expresso beans and the 'investment collecting' fanbase, as well as my income.

I won't knock people for only wanting to collect prints that they think will increase in value, or that are rare, but it is not my intent to cater only to that group with every release. And that's fine.

I used to be afraid of the backlash that I would get by printing multiple editions of something like say, Change Into a Truck, but I quickly learned that the minimal backlash paled in comparison to the increase in fans and sales. It was more important to me to sell to as wide an audience as possible, then to a slowly diminishing collector base. With 2000+ copies of Change Into a Truck out there in the wild, on people's walls and those sales in my pocket- I think I've made the right choice.

I know someone will read this as 'Tim Doyle only cares about money!' and they're missing the point. I care about making a successful business on my art, which supports my family and pays my employees fairly, and provides health insurance for all of us, which is what I've done. So, yeah- money factors in there.

Now, let us invite in the criticism of people who have never had to make a living as an artist, or run a business. They'll be the ones commenting angrily and snarkily below.
Well, I've never been one of those that gave you hell, but when you sold the multiples of early Stouts you had after you split from Mondo, did you give any of that $$$ back to Stout? Now I may be remembering incorrectly, but prior to adding some Stouts into your mystery tube sales, didn't you auction some on the bay for a nice paycheck?
Just saw this-
Yeah, I did in fact sell copies of prints that I had in my personal collection for a crazy profit. It was neat. I'm not sure how this applies to the discussion at hand, though, other than to further drive home the point that yes, that market exists...but it can't last forever. Also- the artist owes it to himself to make sure they can make as much money as possible on each project, because if they're not, then the flippers definitely are going to. I wish some of the artists I worked with back in the day took my advice to increase their AP allotments, but a lot didn't. Their loss is the flipper's gain. And I do include myself in that discussion from time to time.
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