Best Practices 2/3: Pricing Artwork, Quotes, & Commissions

Pricing artwork can be perplexing, to say the least. Where do artists begin when establishing the value of their artwork or their labor? What should pricing be based on? Time? Materials? Level of difficulty? Your resume? Your reputation? Competitor pricing? Context? Should pricing change based on context? What if you make multiples?

By bringing together two experts that specialize in different arenas, we’ll foster a rich conversation about these questions and more. Jason Teegarden-Downs, cofounder of Delicious Design League, shares his experience growing his studio from a gig poster side project to an established business working with large companies and advertising agencies. How was DDL able to transition to larger clients? How does pricing differ between design or branding projects, gig posters, and fine are prints?

Dan Devening established Devening Projects + Editions in 2005 and since then has exhibited an amazing array of artists, both from Chicago and Europe. He prolifically creates editions with the artists he represents, with the resulting artworks acting as a sort of archive for the gallery. Dan Devening will share his experiences with the fine art side of printmaking and publishing, shedding light on questions like: How can you identify and better know your market? When do artists versus galleries set prices? Why do galleries retain a portion of the sales? How does the price of your artwork affect how collectors will categorize your artwork? Is it okay to negotiate with a potential client?

The Best Practices Series is presented as a partnership between Spudnik Press Cooperative and Chicago Printers Guild. For members of either organization, the cost is reduced to $12. If you are a member of Spudnik or the CPG, but did not receive a coupon code through email, please contact

Screenprint Your Own T-Shirt

This one-day shirt printing workshop provides a solid understanding of the screen printing process, and is a great way to see first hand how a design can translate to a print on apparel. Take this workshop as a first step to starting a product line, or a way to create personalized gifts for friends and family. The all-afternoon format allows students the time they need to perfect their own design in class, using both simple tools like markers as well as Illustrator or Photoshop. Screens are pre-coated with photographic emulsion, and students will each be able to mix their own unique color of ink. Each person leaves the workshop with their own one-color design on 3-5 shirts, tote bags, or fabric of their choosing.

Letterpress Your Own Cards

Letterpress printing brings a level of sophistication to note cards, stationary, gift tags, and business cards. This introduction to this printing process from the 15th century will familiarize students with metal type and letterpress terminology. Through creating a small edition of greeting cards or business cards, each student will take a turn locking up their type and printing with our platen presses. Students will each make 20 cards with up to 3 short lines of text, choosing a typeface and paper stock to work with. The class is limited to six students so that everyone has time to run a press independently.

Best Practices 3/3: Building Relationships to Sell Your Art: Collectors, Galleries, & Artist Representatives

Perhaps you have just completed a new body of work. You have just updated your website. You have set up an email list with friends and family, or initiated which ever social media tools are best for your artwork. The next step is to make personal connections with people who will support your art. What are best practices for reaching out to a gallery? Can you directly contact curators? What are the pros can cons of working with an Artist Representative? What does an Artist Representative even do? How can you prepare for an amazing studio visit? Are there strategies artists can employ to turn followers or fans into collectors? How can artists develop relationships with art buyers? What do you do once someone does buy your art?

Both curators and art administrators, Alison Glenn, Gallery Director at Monique Meloche, and Jessica Cochran, Independent Curator and Collection Manager, bring diverse experiences working in a broad spectrum of situations to Spudnik Press. Through an open conversation with each other and attendees, Allison and Jessica will shed light on how artists can confidently build relationships with collectors, galleries, curators, and others who can help their work be noticed.

Allison M. Glenn is a curator, writer and arts professional. Her curatorial experience includes an appointment at the University of Chicago’s Arts Incubator (2013), project-based research and writing support for Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles 1960-1980, and a 2010 Curatorial Fellowship at the Hyde Park Art Center. She has contributed to various publications including the Prospect.3: Notes for Now New Orleans Biennial exhibition catalog, Art21 and the Studio Museum in Harlem’s Fore exhibition catalog. She is currently the Director of Monique Meloche Gallery.

Named a “curator to watch” by Chicago Magazine in 2013, Jessica Cochran has curated exhibitions for the Contemporary Arts Council, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Around the Coyote Gallery, What it Is and the Wicker Park/Bucktown Chamber of Commerce.  She coordinated exhibitions and public programs for the Poetry Foundation, Art Chicago, NEXT and the Artist Project. She was recently the Curator of Exhibitions and Programs at the Center for Book and Paper Art, and is now a Curatorial and Collection Manager for a private contemporary art collection.

The Best Practices Series is presented as a partnership between Spudnik Press Cooperative and Chicago Printers GuildFor members of either organization, the cost is reduced to $12. If you are a member of Spudnik or the CPG, but did not receive a coupon code through email, please contact

Monoprinting Expolorations: A Weekend Intensive

This Special Topics Weekend Intensive Meets Saturday 10/18 and Sunday 10/19 from 10-5pm. Students should bring a packed lunch.  

Monoprinting is an incredibly immediate, playful, and multi-faceted type of printmaking. Through learning and practicing a variety of inking and printing techniques, students will establish an understanding of the properties of ink, paper, pressure, and how they interact to create a broad range of aesthetic possibilities. Students will conquer a variety of stencil-making approaches, additive and reductive ways to develop an image, and ink-mixing. This weekend workshop will be team-taught by artists Josh Dihle and Lauren Anderson. Dihle teaches painting at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Anderson is the Print Technician at Ox-Bow School of Art. Together, they bring both technical expertise and a deep appreciation for playfulness and exploration in art making. This weekend intensive workshop will provide students the opportunity for an equally rigorous, engaging, and fun session.

Lauren Anderson lives and works in Chicago, IL. She was born in Virginia, on the same day as Bette Midler, and Richard Pryor, and then she earned a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has exhibited at ADDS DONNA, Adult Contemporary, CCS Bard, Golden Age, Megamall, and Roots and Culture, and you can find her publications in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art Library, at Printed Matter, Ooga Booga, and elsewhere. During the Summer months she does extensive damage control as the Print Technician at Ox-Bow School of Art.

Josh Dihle  is a painter, printmaker, and sculptor working in Chicago. Dihle teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he earned his MFA in Painting and Drawing in 2012. He has exhibited at Autumn Space in Chicago, Champion in Austin, Texas, and most recently at Dutton in New York. Active in Chicago’s art dialogues, Dihle has curated several group exhibitions of emerging Chicago artists and, while earning his master’s degree, developed a novel system for exhibiting student work to wider audiences.

Printmaking Survey: Screenprinting, Relief, Lithography (Fall 2014)

Experiment with three unique printmaking processes in one class. Screenprinting, relief, and lithography offer three distinct ways to translate images to a new medium. With each process inducing its own aesthetic, this class offers abundant opportunities for artists and creative people to learn a new process to elevate their sketches and designs. Through this class, students will understand ink properties of both oil- and water-based inks, and will have experimented with a variety mark-making approaches and tools. In combination, these processes can open new possibilities for artists, writers, and folks who want to learn a new way to make art. Printmaking Survey classescan act as either a general introduction to everything Spudnik has to offer, or a refresher course for artists who have previous experience. This class can be taken independently or in conjunction with Printmaking Survey: Monoprinting, Etching, Letterpress.

Bookbinding (Fall 2014)

Bookbinding is a craft and art form that relies on a basic set of techniques, tools, and materials. Once foundational skills are mastered, bookbinders can add creativity, content, and design to create unlimited variations of handmade books. In this class, students will create their own books from scratch. Students will learn pamphlet, “perfect”, coptic, and stab bindings, as well as modifications of these traditional binding styles. Projects will focus on creativity, design, and craftsmanship with the goal that students are able to experiment with variations and incorporating content within the book through writing, simple printing tricks, and customizing paper for covers, inserts, or end-paper.  Students will leave with a small library of hand-bound books to fill or use as templates to make even more books.

Screenprinting on Fabric

This class will introduce multiple techniques for screenprinting onto fabric.  Beginning with basic stencil printing, students will establish printing skills and terminology. From there, students will learn to create both hand drawn and photographic images. Through weekly demonstrations, students will be exposed to ink mixing, color and pattern relationships, repeat pattern making and printing, approaches to developing imagery, multiple color registration, and discharge printing. The class will culminate with each student choosing an independent project, which can range from developing a line of shirts, creating merchandise for a band, or printing yardage for sewing projects.

Create Your Own Broadsides

A broadside is an art print that incorporates imagery and printed text, typically highlighting a poem or short piece of prose. You need not consider yourself a writer to attend this playful workshop; students will bring a favorite poem, mantra, or piece of text to work with. Methods and techniques for incorporating found text, textures, and imagery using things like collage, image transfers, scanners, and photocopiers will be explored. Additionally participants will learn tricks for idea generation and playing with language through collaboration, text manipulation, and editing. Students will walk away with several unique broadsides and tons of inspiration for future projects.

Holiday Card Printing: Screenprinting

The holidays are fast approaching and what better way to celebrate than to roll up your sleeves and screenprint your own collection of cards! Screenprinting is a straightforward print process that allows you to quickly transfer an image onto a surface. Students will bring a one-color design to class (a hand drawn image, photocopy or digital file). Spudnik Press will provide pre-coated screens. Each student will use our darkroom to expose their image to a screen, mix their own ink color, and print! In addition to feeling like a rock star you will walk away with 20 handmade greeting cards waiting for their happy recipients.

Holiday Card Printing: Letterpress

Nothing says “Happy Holidays” like a finely printed letterpress card! And the tactile quality of ink pressed to paper will leave quite an impression on the recipient. Spend a Sunday in the Spudnik Press Printshop creating your own unique cards with hand set lead type and blocks carved with vintage illustrations. This workshop combines an overview of how letterpress works with hands-on learning, and is a great way to try out a new way to make art before taking a longer class. Students will each make about 20 cards with a short saying or phrase and are encouraged to make a few extras to trade as well! The class is limited to six students so that everyone has time to run a press independently.

Letterpress II: Polymer

This class will begin where Letterpress I: Wood and Metal Type leaves off. Students will jump right into working with polymer plates, which allow artists to print their own design, and set type digitally. The class will cover all aspects of printing with polymer plates, including design, pre-press, developing plates, and printing. This class will also investigate two-color registration, double-sided printing, and other skills that arise based on each student’s projects. The goal is for students to graduate from the class having versatile knowledge of letterpress printing.

Beginning in the fall of 2014, we are condensing our polymer class to four weeks, allowing more students to add this method of image-making and printing to their skill set. Letterpress Finesse will be offered in early 2015 for students looking to fine tune their skills and tackle larger projects.