Tuckamore Design is a very small handcrafted card and print company based in Buffalo, New York. I'm a Canadian transplant, originally from Newfoundland. I've been a printmaker for 15 years, almost as long as I've been an architect. I never formally studied art, but I've taken classes from a handful of amazing artists at Dundarave Print Workshop in Vancouver, BC, and NSCAD in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

I love paper, especially since I spend a lot of hours every day working on a computer for my other business, Design Synergies Architecture.

I also love to create handcrafted greeting cards for everyday and seasonal occasions. When the inspiration hits (and I have time), I make the occasional original print. Every piece is printed by hand or on an etching press.

In the early days, my prints and cards were featured at the Canadian Craft Museum, the Craft Association of British Columbia shop, and various exhibits in Vancouver and Halifax. My cards have been sold in shops in the Maritime Provinces, Buffalo, NY, and most recently in Martinsburg, West Virginia! Through my Etsy site, my cards have been sent all over the world.

My work is influenced by Celtic and Art Nouveau design, by Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and by the Arts & Crafts movement. I found inspiration for several years in my front porch container garden in the Elmwood Village in Buffalo, and now I'm daydreaming of spring in my new backyard garden.

My favourite medium is linoleum block printing, especially blind embossed prints (deeply impressed and printed without ink). I'm about to embark on a watercolour adventure, and I'm wondering how that will find its way into my printmaking....

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Valuing your work

Many artists, including me, struggle with pricing their work.  I've thought long and hard about how much I should charge for my handmade cards, and every time I walk down the card aisle at the grocery store, I am reminded of just how close my pricing is to that of the leading commercial card companies.

Think about it:  if you can buy a store-bought card by one of the big three (Hallmark, American Greetings, Carlton Cards) for $4, would you spend an extra 50 cents and buy something handmade and unique?  Maybe my prices are too low for the amount of work that goes into each one.  And pricing my prints?  Help!  Have no idea where to start because I honestly don't know what someone would want to pay for it.  I've tried formulas, price per square inch, and comparing it to other artists' work.  I've sold certain pieces for specific prices, so I won't go any lower than that.  I know my print prices are low but maybe it's more about confidence in the marketability of your work.

There's a really great post by Emily of Paper Tiger Press that talks about the importance of valuing your work and finding the right balance between charging too much and too little.  I highly recommend reading it.  By the way, her letterpress work is really stunning - be sure to check it out while you're on her blog.

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