Most of the time, when we talk about sublimation here on this site, we talk about it in terms of what you can make and what you can sell. Gift shops need mugs, people like t-shirts, who doesn’t love a vanity license plate designed to their exact specifications? Dye sublimation greatly expands the number of products that can be decorated, and it can be strictly utilitarian, take photo A and place it on product B and you have something that invokes a favorite event or memory and which is durable enough to last a long time.
What many people don’t think about, or don’t know, is the fact that sublimation isn’t just for utilitarian items, it can also be used to create and sell art. If you are a photographer or painter, or know someone who is, sublimation offers a variety of ways to sell artwork beyond a simple canvas or print, although those presentations can be created as well.
One artistic endeavor that works very well with sublimation is photography. Working with photographers can create an entirely new market for your business. This can work one of two ways. The first way would be creating pieces that could be framed or hung for display. Many restaurants and coffee shops sell the work of local artists. Local companies also like to hang work by local artists as well. Sublimation offers some creative ways to present that work beyond simply framing a print.
The second way sublimation and photography work together would be to create gifts and souvenirs that could be sold using a particular photographer’s work. These could either be as limited edition collectibles, with only a certain number being made and sold, or it could be as something that is offered to people being photographed along with their photo package. People having portraits taken may like to have their photo on a coffee cup or a keepsake box or a puzzle. Sublimating photo gifts allows the photographer to add an extra dimension to what’s being offered.
Sublimation also is a perfect fit for painted or printed artwork. Much like with photography, sublimation can be used to create a limited number of an item which can be sold for a premium price. If a painter has created a popular print, it can be sublimated on coasters or ornaments. Such items would be a great addition to a gallery sale or to an artist’s own website. Creating limited edition items also allows such items to be sold for a premium price, as scarcity makes the items more valuable to those who purchase.
Creating items with an artist can also allow you to have exclusive sublimated items to sell. Gift shops and souvenir stores like having things their competition doesn’t. If you can connect with a local artist or photographer that is well known, and get an exclusive on their work, you can create sublimated items that no one else would have to sell. Of course, the success of this endeavor would depend on how popular the artist in question’s work is, but the potential for this sort of business could be enormous.
Note: To learn more about the artwork by artist Emilia Kun in the graphic accompanying this post, visit the Post Up Stand Blog.