How to Never Lose a Copy of Your Artwork

How to Never Lose a Copy of Your Artwork

July 26, 2019

In years past, artwork that would be damaged, burned or otherwise lost would have to be considered a complete loss. There’s no replacing many of the great masterworks that have been lost to the ages. Fortunately, today there are means of digitally reproducing artwork, so even if the original piece is lost or damaged, there will still be a digital record of it. While it’s not the same thing, it’s better than having nothing left of the piece at all.

If you’re interested in getting a digital reproduction of artwork you either created or own, you’ll need to either scan or photograph it to get a file you can then add to your archives, or even touch up with editing software. The higher the image quality, the better—you’re going to want a large pixel density and count to ensure you have a high-quality reproduction. This will make editing the image easier, if you choose to do so.

There are photographers who specialize specifically in artwork photography, so you can either hire someone who does that work professionally or work with a student who is training in that field. But scanning technology has also come a long way over the years, and is likely a much more affordable option if you find yourself on a tight budget.

Scanning your artwork and photos

Thanks to relatively inexpensive all-in-one printers and dedicated scanners, scanning your artwork right from your very own home or studio has become easier and less expensive than ever before. This is an especially ideal option for smaller artwork. While larger artwork might require the services of a photographer or specialty scanning service, smaller pieces of art can easily fit into standard scanners that fit your standard sizes of paper.

Just as artwork should always be photographed with a high resolution, it should also be scanned at high quality—a minimum of 300 DPI. If you want a lower-resolution image for whatever reason (usually for web purposes) you can always make a copy of the file and make it smaller without losing any details or degrading the quality.

After you have scanned your artwork and have created a digital file, you can then edit as needed with photo and design editing software, such as Photoshop or Lightroom. If this is something you’re interested in getting into, you’ll find many tutorials online—just do a quick YouTube or Google search and there will be no shortage of image editing tutorials for you to follow. You don’t need to have a whole lot of experience to improve the quality of an image with this kind of software, though the more experience and training you gain, the better your results will be.

The benefits of this process are obvious. Not only does it allow you to touch up old photographs or artwork that might otherwise have simply been left to degrade over time, but it also gives you an easily preserved copy of the original that you will be able to hold on to and have to enjoy even if that original gets lost or damaged beyond repair. You can create your own digital archive of photos and artwork that you’ll always have with you.

For more information about digital scanning in Culver City, CA and the benefits it offers for artwork and photography in particular, we encourage you to contact ArtScans Studio, Inc. with any questions. Our scanning bed accommodates artwork up to 44” by 50”!

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