Yesterday I was in the most exciting place in the world. Ikea. The lads (15 and 11 years old despair of their dad who walks around, notebook in hand, noting the most recent designs and, presumably, focus group art selection.

Obviously brightly painted koi carp was popular…

The selection of art wasn’t brilliant to buy, and whereas it used to be you could buy the seperate prints, it’s more you have to buy prints and frames together.

Then in the corner of the floor/room I spied this sign that said ‘Ikea Art Event 2017’. Interesting. Specially commissioned images on textured paper. Provided in a rolled tube.  £10.

Thankfully they never claimed it was original art. Though they did imply it…they used the word limited edition. More on that in a moment.

Unless you live close to Ikea, though, buying art this way is expensive. For interest’s sake I added it to the basket online and discovered that post was £7.50. Reasonable, but guess what? This is no more than a good photocopy.

What I am really pushing here is what I am trying to do as a service to the people who I understand rather like what I make. I am thrilled to keep being encouraged by people now meeting me who say that they are actively looking forward to seeing my next picture that I produce. I find it hard to think of art in the way of serving people, but it seems to… But this whole thing about expensive art gets to me. Why can’t everyone afford art.

Hold on…isn’t this EXACTLY what Ikea are saying, which suggests to me (who doesn’t have expensive focus groups that maybe I have stumbled on something.

This is the website:

http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/products/decoration/

Thats the key line right there in the first sentence:

We continue our mission to make great art available to everyone.

Way to go Ikea!

Only you slipped up with the second sentence…limited edition posters.

The idea of limited edition is so engrained in our shoppers brain one immediately thinks of things hand signed, very special, one of a kind. And we all know that Ikea whilst awesome is also the king (or queen) of the flat pack. And that means convenience and anything but limited edition. Limited edition simply means that there will only be so many of them. And I couldn’t see a limited number on the prints when I looked. Put another way, everything in Ikea is a limited edition…in fact everything full stop is limited because nothing goes on for ever…but I am splitting hairs here and getting a bit ranty.

Does this mean that they have limited it to printing it just this year? It’s a little bit of misleading copy.

But how about this…MY mission? Which is similar…

affordable, original art.

I won’t go as far as to say that it is great art because that is for you to decide. But certainly make it available to everyone.

The way that I am doing this is by creating prints. But I want that original word in there. So Giclee isn’t an option. They are reproductions. But the relief printing using carved wood is original.

And I include the postage too.

Admittedly there are some differences. So lets spell them out.

First, if you want a big print size, then go Ikea. At the moment. I am just working out how to make A2 pictures. But still keeping the cost down. I am aiming for £50 and that includes the more expensive postage.  So the Ikea print is cheaper that way. And (currently) bigger.

Also, my offerings for the originals are at cheapest £30. Again includes postage meaning the total cost is only £12. But that is for the A4 size and not the Ikea A2. You have to take into account the carving time for each image, and each and every print is made by hand by rolling and mixing inks, printing to paper over many days allowing drying time between each one.

Join me in the mission, and stay tuned. And do get in touch if you have an idea for a print you would like to see!