Diana Probst, Cambridge Artist

Signing my Work

House and van drawn all in one lineI was asked an implied question on Twitter recently. (@dianaprobst – give it a whirl.) It was suggested that I sign my Angry Reindeer cards, and I am unsure about signing unlimited editions. I will explain why here.

Each card is unique because I draw it by hand, but in several cases I have repeated a design. There is a history of artists signing a series, but I don’t know when I’m going to end them, so I haven’t numbered the Reindeer. Having started off not doing it, I felt it would be wrong to start halfway through the series, and at the start I had not realised that I would be drawing more than one of any. I began drawing by doing few enough that I could put a business card into each envelope and not make a dent on the case. It really surprised me when people ordered them over the internet. I was, frankly, caught napping.

I do have cards for sale where the idea is that one sends a work of art to someone through the post. They range from £5 to £20, and I know I will not repeat the work, so the guarantee of individuality underwrites that price. I want to offer value to everyone who buys from me, but I know I can be sure that anyone who has reindeer has had that.

Some of the reindeer are severely undervalued – the 39 Steps, for example, is likely to remain a one-off. However, because it was part of a group of others, I decided not to hold it back. Ditto, for the Reindeer Should Not Ice-Skate. I painted a larger version so that I could sell a print of it, and I will not be repeating the design. However, because I drew it in with a set of the Reindeer, I decided not to put it aside but to include it with an order. It became the design work for something else, and I think that offers a way to keep up its value without having my name or my sigil physically present.

Anyway, that is why I have not signed my Reindeer cards; not because they are not good, but because I was making up my mind what to do. I am still not entirely sure. I know some will end up in the bin in January, but some will end up kept as well, which is flattering but rather terrifying.