The Unexpected Making of an Art Print Business

by | Mar 14, 2023 | Art, Business, Create, Paint

Renee Smith shares her unexpected journey to create an art print business, RDV Prints. The beginnings of something new often come when we least expect it!

It was Christmas of 2020 when the simplest thing changed everything! The year, we all remember well, was the year we lost my Dad and my Mom became a widow. She had been painting with me for 2 years and I know having that was what helped her as much as having family nearby. That Christmas, she gave each of us what would become the last gift from her…a hand-painted Christmas card.

That card, simple as it is, changed the direction of my business and my dreams. When she passed away 8-entirely-too-short months later, I felt the most lost I have ever felt. She was my Mom, but she was so much more. My paint partner, my late-night phone calls, my unneeded art supply run buddy, and my biggest fan and inspiration. I lost my will to paint…and part of my will to be.

Now that we are all crying, let me tell you how her last gift became the gift that would change everything for artists everywhere!

Dionne Woods from The Turquoise Iris…or I should say our Michelle…sent out a request for swag bag items for an upcoming retreat. That call was a God thing because, for the first time in over a month, I felt a stirring to create again. Taking inspiration from Mom, I hand-painted cards and sent them. Those cards led to requests for more of them and my daughter suggested printing them.

This is the rest of the story…

What started as a hopeful venture turned sour quickly. It should have been easy, right? I mean, there’s a print shop on nearly every corner in every city! How hard could it be? Answer…nearly impossible.

When you don’t understand the jargon and the file types, how to get photos sent…and I have to know Photoshop? Then to finally commit to a shop or a few, only to get subpar results that in no way match what you hoped for, followed by tears and feeling like giving up. Maybe It just wasn’t meant for me. Ever felt that way?

My husband and daughter saw the struggle I was going through and began their own campaign and research into helping my dream come true. I blew them off at first, but they didn’t give up and I found the stirrings of a new dream! One to make sure no other artist felt this way or gave up on seeing their art in print!

My Mom had no idea what her simple gift began!

A New Kind of Art Print Shop is Born

Together, after months of research and investment, I, with my husband (Will Smith, in case you’re wondering…the best version) and my daughter, (Emma..I call her my Lemony Snicket) started a new kind of print shop…RDV Prints.

As an Artist, I know how important it is for you to work with someone who understands that your art prints aren’t just pictures on paper. They are an extension of your heart and as such, must reflect the same wealth of feeling that you put into each creation of art. Because this business stemmed from a hand-painted card from my Mom, I know that the art you send for printing holds sentimental value and meaning. Each print must be done with such love and care!

Because we are a faith-based, family-operated print shop, there will always be grandkids running through and the sound of dancing feet and little voices singing. My family is the passion driving everything I do and by providing you with ways to create income from art prints, I hope to give you more time with your family. Isn’t that the goal? We believe that we are here for a purpose; To fill the world with art that reveals God’s love!

RDV Prints is a family-owned Art Print Business started by artist Renee Smith

So, what makes us different? Pam Dudley from Pam’s Painted Petals and Designs says this about RDV Prints. ‘I have found RDV Prints well above your average print shop! They are the new cutting edge in what they offer creatives! They are unique and specialize in the highest quality art prints.”

You, the Artist, are our only focus! We are not distracted by the business of mass printing services. We don’t print thousands of business cards and flyers. We print your art on greeting cards and note cards, art prints, and, upon request, decoupage papers. We don’t require high minimums so you can order as you need, or have us ship directly to your collector! There will never be anything that is more important to us than your art! The joy I feel when seeing your beautiful images rolling off the printer is indescribable!

Giclee and Art Prints

Having been disappointed many times in print results, we offer you only the highest quality Giclee prints. What is Giclee? It means your prints are printed on archival, acid-free papers, using acid-free heavily pigmented inks. Why is this important? That means your prints will outlast your grandchildren’s grandchildren!

You have choices! You get to choose how your prints fit your dreams! How your art feels is equally as important as how it looks. I know from personal experience that not every paper is the same, and knowing how it showcases my art in print is extremely important! This is why we offer a paper sample kit of our archival papers. With 9 carefully selected papers, you can see how the colors play on each paper, and how each weight and texture feels in your hands. You can choose the one that best suits your style! We know that every brushstroke and every color choice has meaning and the papers we print on must showcase that.

The most valuable thing we offer (and my favorite part!) is our personal connection and complete understanding that your art prints are an extension of not only your art and brand but your heart. I want you to forget about all the jargon and confusing steps. We are here to answer any questions and make the experience of getting prints as easy as possible so you can focus on creating more art! We take care of all the setup work, ensuring that you get the highest quality Giclee prints! I never want you to feel alone or confused by this process so I am always available to walk you through each step, so it is easy and stress-free!

Here are some of the things Artists have to say about working with us!

“RDV Prints is by far a top-notch printing company that goes above and beyond your expectations. I have ordered greeting cards, decoupage papers, and prints all from my original artwork. Renee and her crew are very caring and want to make sure that you are 100% happy with your product. When I received my order, I was blown away by the quality. The colors were so vivid and true to the original art! They have many paper options to choose from and are not satisfied until they know you are!”

Shannon Olsen Nana’s Workshop

“I have had many cards and prints made by RDV Prints and it is a mystery how they are able to make them look just like your original art! I have been able to expand my creativity and utilize their resources to make my path open to more opportunities, including that of extra revenue! The best part is how easy and affordable they make it and their personal touch to make it the best experience for you!”

Pam Dudley Pam’s Petals and Designs

“I’m obsessed with this paper! I’ve ordered prints before, but none of them have been this high of quality. Maybe it’s because I didn’t know what I was looking for, but Renee advised me after listening to what my needs were and what my vision was for my prints. The colors are perfect and I love that I can see all of my details and brushstrokes. Thank you to RDV Prints! I’ll be ordering again soon!!”

Dionne Woods The Turquoise Iris

“I am an artist, known only by family, friends, and community, but when I see my art on cards and prints, given as gifts, it makes me smile. I can do this with the help of RDV Prints and be as successful as I want to be. I would recommend RDV Prints to anyone! Renee is involved personally and likes to know what you like and don’t like about the printing process. The texture and colors are impressive. Shipping and packaging are done nicely and in a timely manner. If you are undecided on what to do she will walk you through the process very effectively. You will not be disappointed!”

Kayla Chapman

“You guys!!! Look what I just opened up from RDV Prints!!!! Ekkkk!!! So exciting! I’m now able to get high-quality professional prints of my artwork!!! And you can too! If you’re an artist wanting prints give them a try! Renee is so helpful!”

Kelly WIler Girl UPcycled Studio

“For a long time, I have searched far and wide looking for good quality prints. It wasn’t until I got connected with Renee from RDV Prints that I knew my artwork would be mass-produced with passion, quality, and detailed care. If you are an artist looking for quality-made prints, make sure to check out RDV Prints. The paper is archival and printed with bright, beautiful, lustrous colors. They are an exceptional company and I cannot recommend RDV Prints enough!”

Sawyer Gutherie Sawyer Gutherie Art

“Working with Renee and the crew at RDV Prints was such a delight, which was a relief because I was totally new to the world of printing my art. I also live in Canada, and very uncertain about the costs of getting prints and shipping to me and my customers outside of Canada. I LOVED what I received! Each print picked up every detail of my original piece, every brush stroke, every little bit of texture, and every color! I actually cried! To make it even better, RDV Prints ships to my collectors so I don’t have double shipping, which is huge! And I never have to worry about what will be delivered to my customers because I know the quality and service will be the best. Peace of mind in every way..that is what RDV Prints offers.”

Michele Rogers Michele Rogers Art

“I absolutely love working with RDV Prints and their team. I want into purchasing prints with them knowing what I wanted but not what I needed to get there. They were super helpful and guided me with each step. They helped with finding the correct paper, help with taking the photos, and even editing to get the colors just perfect. Thanks RDV prints!!”

Llewellyn Krastev Worn to Whimsy

Renee Smith
Renee Smith

As a wife, mom of seven grown children, NaNa to an ever-growing number of grandchildren, artist, writer, and owner of 2 businesses, Rainy Day Vintage, LLC and RDV Prints, Renee Smith knows how important it is to maintain art/life balance! View Renee’s Full Bio

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