When I started getting into lettering and illustration, I wasn’t sure how to fit printing into my workflow. I wanted to display my illustrations, but was having mixed results.
It fell into two categories …
- Framing the print.
- Having the print sit in a stack of papers, or in a closet.
Framing my prints—even in “do-it-yourself” frames—became tedious. Cleaning the glass, positioning the print in the mat and finding a place on the wall all became a chore. After awhile I simply stopped doing it. So my artwork stayed as bits and bytes on my hard drive. I needed something that would quickly let me display my work.
It had to do a few things:
- Be easily installed.
- Allow for different sized pieces.
- Allow for quick substitutions.
After some research I came across this.
Although it’s designed to hang curtains, it works perfectly to display prints. It has a very low-profile look and frankly, doesn’t look like a curtain hanger. Although I got mine at IKEA, I’m sure there are similar products out there.
Despite using my laser-leveller, the wire isn’t 100% horizontal. Maybe I’ll fix it one day. Maybe.
The installation was pretty straightforward. Each mounting bracket is attached with three screws. I used hollow wall anchors as this really isn’t bearing any weight. Take extra time in levelling the wire. Although I took great care—or so I thought—in making sure it was even, it wasn’t.
Aside from a bit of paper trimming, adding and removing a print is super-easy. All I have to do is clip on the print. Accounting for different sized prints is no problem. Simply slide them along the wire.
I didn’t use the (separately sold) IKEA Riktig clips, as it included pieces I didn’t need. Instead, I purchased some very small, chrome clips from the office supply store.
Left: Adding additional clips is easy. Right: The wall anchor mount. The round cover plate hides the screws.
When I run out of space on the wire, I “retire” the older pieces. This is where I’m okay to relegate them to the closet.
Important Safety Tip
There’s another reason I like to display my work—it keeps my inkjet printer from clogging up. Ink will dry out from lack of use. Running cleaning cycles is an option, but uses up a lot of ink. Print SOMETHING at least once a week—even if it’s an older piece. It’s probably the cheapest way to keep your printer functioning.
Use it or lose it!