Saturday, 28 March 2015

Top Tips for Collecting Original Prints

Many of our customers ask for advice about collecting original prints. In this blog post we have put together a list of help and tips when collecting prints. There are so many different factors to take into consideration when collecting prints and in this guide we have covered the most important. Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments or let us know if we have missed anything out!

Rob Ryan
'Why Are You So Naughty?' screen print by Rob Ryan


We sell both limited edition prints and open edition prints by printmakers, illustrators and artists.

These prints are original works of art and not reproductions as the finished piece (or intended piece) is the print. A reproduction is an identical copy of an original in a different medium such as a giclée print of a painting (not an illustration, as the illustration is not the intended final piece).

The most important thing with collecting prints is to buy something you love and would be happy to keep for a long time.

View all prints and artwork on our website here

Bow Wow Cake Print - Alice Patullo
'Bow Wow Pie' limited edition screen print by Alice Pattullo


A lot of people find a particular artist they like and collect work over the course of many years. Look out for artists whose work you are drawn to. Early career artists can be a good buy, but if you are looking for an investment piece, mid career artists are safer.

View all artists on our website

Gemma Correll
'Hibernating' by Gemma Correll from a previous Christmas exhibition. We sold the original drawing and giclée prints.


Hand printed pieces like screen prints, etchings, traditional lithograph (not offset litho) or lino cut prints are more likely to keep or increase in value than giclée prints, risograph prints or digitally printed pieces.

Look out for interesting techniques, or artists using a mixture of mediums, e.g. Graham Carter using foil block and silkscreen printing together.

We prefer hand printed artwork but printing technology is improving all the time and giclee prints are usually guaranteed lightfast for 80 - 100 years when cared for correctly, keeping their value and collectability.

A tip when considering a giclée print is to consider whether it would be possible to get the same effect from a different medium. A good example is the luminescence that Graham Carter is able to achieve from using gradient blends in his giclée prints. The effect would be almost impossible to achieve with screen printing. Click here to view 'Yeti Hibernation' by Graham Carter.

Hand printed by the artist is desirable but not essential. When professionally screen printed, the quality can be amazing.

Read about Printmaking on Wikipedia here.

Andy Smith at Soma Gallery, Bristol
'Your Type' screen print on wood by Andy Smith

Signed and Numbered

Limited edition prints are the ideal investment. A low number is thought to be good, but in fact each number is worth the same as each print in the edition is identical. Some collectors like particular numbers. Small editions are more desirable as they are more exclusive. As are first editions of prints, although if a print has had a second edition (a second print run), it can increase the price of the original edition. Look for a number such as 10/50. This means this is number 10 of an edition of 50 prints.

Leaves School Chart by Tom Frost
'Leaves School Chart' by Tom Frost from a small edition of just 35

If buying from a series of prints, although very difficult to do, try to buy them all with the same edition number.

Artists proofs are something to keep an eye out for. They not part of the numbered print run and can contain interesting quirks which can make the print more collectable. They will usually not be numbered and be marked with A/P. Occasionally there will be a certain number of proofs and will be numbered such as A/P 1/10 or AP IV.

Open editions are generally less desirable to collectors, although if only a small number has ever been produced of a particular print, it could be more collectible.

Also note that when a print run is about to sell out, the price can often increase.

Strongman by Spencer Wilson
'Strongman' by Spencer Wilson, signed and numbered in the bottom corners.

Special Editions

Sometimes a print run will be created specially for a project or event. These can often be particularly sought after and can often be priced lower than the artists usual artwork. For example: we worked with Peskimo and Tom Frost to each create an exclusive print for Not Another Bill and were sold for just £15. Another example is 'If You Could...' who sold two colour screen prints by artists such as Rob Ryan and Anthony Burrill for £40 each. An original screen print by Rob Ryan usually sells for around £250 - £350. Rob Ryan's 'If You Could...' print has since popped up on eBay and sold for in the region of £200 plus. These are great things to keep an eye out for!

Prints and badges - Soma for Not Another Bill
Peskimo and Tom Frost for Not Another Bill

Our 10 year anniversary set of prints are a great item for a collector or someone starting their collection. As an exclusive collection of limited edition prints in a small run of just thirty, someone could either pick and choose from the set or purchase the full set presented in a box.

Soma 10th Anniversary Prints
Prints from Soma's 10th Anniversary Edition.

Caring for your prints to keep their value

Try to avoid handling as much as possible. Hands must be spotlessly clean and do not use hand cream which can leave a greasy residue on the artwork. Cotton gloves can be used.

Pick up prints using both hands to avoid creasing or crimping. If you are unused to handling prints then if you pick up the print at diagonal corners you will avoid any damage.

Keep out of direct sunlight. Try to avoid hanging valuable artwork above radiators and keep away from open fires to avoid smoke damage.

If you plan to store your prints for any length of time, you should ideally remove them from tubes and store flat. It may be worth investing in a portfolio case. Use protective acid free tissue paper to keep your prints in top condition.

If hung against against an outside wall, make sure there is space between the frame and the wall to allow for airflow which will prevent any condensation which can damage the print. Check periodically.

Keep in a cool, dry, well ventilated place. Changes in temperature and humidity can affect paper.


Do not trim your print to fit a frame unless it has been printed on oversized paper allowing this. If in doubt get advice from your framer or from the place you have bought the print from.

Sally Elford print about to be framed.
'Northern Lights' by Sally Elford being measured for a mount so the paper doesn't have to be trimmed.

Hopefully this guide will work as a starting point to help you to start a collection!

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Clifton Village Residents Parking Scheme - How Will it Affect Customers?

Soma Gallery
Photo from Bristol247

On the 16th March 2015 Clifton Village will be covered by a residents parking scheme. For our customers who currently visit us and have difficulty parking, this should hopefully address this as there will be many pay and display spaces.

The scheme operates 9am - 9pm Monday - Saturday for the Southern part of Clifton Village where the main shopping area is (below Clifton park). The Northern part (above Clifton Park) runs from 9am - 5pm Monday - Friday.

During these times you can park for up to 30 minutes for free or £1 per hour for longer. For free 30 minute parking you must get a ticket from the machine.

You can read about the scheme and view the maps on the council website here.

View a map of Clifton Village South here in a pdf file.

View a map of Clifton Village North here in a pdf file.

Visiting us on a Saturday
We would advise you to use the Northern part of Clifton Village for free parking on a Saturday. It is a very short walk to Soma and the rest of Clifton Village. If you need to park close to Soma there are many pay & display bays nearby. Don't forget the first 30 minutes is free.

Visiting us on a week day
The Southern part of Clifton Village where we are based has a maximum of 3 hour stays in the pay and display bays. The Nothern part has up to 5 hours. For 30 minute stays or less this is free with a ticket from the machine.

Visiting us on a bank or public holiday
The parking scheme is not operational on a bank or public holiday so you can park anywhere in Clifton Village for free without a permit or ticket.

Motorcycles can park for free in any marked permit or pay and display parking space with no time limit.

Bus services
901 Park and Ride from the Portway
505 Long Ashton Park & Ride
8/9 Temple Meads/Redland/Centre (Catch 8 from Temple Meads Station, Centre or Cabot Circus)

Long stay parking
West End Car Park at the top of Jacob Wells Road is approximately 10 - 15 mins walk or 3 minute bus ride via service number 8 to Clifton Village. If you are also visiting the Triangle or Park Street this is convenient. Read more information here.

If you have any questions about visiting us, please phone us on 0117 973 9838 or send us an email here.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Two New Prints from Alice Pattullo

Hevva Cake Print - Alice Pattullo

We have two new prints from Alice Pattullo, the first in a series of baking traditions. These first two prints depict the tradition of the Cornish Hevva cake and the origins of the Bow Wow Pie of Painswick in Gloucestershire.

View all work by Alice Pattullo on our website here.

Hevva Cake Print - Alice Pattullo

The Cornish 'Hevva' Cake is a three colour screen print printed in an edition of 30.

The tradition of the Cornish 'Hevva' cake originates from the the pilchard fishing communities. When the fishermen were out at sea, a watchman, known as a 'Huer' would stand on the edge of the cliffs to look out for the pilchard shoals. When he spotted a shoal he would call out 'Hevva!Hevva!' to help the fishermen locate the fish. When the wives at home heard the Huer's cries they knew their husbands would be home shortly. The wives would then make a quick cake full of currants and scored with a criss-cross design to resemble a fishing net full of fish, which would feed the fishermen on their return.

Find the print here.

Bow Wow Cake Print - Alice Patullo

The 'Bow Wow' cake is screen printed in three colours in an edition of 30 and explores the amusing story that supposedly defines the origins of the Bow Wow Pie of Painswick in Gloucestershire.

Once upon a time there were two sisters, each who had a lover from another town. the distance meant their sweethearts visited only very occasionally, but when they did the sisters would bake all sorts of cakes and pies for their arrival to prove what wonderful housewives they would be. However, they soon discovered the irregular visits were because their suitors were really in love with two other maidens from a neighbouring town. As revenge when their suitors came to visit they baked a most marvellous pie. As it was so tasty the men asked for the recipe, only for the sisters to reveal with malice that it was made from puppy dogs. The young men fled in horror leaving the sisters triumphant in their vengeance. These days, the first bow-wow pie, as it has since been named, is celebrated each year on feast day with a fruit pie full of china puppies and a large dog on top.

Find the print here.

Bow Wow Cake Print - Alice Patullo

New Mini Prints from Graham Carter

Autumn Gardener Print - Graham Carter

We have some lovely new mini prints from Graham Carter to add to our stunning collection of his work. All printed in small editions and measuring 30cm x 30cm at just £40 each these prints make a lovely gift or addition to any home.

View all artwork by Graham Carter here.

Lost Luggage print - Graham Carter

Swiss Miss Print - Graham Carter

Four Blue Bears print - Graham Carter

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Next Exhibition - Anna Marrow Solo Show

Midnight in the Metropolis

Next Exhibition: Anna Marrow
Private View 7pm-9pm Thursday 19th Feb, exhibition opens Friday 20th February and runs throughout March.

Our next exhibition features the stunning screen prints from Bristol based printmaker, Anna Marrow. We are holding a private view on Thursday 19th February between 7pm and 9pm if you are in Bristol and would like to preview the exhibition first! There will be drinks and nibbles provided.

Anna Marrow is a printmaker, illustrator and image-maker based in Bristol. She studied Fine Art in Bristol, then Communication Design at Central Saint Martins, specialising in illustration and now prints at Spike Print Studio.

She works with household paints, biros, fine liners, pencil crayons and screen print. Most of the prints start off as biro and ink drawings in her sketch book, then turn into collages, and then screen prints.

Anna makes surprising, sometimes humorous or alarming images by combining mundane objects and environments with exotic creatures and characters. She like to pin point a specific moment in time and is drawn to objects from her childhood such as 70’s televisions, radios and cars which all feature heavily in her work, as do urban and suburban landscapes.

You can view some of the prints by Anna on our website here.

Magic in the Metropolis

Lighthouse in Sagres

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Christmas Last Posting Dates 2014


We have compiled a list of last posting dates for your Christmas orders. Please see the list below for our advised last orders. As ever, we would ask you to place your orders as soon as possible to ensure your parcel arrives in time (and that we don't sell out of anything!) and to advise you that these dates are just a guide. We cannot be held responsible for orders arriving late due to the postal service.

Please try to get your orders in by the following dates and times:

Standard delivery - Friday 19th December 4pm
Express delivery - Monday 22nd 4pm

Western Europe (excluding Greece & Poland)
Airmail (by Royal Mail) - Friday 12th December 4pm

Airmail (by Royal Mail) - Thursday 11th December 4pm

Canada, Poland
Airmail (by Royal Mail) - Monday 8th December 4pm

Cyprus, Eastern Europe, Greece
Airmail (by Royal Mail) - Sunday 7th December 2pm

Africa, Caribbean, Central & South America, Middle East
Airmail (by Royal Mail) - Thursday 4th December 4pm

Airmail (by Royal Mail) - Wednesday 3rd December 4pm

Asia, Far East (including Japan), New Zealand
Airmail (by Royal Mail) - Tuesday 2nd December 4pm

If you miss any of these dates...
If you are outside of the UK, we may be able to send your parcel by UPS. Please contact us for a quote as delivery speed and prices vary by country.

Please use these dates as a guide only and please feel free to contact us with any questions or queries about sending your orders. Please note that the time stated is UK time!

You can read Royal Mail recommended dates here. Don't forget we need time to process and pack your orders!

Greeting card image above is by Crispin Finn and is available here.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Soma is 10!

Soma 10th Anniversary Prints

On the 6th June Soma turned the grand old age of 10. To mark this pretty remarkable achievement we created a limited edition box set of 10 prints by some of our favourite artists who we have worked with over the last 10 years.

The artists who created a print are Adam Bridgland & Lucy Gough, Graham Carter, Gemma Correll , Crispin Finn, HelloMarine, Alice Pattullo, Peskimo, Hazel Nicholls, Andy Smith and Spencer Wilson. 

All of the prints are available as singles for £30 each of the full set of 10 presented in a beautiful box for £275 here.

We had a very successful event on Saturday 7th in our shop and gallery space to launch the prints and to celebrate the anniversary. We had some amazing goodie bags with tape from Hazel Nicholls, Newspapers from Rob Ryan, badges, printed tea charts and posters from Peskimo and more contained in a printed cotton tote bag designed by Peskimo or Gemma Correll! There was a lucky dip with items generously donated by our amazing artists and other people we've worked with including Andy Smith, Peskimo, Graham Carter, Not Another Bill, No Place Like (To Dry For), Rob Ryan, Lesley Barnes and more!

You can view photos from the event on Flickr

View all the prints on our website here

Crispin Finn

Crispin Finn

Crispin Finn is a small, London based design partnership. Founded and run by Anna Fidalgo - a graphic designer and Roger Kelly - a fine artist, their shared love of screenprinting, stationery and vernacular design inspired them to collaborate and develop their trademark style. Working predominantly in red, white and blue, a restriction they initially set themselves in order to hand produce simple and affordable designs, the colour scheme has become part of the Crispin Finn identity.

View all work by Crispin Finn here

Andy Smith
Andy Smith

Born and raised in Norfolk, Andy Smith studied illustration at the University of Brighton and the Royal College of Art, London. Graduating in 1998 he quickly established a client list of advertising, publishing and editorial clients including Orange, Mercedes, McDonalds, The Guardian, Expedia, Sony, Vodafone, Random House and Penguin Books, directing Run London, a commercial for Nike in 2000. He lives and works by the sea in Hastings, East Sussex.

View all work by Andy Smith here

Spencer Wilson
Spencer Wilson

Spencer is a London based illustrator and co-founder of the illustration, design and animation company Peepshow Collective Ltd. He has been working to commission since 1998 in a world of neat piles of mess, coffee cups and ordered chaos. His work follows this theme with the creation of sketchy ideas and twisted thoughts, carried through into clean vectored, balanced images placed in dynamic flat colour compositions with the occasional introduction of texture.

View all work by Spencer Wilson here

Hazel Nicholls

Hazel Nicholls

Hazel Nicholls lives in South East London. 14 years ago she moved from Northern Ireland to attend Camberwell College of Arts. She left Camberwell with a degree in Illustration. Hazel loves Real Ale, the seaside, ten pin bowling and of course a good pun. Her work is mostly influenced by a longstanding love of cross stitch and an interest in old phrases. Her designs have found themselves on limited edition prints, ceramics, textiles, packaging and more recently a giant fibre glass egg (as part of the Faberge Big Egg Hunt, 2012). She learnt how to screenprint five years ago and I hasn’t looked back since.

View all work by Hazel Nicholls here

Graham Carter

Graham Carter

Graham Carter is one of the most exciting illustrators currently working in the UK, and has worked at the forefront of his industry for the last 15 years. Graham's client list is extensive and he has enjoyed successful campaigns with Aviva, Bupa, Orange, Waterstones, Visa and His illustrations can also be spotted in a wide variety of editorial publications such as The New Scientist, The Guardian and The Sunday Times.

View all work by Graham Carter here

Marine was born in Paris, grew up in South of France and moved to Brighton to study Graphic Design. Now living and working in Brighton as an illustrator she divides her time between commissions for clients such as The Guardian, Penguin, Coca-Cola, TruThoughts, Amelia's Magazine, Jazeera Airways, and personal work that she exhibits regularly. Her work has been described as vivid, vibrant, sometimes retro or slightly surreal.

View all work by HelloMarine here

Alice Pattullo

Alice Pattullo

Alice Pattullo is an illustrator and printmaker based in London. She graduated in 2010 with a First Class Honours in Illustration from Brighton University. Alice works predominantly in screen print producing limited edition prints for sale in various outlets across the UK and online. Research is at the heart of her practice and her work is often inspired by British folk tradition and superstition, 1930s American musicals and celebrity culture to name a few! She is inspired by mid-century design and strives to create a nostalgic aesthetic in her own work through colour choices and composition.

View all work by Alice here
Gemma Correll
Gemma Correll

Gemma Correll has qualifications in basic first aid, grade 5 flute and a first class degree in Illustration from the Norwich School of Art and Design (UK). These skills have enabled her to forge a career in freelance cartooning and illustration (and also help you out if you break your finger or something). She divides her time between commissioned work, producing illustrations for clients including The New York Times, TeNeues and Hallmark, and working on personal projects.

View all work by Gemma Correll here

Adam Bridgland & Lucy Gough

Adam Bridgland & Lucy Gough

Born in 1979, Adam Bridgland studied printmaking at Norwich School of Art & Design and then studied at the Royal College of Art (MA Fine Art Printmaking). Since graduating in 2006, Bridgland has used a diverse range of materials and working methods to pursue an incisive and often witty exploration of distinctively British sentiments.

Lucy is currently living and working in Cambridgeshire and has been a practising artist since graduating from Norwich School of Art and Design in 2002. She has exhibited widely in the UK and Internationally as well as completing commissions for institutions including University College Hospital London and Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. Lucy’s prints use simple graphic lines and bold colour blocks.

View all work by Adam Bridgland here

View all work by Lucy Gough here



Peskimo is Jodie and David and they live in sunny Bristol in the south west of England. Their illustrations combine curious details and streamlined design with a generous pinch of nostalgia to create art that has won admirers far and wide. They find inspiration in cartoons, vintage graphic design and overhearing people in the post office queue. The pair has worked with a wide variety of clients including Sony, Barclays, BBC and Vodafone and has appeared in publications such as Monocle magazine and The Guardian. They hope one day to have their own ice cream van.

View all work by Peskimo here
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