What is good long-term storage for pencil-and-ink illustration work?
September 24, 2008 3:11 PM   Subscribe

I've been drawing a lot lately (pencil and ink on Bristol board, 13x18" max). What are good solutions for storing all of this art for the long term? I'm concerned about archival quality and protection from fire/water damage.

I'm working on establishing myself as an illustrator, and it bugs me that I don't have any proper storage system for all of the art I'm creating.

The artwork is all pencil and ink on Bristol board. The size ranges from 8.5x11" to about 13x18". These are pages of comics, so I often end up with 10 or more new pages per project.

What kind of storage options are out there for keeping this stuff well into the future? I'm concerned mainly about some kind of container that won't affect the art (archival quality). I'm also concerned about preventing fire and water damage, but the archival issues are higher. I'm looking for some kind of containers that I can keep in my office.
posted by cadge to Media & Arts (2 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I prefer Krylon's UV-resistant clear coat spray although probably any 'art' fixative or clear coat will work. I really recommend testing it on something you don't care about before spraying it onto any of the drawings you'd like to keep, however. Also, for comics or for anything you plan on scanning in the future, be careful not to use a 'gloss' coat as this well really look crappy on scans. Storage options: I have multiple cans I keep in a box with other spray paints and spray glues, never had a problem. Basic rules apply, don't store in direct sunlight or near heat sources.
posted by car_bomb at 3:50 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]

A quality digital scan would probably be a good idea. I am not sure what the longevity of different types of digital media, you may be able to make a few copies in a few locations this way. I have heard of flash media being pulled out of a camera that was in a house fire and the images being recovered, I personally have accidently put flash media through the wash without negative consequence. I'm sure there are many CD's out there that are still readable and quite old. Beyond that, if you have G-mail, and send an attached file to your account, then archive it, the files will be there, there is a lot of space there.
As for the actual drawings, I think that it would be advised to make sure you use acid free paper and envelopes or tissues. There may also be factors to consider in regard to the ink in the pens you use. Everything should be labeled on the packaging. In regard to the pencil you may look into using some sort of fixative. especially if the pencils you used were those with softer (darker) graphite since it tends to smudge. Lamination might be a good idea, given that you've made sure that the materials involved will not degrade.
Here are some relevant links I've found:
posted by Vague_Blur at 4:15 PM on September 24, 2008

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