Experimenting with lots of paper and color calibration is an essential step for testing print quality. Not all the people use the same methods nor similar materials, also not everyone have the same taste for quality. Of course, we, the artists and illustrators will do anything to provide the best for our supporters. The only way to acquire alternatives with successful results, one must experiment and fail simultaneously, until hitting the right spot!
Sometimes we are better off letting a printing industry take care of our artworks when conventions, meetings or any other event (related to our portfolio or merch) comes by; but what if the “Ifs” suddenly clash in to our minds like:
Luckily we have the right tools for that (eventually I’ll talk about it) yet there is a small chance that we barely have the control of the situation. We must see this as a 50/50 situation. The first portion, we artist’s work on our wips, process the inking and the coloring, measure it or scale it to different sizes and papers and finally test it out on a hard proof with color management (CMYK). The other half, the printing industry will do the required service on the chosen paper (whether the sample kit of paper was bought or just simply printed blindly), use their printings devices and ink cartridges accesibles, and manage the specified marks, bleeds or slugs.
This little DIY may help you to figure out how the colors comes out and how the papers affect the quality of your work. It all depends of your artwork, the ink cartridges and of course the type of printer that you have accessible. To be able to see the differences and the results you must experiments with paper stocks, make several adjustments in your computer and programs and even buying and giving the appropriate materials and management to the devices (printer, computer, monitor, etc.)