Your art looks fabulous on-screen, but to show its maximum potential, you need to get it printed out at the highest possible quality ready for to hang on your walls. The best way to do this is to use a top-notch professional A3+ inkjet printer – which produces large prints that are ready for sale.

Follow step-by-step as Ciara Phelan takes you behind-the-scenes as she creates one of her fantastic retro-inspired artworks, and then see how she selects output settings and paper types to produce perfect prints from a Canon PIXMA Pro9500 Mark II.

You’ll learn how to arrange and combine elements for dynamic effect at A3 size, optimising contrast and developing collections of strong colours that will look stunning when output at the highest quality – with far more flexibility than with traditional print systems. You’ll also be guided through how to use Canon’s Easy-PhotoPrint Pro plug-in for Photoshop, which combines the functions of Photoshop’s Print and the printer’s settings dialogues to make conflicts a thing of the past and getting the results you want a doddle.

Step 1 When making a collage poster it is important to source the right imagery. The whole success of the composition will hinge on the range and quality of images you have to choose from.

For this print, we’re harking back to the look of the circus in old children’s books and encyclopedias. I’ve collected a set of stock images that represent what it must have felt like to go to a big traveling circus as a child in the mid-20th century – the excitement of human acrobatic ability and exotic animals. If you want to create retro-looking images from your own photos, see our tip.