“Know your Copyrights” – Vol. 1 | ARTicle 1
Vol. 1 is an ARTicle series to help artists become better equipped in the realm of copyrights.
Vol. 1 | ARTicle 1
The Artist’s Signature | By Erik Jessen
As an artist it’s important to know the law of copyright, and it may be less hassle than you thought. Our ever-growing city and surrounding areas are sprawling with artists of every discipline. This information would be very useful for new artists and may be a refresher for veteran creatives.
Copyright law is a very important area for an artist to know, and can be the most useful tool in your kit. Louisiana defers copyright enquiry to copyright.gov. Our copyright law states when a piece of art (paintings, drawings, pottery, music, and more) is created and displayed, it holds a copyright automatically for that artist. This makes it easier on artists to have their work protected from copying and stealing. In a practical sense there’s no reason to place “artist name copyright 2016” in the bottom corner of a beautiful piece of artwork when a basic signature will suffice. Signatures help identify who the artist is and become the mark of completion.
Here are some tips I’ve researched over and over when it comes to signatures and marks (a mark is a logo or symbol):
1. Keep your signature or mark legible, make it readable.
2. Keep your signature or mark consistent.
3. Don’t let the signature over-power or distract from the artwork.
So why is all of this important? It has simple readability and an overall consistency. If you ever find yourself in court defending your work then the jury will recognize your signature and be able to prove it’s yours. To artists, the signature is the mark of his or her copyright and becomes the identifying mark that stands in court. Revisit your signature; make sure that anything that’s posted on the web has your signature part of the original image or a watermark. This could be the deciding factor of defending a stolen piece of art.
Erik Jessen copyright 2016.