In June I receive an email:
Hello! I am a Pelvic Floor Therapist starting out on my own and am really interested in using your pelvis for a logo. I love the creativity side of the painting and getting away from the clinical/medical images I see so often. This work is multi dimensional and benefits from a soft personable approach. I feel this image automatically calms the parasympathetic nervous system and welcomes folks who are anxious about their situation and what is involved with their healing journey. Please let me know if this is something you would be interested in and how to move forward. I am available to talk if you would like to hear more about what I do and my vision! _________ I am in ________. A great country town with lots of art and culture!
I receive requests for use of my work fairly often. I’ve not allowed anyone the right to use it for marketing a business. This doesn’t mean I will not, it means I have not.
I always research before I respond. In the course of my usual checking, I find this person has already used an image and was coming to me after the fact. Surprised and disappointed, I contact the person and eventually learn my work was used on brochures, rack cards, business cards and a banner.
Some back and forth via email and phone – I had hopes the issue would have resolved by now.
I communicate with numerous professionals in our arts community and people’s response and direction are helpful to me. (Thanks Michelle, Rebecca, Ted and Reed) Everyone is appalled that my work was used without permission. I get legal counsel.
I organize a Single Use Agreement that includes a fee and terms for what has already been done. Initially I ask for 2 copies of all printed material and am informed it’s all been handed out except for the business cards. Eventually I ask for everything remaining, including banner, to be sent to me. This is where things sit today.
In the meantime, I wonder about moving forward with my blog.
The blog is a journal, holding record of my work. It’s part of how I organize and learn. It holds information and notes I return to often. I am an educator and it is a tool for both learning and teaching. It’s an enjoyable part of my process that forms connection. I have regular visitors. I’ve interacted with people all over the world. It’s brought opportunities and sales. I value and enjoy the medium.
As a visual artist, I am careful with photographing and documenting. I don’t know that I want to add a copyright and/or a watermark to compositions/images.
In all my years as a working artist, I’ve read books and attended lectures on legal matters concerning artist and their work. The internet changes things. You can find plenty of material on-line concerning rights and protection. Professional arts organizations offer artists insight and direction for best practice. But we need all proffesionals to practice this method too.
I had another issue come up early in the summer. It was simple to resolve. The suggestion (from colleagues and articles) to the artist is to continue blogging because advantages outweigh disadvantages. I believe this to be true.
And I thought WordPress getting rid of the spell-check was my biggest challenge here.
Meanwhile…on the airplane heading back to Phoenix a few days ago, I begin reading a book I find in my father’s library. This Calvin and Hobbs comic strip falls out of it. #INeedAFunny
BTW: In case you’re wondering, the option g 4 in the title are the keys you hit to create the ©.
Update: We settled the issue.
©2019 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY MONICA AISSA MARTINEZ
Ugh, so sorry you found your work was being used without permission! I know the feeling. Unauthorized uses are why many use watermarks. Nothing is 100% protection, but putting your notice on images seems to deter the majority of infringers, which are just “casual” and uninformed, and wrongly think everything on the internet is free.