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Lesson Plans

Re: signing student work

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Betty Bowen (
Wed, 10 Nov 1999 12:13:27 -0600

About signing student work someone said:
(sorry, it took so long for me to get through the "new format" of 105
continual digest posts I don't remember who it was!)

>> These are student pieces of art work we talking about here, unless I
>> missed something.

I, too, started selling paintings when in High School and didn't have a
proper art class there. I entered an unfinished, therefore unsigned painting
to a non-student grown-up competition in another part of the state. It won a
purchase award, and was "purchased" by the juror himself. He then wrote me a
hot check for it and never responded to any correspondence. I later heard
from a friend's mom that she'd seen it hung in an office in that town with
someone else's name on it. Gee, I wonder whose?

So, sad story that my first sale (to a stranger) was a "steal", but it was a
hard lesson learned about the value of signing. I don't do the little
copyright thing, though. I only see that on paintings by artists who have
their work commercially reproduced.

My cousin, as an enthusiastic new graphic design employee at a manufacturing
company, (his job was to design catalogs, not artwork) designed a character
he thought would represent the company's product. At first it was fun for
him to have a visual idea of his in production. Over time, however, he
became the goose with the golden egg. His salary remained the same as they
began to rake in the money generated by this character. I mean millions of
dollars. They demanded more and more of this character and would not allow
him to sign his work at the threat of being fired. When he would sneak in
his initials they would remove them. Recently, after a full decade of this,
he was abruptly fired. They seized his personal hard-drives. It should be
interesting to see what happens with this as a legal situation.


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