crediting your art crediting your art

Crediting Your Art: The Simple Guide to Protecting Your Work

Remember when the internet was still a wild frontier for artists? There was real anxiety about sharing art online—concerns about art being copied or used without permission were rampant.

When Pinterest hit the scene, it sparked a whole new wave of worry among artists. Misinterpretations of user agreements led to fears that social media platforms could take liberties with the artworks shared on them. It mirrors the apprehension felt across various platforms where the rules of sharing and credit are often murky.

Your art is personal, and protecting it on these digital stages is more important than ever.

Guarding Your Art from Theft

Worrying about someone swiping your art can be like a constant, nagging whisper. It’s a valid concern; after all, your creative works are a piece of who you are.

Key Actions to Safeguard Your Art:

  • Mark Your Territory: It’s essential to put your stamp on your creations. You don’t have to go all formal with copyright registration, but mark your work visibly.
  • Proof of Ownership: Keep all your sketches and process work handy. They are your creative fingerprints proving the work originated from you.

Pro Tips:

  • Consider embedding your name or a unique identifier into your work.
  • Documenting your art’s creation process, through photos or videos, can be a powerful proof of your authorship.

Remember, it’s up to you to take steps to protect your art from being misappropriated. You don’t need to stress over every potential scenario, but be proactive and mindful about securing what you’ve worked hard to create.

Credit for Your Art Starts With Your Name

Attribution on your artwork is crucial and it all hinges on the name displayed alongside your creations. Without your name clearly attached to your work, you’re missing out on the recognition you deserve.

To build a legacy in the art world, consistency is key. Lock down how your name will appear and stick to it. Here are some common name formats you might consider:

  • Your Full Name (John Smith)
  • First and Middle Initials (John D. Smith)
  • Incorporating a Maiden Name (John Doe Smith)

Remember, the name that represents you professionally may differ from the signature on your canvas – it’s your call. Whatever you choose, it’s how you’ll be known, now and in the history books.

Spare no detail in claiming your art with the name that feels most authentic to you. After all, it’s about making sure your art and your identity are inseparably linked.

Make Sure Your Name Is Visible

To establish your identity as an artist, your chosen name should be consistently visible across various platforms. Here’s a checklist to ensure your name gets the attention it deserves:

  • Website/Blog Header: Place your name prominently at the top of every page, regardless of the template or platform you’re using.
  • Email Newsletter: Feature your name at the top or just below your email newsletter’s signature.
  • Email “From” Line: When sending emails, the sender line should display your professional name.
  • Email Sign-Off: End personal emails with your professional signature, except when writing to those closest to you.
  • Online Storefronts: Whether you’re using your name or a business brand, ensure your personal name is highlighted.

Remember, your name is your brand. Keep it visible wherever your work is present to leave a lasting impression.

Enter the Art Credit Line

Hey, got some fantastic art to share? Awesome—it’s time to ensure that stamp of creativity bears your name. Here’s a quick guide to adding a proper art credit line; think of it as introducing your art properly wherever you showcase it—online, on social media, print media, or on an exhibition wall.

Your Art Credit Line should include:

  • Your Name
  • Title of the Art Piece (italicized is a nice touch)
  • Medium or Technique (give ’em a hint of your process)
  • Size (height x width and depth if it’s a 3D piece) — typically for print or digital displays
  • Photo Credits (who snapped that beautiful shot of your work)

This info not only respects your hard work but also lets admirers know the story and craft behind each piece. Don’t forget to share it every time your art goes public!

Adding Copyright Notification (and the © Symbol)

When sharing your artwork online or in published materials, it’s a good move to include a copyright notice. Here’s a quick guide on how to add it:

  • On a Mac: Simply hold the OPTION key and press the letter ‘g’.
  • On a PC: Press Ctrl+Alt+c at the same time.

This little © not only signifies your legal claim over your creation but also serves as a deterrent to those tempted to use your work without permission.

Remember, your right to copyright exists from the moment your creation is made—you don’t need to register it to claim ownership.

Properly Detailing the Size of Your Art

When you’re documenting the dimensions of your artwork, there’s a simple yet effective convention to follow.

For pieces hanging on the wall, such as paintings and prints, the height comes first, then the width. Think of it as a straightforward H x W format.

Remember, the depth only joins the party if the piece sticks out considerably from the wall—usually, if it’s more than about 9 inches.

For the sculpture enthusiasts and creators of things that fully embrace the three-dimensional world, you’ll want to include depth in your measurements. So grab your tape measure and jot down those numbers in the order of H x W x D.

Here’s a handy tip: create a standard format for crediting your art that feels right for you. Once settled, stick to it for consistency.

Check out this universally adoptable format that you’re welcome to use:

  • ©Artist’s Name, Title of Work in Italics. Medium/technique, dimensions (H x W x D).
  • If you want to mention when your masterpiece was born, pop the creation year right after the copyright symbol:
    • ©Year, Artist’s Name, Title of Work in Italics. Medium/technique, dimensions (H x W x D).

Where to Include Your Credit Line

When sharing your artwork online or in printed materials, making sure your full credit line is always visible is essential. This helps viewers instantly recognize who created the work they are admiring.

Below are key spots to showcase your full credit line:

  • On your personal website or blog:

    • Make a habit of checking if your credit line remains visible when images are clicked and expanded.
    • A common mistake is having images that, when enlarged, no longer show your name or credit details.
  • Social media profiles:

    • Always accompany your completed artworks with your full credit line, even on social media.
    • While work-in-progress pieces might vary, the finished ones deserve full attribution.
  • Printed promotional materials:

    • Include your full credit line on materials like postcards, catalogs, flyers, brochures, calendars, and note cards to maintain consistent acknowledgment across various platforms.
  • Art exhibitions:

    • While at live shows, listing the artwork’s dimensions is unnecessary (as viewers can experience the size directly), your credit line should still be present.
    • The dimension details are more suited for a collection checklist.

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