Friday, January 20, 2017

Bo's bLAWg - Online Licensing Websites (VIDA / ShopVIDA)

 
 MJ Bogatin (“Bo”) of Bogatin, Corman & Gold, is an Arts and Entertainment Attorney in San Francisco.  He is also Co-President of California Lawyers for the Arts. www.calawyersforthearts.org. Bo is available to answer some of your questions surrounding the business of Art Licensing. - THANKS BO!

I've known several artists approached by VIDA.  I'm attaching their Artist Contract and am wondering what you think of its terms?  Montana

Thanks for your question, Montana.  I have had occasion to consider a few different online licensing websites.  Some, like VIDA, promote themselves as a “Manufacturer on Demand.”  I doubt that they themselves are manufacturers.  They are more likely, the “intermediary.”

I can see how an online website licensing would be an attractive business model to entrepreneurs who have relationships with manufacturers (or their US tradeshow representatives).  If the website can sign up lots of artists, it is possible that they can make a lot of money from the sales of products with artists’ designs, whether to the public – or even more likely, to the very artists whose artwork has been licensed.  Many artists just want to see their work featured on products, from placemats to scarves.  If the online licensee can entice the artists themselves to purchase enough of a given product – and the manufactured product prospects are unlimited -- current digital imaging allows the manufacturer to easily change out designs.  Small quantity orders of a few hundred units can be profitable with overseas, non-union manufacturing, with a generous mark-up on the re-sale of such inventory to artists -- and possibly to retailers.

As for the licensor artists, I suspect that this not an unduly expensive way to obtain a decent inventory of select products bearing their designs.  However, I doubt that there are many commercial success stories generated from sales from these websites.  If I am in error on this, I would like to be informed of it!

When I dig into VIDA’s, not only do I find some very objectionable terms, I also find an emphasis on asking the artist to invest in the purchase of models promoting their pending product line, and discounts available for purchasing $300+ of the merchandise.  If every artist who signs up agrees to the marketing photos and a minimum purchase of select products with their very own designs, clearly, the business model has income potential to the purveyors if not the artists!

Upon signing up with VIDA and uploading two illustrations, it is my understanding that artists are asked to become “a featured designer on VIDA with a Curated Collection.”  In conjunction with this invitation there is an ask for money summarized as follows:

To claim your curated collection, you can use one of two private codes listed.  With “Code Curated 25,” the artist is invited to receive one professional lifestyle photo of a model wearing an item from your collection.  Check out with $300+ worth of merchandise in your cart and enter the promo code, “Curated25” at checkout, and 25% will then be taken off your order.  You will also get a curated collection page with one professional lifestyle photo of a model wearing an item from your collection, and at least one of your products product featured on the VIDA Shop All page with professional lifestyle photography.

If you select Code Curated40, you receive three professional lifestyle photos of a model wearing items from your collection.  Check out with $900+ worth of merchandise in your cart and enter the promo code, “Curated40” at checkout, and 40% will then be taken off your order, and you will get a curated collection page with three lifestyle photos of a model wearing items from your collection, and at least one of your products featured on the VIDA Shop All page with professional lifestyle photography.

Again, this is an extremely limited offering since we can only offer curated collection upgrades to a small group of artists. Since we have limited space for curated collections, we are limiting the availability to upgrade your collection until just October 30th, only 4 more days.”

This promotional material is said to be “extremely limited,” but as far as I know, it has been posted indefinitely.

Of critical importance, as always for me, are the terms that are imposed by the website licensee on the artist who clicks “Agree.”  As for the VIDA Agreement, http://studio.shopvida.com/terms-and-conditions , I have a number of concerns about its terms, many of which are wholly objectionable.

With reference to my prior Basic Licensing Terms bLAWg, http://annietroe.blogspot.com/2015/02/bos-blawg-what-should-be-in-art.html , note first that the grant of rights to any images uploaded is immediately “exclusive and perpetual.”  This means that whether or not anything is made of the artist’s imagery, (and there is no guarantee that there will be!), the artist has no further right of use to it for licensing purposes!

Furthermore, the artist gives up any right to object to the way in which her imagery may be used on any given product – by itself or in combination with other imagery -- or the quality of the product itself!

While VIDA requires the artist to provide their photograph and biographical material, there is no obligation on VIDA’s part that it will post or use this information in conjunction with its promotional efforts on behalf of such artist. To the contrary, in an accompanying “Plain English Terms” explanation of the Agreement, VIDA makes clear that artist imagery may be used without a copyright notice or artists brand or logo.  This not only deprives the artist of a key reason for licensing her imagery, but suggests to the public that there is no copyright claimed on the imagery used on the products, and the prospect of unlimited “innocent infringement” with minimal damage claims despite artist’s registered copyright.

A Ten Percent is offered on VIDA’s “Net Sales.”  Revealingly, this 10% is offered as a “sales commission” to the artist rather than a royalty.  By calling it a “sales commission,” clearly VIDA expects the artist to be the seller – not VIDA or retailers to which it is ostensibly marketing the products.

The Net Sales definition includes “discounts” and “bad debts,” neither or which would the artist have any control over.  Too bad if it was Uncle Lenny who failed to pay for those 500 units that he bought wholesale for resale to retailers of his acquaintance(!)   And to make matters even worse, the VIDA Agreement expressly rejects any obligation to verify its listed sales information or an audit, both of which are standard provisions in legitimate licensing deals.

If these particular provisions are not bad enough, VIDA then states that it “reserves the right to change these terms at any time.”  Somehow, I doubt such changes will be for VIDA artists’ benefit!

It is my understanding that there are a number of such online businesses including Society6, RedBubble, Art of Where, Minted and Bucketfeet.  If you have questions about their contract terms, I’d be pleased to comment on those as well.

Disclaimer:  The information contained in this website is not intended and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Because the law is not static, and one situation will differ from the next, the results will differ as well, thus we do not assume responsibility for any actions taken based on any information contained herein. Also, be aware that the laws vary from state to state. Therefore, this website cannot replace the advice of an experienced attorney who practices within the jurisdiction involved in your issue or dispute. Receipt of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship. MJ Bogatin, Bogatin, Corman & Gold www.bcgattorneys.com
© 2017 mjbogatin

Have a legal question? email it to info@AnnGraphics.com. I will forward it to Bo. It might be a blog post! You can search "Bo's bLAWg" to read more posts. I am looking forward to your comments and thanks for sharing this great information on social media.

 

Make my day! and Buy me a cup of coffee (PayPal Link in right side bar, you don't need a PayPal acct.)

 Don't want to miss the good stuff? Sign up for my newsletter ;-)

 

Friday, January 6, 2017

Spotlight on All Art Licensing, J’net Smith

 

First tell us a bit about yourself.
I grew up in Salem, Oregon. It was a wonderful childhood full of 4-H, beach combing, boating and fishing with my Dad and brother, and crafting and painting with my mother. I graduated with a combined B.S. in journalism and marketing.  After a few years at a Seattle ad agency, I moved without a job to NYC to expand my horizons and see what I could do with my life. I worked for a major travel publisher for the first five years and travelled the world, usually taking 10-12 international trips a year. It was a blast! When I went to work for the president of Macmillan Publishing, I began licensing an English as a Second Language television course in conjunction with the USIA (United States Information Agency). This is where I learned about the global power of licensing.

I pursued a job at United Media (the licensing division of United Feature Syndicate), where all the licensing for Peanuts was done at the time. After being hired, I was asked to work on all the lesser known characters, including Nancy and Sluggo, Marmaduke, Over the Hedge and Dilbert.  I built the Dilbert business from its infancy into the first corporate global icon, generating more than $200 million a year in sales in more than 45 countries.

After seven years at United Media, three years as Vice President Licensing, I decided to start my own business and moved back to the West Coast, where I also started my family. My husband, Ric, and I have a son who just turned 12. At first I worked under the name J’net Smith Inc. and in 2006, I created All Art Licensing.


Would you please summarize all that you do!
All Art Licensing has two divisions, the ABC School of Licensing, which is currently still in development and includes all of our video and audio products, live classes, eBooks, templates and other educational elements, and our personal services which fall primarily into 3 categories – coaching (I help you decide what needs to be done and teach you how to do it yourself, often providing contacts and information), consulting (I do the work for you) and agenting (I occasionally still represent artists, cartoonists, brands, authors and other creatives to market their work to manufacturers, producers, retailers and others in the position to license their work).

I am first and foremost a brand developer. With all clients, whether artists, cartoonists, authors and other creators, I help them envision the big picture and then find the most efficient pathway to generate money with their creativity and IP (intellectual property). I can also help them do it. A lot of what I do is eliminate hours of unnecessary work with information, knowledge and connections. I love working with artists and getting them ready for the million-dollar deal, also helping them learn how to become less vulnerable and realize that they have the power to do anything they want!

Do you have employees/help?
Yes. I have a number of people I work with on a daily basis, both in my office and through virtual connections. In addition, I have strategic partnerships with designers, cartoonists, manufacturers, retailers, publishers, producers, attorneys, videographers, specialized agents, publicist, webmasters and other experts in their fields, whom I call on for all types of projects.  No one is an island, you need relationships and the right connections to get the job done.

How does Agenting and or Consulting/Coaching work if an artist comes to you for help? What do you look for in an artist/character/brand?
When a creator comes to me they usually have an idea of how they want to work. If they are looking for an agent, they say so up front. Agents work on a percentage of the licensing revenue that they bring in for a client and the commission share can vary widely.  I try to be very reasonable, and I take on only a few clients at a time. For consulting work, the client usually comes with an idea of what they are looking for and ask if X number of hours will do the job. I guide them, so that they get the most bang for the buck. Often what they think they need/want is different from what they actually need/want. We work through that in the most economical way possible.

The difference between consulting and coaching is that in consulting I do the work for the client, whereas in coaching I teach and guide the creator so that they can save money and do a lot of it themselves.  Honestly, people have talents they aren’t even aware of...and I like to drill down to see what and how much they can do, and want to do.  With the right guidance at those critical junctures, many people can do far more than they ever imagined!  I have many clients who have been with me for years. They often come once or twice a year for direction and guidance, or for a specific purpose, such as advice on a contract or to prepare for a negotiation.  Whatever help they request and need, that’s what I do.

Artists sometimes come to me for coaching, but if I see they need basic licensing education before entering into the licensing arena, this is why I am developing the ABC School of Licensing courses. The video courses and eBooks provide very detailed industry knowledge and ‘how to’ information at a price-point that the average artist can afford. I wouldn’t want to steer an artist toward investing in personal coaching, if they can get the information in a more economical format.

What I look for in an artist/character/brand varies greatly.  I am very interested in artists and designers with a specific style and bent, especially those who are on the cutting edge of trends or those who cover a multitude of themes in their work.   It’s really exciting to find prolific creators, who also have technical skills. For characters. I look for a well-thought-out concept that has a unique niche.  Whether art or characters, knowing your target audience is key.  And, of course, I love finding those creators with pure raw talent.

How has the Art Licensing business changed over the years?
Oh, it’s changed quite a bit since I started. 
First of all, there is a lot more information available to artists wanting to get into this business. But I find that creators need more help than ever sorting through the information, identifying what’s valuable (will make money) and making sense of it all.  A coaching session 1-2x a year can help a great deal, especially when you have decided to market yourself and not utilize the services of an agent.  Or to help you find the right agent.

Second, there is a lot more competition in the marketplace today with more artists than ever wanting to get into the art licensing industry, while many manufacturers continue to be risk-adverse and scared to try new artists and brands.

Third, the technological advances in the last ten years have made a huge impact on what you can do as an artist.  From being able to create your own website and product store to print-on-demand manufacturing opportunities and the ability to broadcast art, cartoons and all types of content to the world platform vs. a local stage.  Again, literally, mind-bogglingly amazing!  It creates a huge playing field, as never experienced before.  For those who are up to the challenges, it’s incredibly exciting.

What sort of resources do you offer?
I think one of the biggest resources All Art Licensing offers, in addition to our training, strategic planning, brand development, contract advice and negotiation services—to name a few—is our eighty free Minicourses available on our website.  Each one is a question I answer, from artists around the world – a kind of bite-size class available all day, every day for everyone.  Scroll through the questions and I’m sure you will find something of interest that you can learn from. I find many creators, that are new to licensing, don’t even know what questions to ask and which questions and answers will be most valuable. The Minicourses give you a fantastic place to start and everyone can get a feel for the quality and type of information and advice I provide. We are also offering a great deal of information through our social media platforms.

Any great news you would like to share?
Yes, as a matter of fact, All Art Licensing is creating more training courses and will have more products available in more different learning modes than ever (streaming, video, audio, chat, conferences, etc.), under our new moniker of ABC School of Licensing (A=Art, B=Brands, C=Characters), so please watch as we develop this over the coming year. And I would love to hear from your readers what challenges them and what they want to learn about most. 

Any advice or information you would like to share?
I would recommend creators get advice on how to grow their business sooner rather than later…and focus. It’s amazing what you can achieve when you focus, execute and then move on to the next target, rather than taking a shotgun approach and just seeing what you can hit.

 
You can find J’net
Website: http://www.allartlicensing.com/
Blog: http://www.allartlicensing.com/blog/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/allartlicensing
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AllArtLicensing
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeanette-smith-91ab7a6/

 

Note: J'net will be answering question live on February 9th in my 2nd Thursdays text chat group on ArtLicensingShow.com. ALL paid members of ArtLicensingShow.com are welcome to join us! Send your questions to me, or post then in the comments below. info@AnnGraphics.com

Make my day! and Buy me a cup of coffee (PayPal Link in right side bar at the top of this page, you don't need a PayPal acct.)
 

Don't want to miss the good stuff? Sign up for my newsletter ;-)

 

 

 

Friday, December 9, 2016

Bo's bLAWg - Change in DMCA Designated Agents & Takedown Notices

December 1, 2016 Registration Process change 

MJ Bogatin (“Bo”) of Bogatin, Corman & Gold, is an Arts and Entertainment Attorney in San Francisco.  He is also Co-President of California Lawyers for the Arts. www.calawyersforthearts.org. Bo is available to answer some of your questions surrounding the business of Art Licensing. - THANKS BO!

If you run a web page that allows posting of any user-generated content (even comments), it is very important that you have a DMCA Agent designated to handle takedown notice requests and disputes so you are protected under the DMCA safe-harbor provisions. Any operator of such a website is deemed a “Service Provider.”  If a Service Provider does not have a registered designated agent and material is posted by one of your Users that infringes a third party’s copyright interest or other rights (i.e. a defamatory statement or violation of a third party’s right to privacy or trademark), then you can be personally liable as the publisher of such material!

However, as long as you as the Service Provider does not actively participate in the illegal posting, or make copies, or determine to whom it is to be shared other than by and through ‘passive’ operation of the website or online bulletin board, then the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) offers the Service provider legal protection from liability, known as “Safe Harbor,” but only if the Service provider has listed a Designated Agent to receive objections and act in a proper manner with respect to removal of improper postings.
(See: https://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap5.html#512 )

As you may already be aware, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and all the major internet Service Providers have posted Terms of Use that include pages that detail how a person who objects to posted content is to notify them.  Perhaps you have had occasion to pursue such a process yourself when one of your copyrighted works was posted by a third party without your permission.  The removal request process involves sending what is called a “Takedown Notice.”  The specific content of the Takedown Notice is set out in online procedures such as this YouTube page: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/6005900?hl=en

However, most website operators are not large enough to have fulltime staff to handle takedown notices.  In the absence of specific Takedown Notice procedures, the DMCA sets up a process whereby the website proprietors can register their agent with the US Copyright Office to be contacted for this purpose.  Simply by designating the agent and making sure the agent acts reasonably and responsibly upon receipt of complaints and/or a Takedown Notice, insures that the website owner Service Provider will not be held liable as a publisher of the illegal or offensive content.

Since 1998, Service Providers have submitted paper designations to the Copyright Office, which the Office then scanned and posted on the Office’s website to make them available to the public. Modernizing this practice, the Office has created a new, fully-electronic online system through which Service Providers can more efficiently submit and update, and the public can more easily search for and find, Designated Agent information. The amended rules govern Service Provider use of the new system and update what is required of Service Providers to remain compliant with 17 USC 512(c)(2) for Safe Harbor purposes.

On Dec. 1, 2016, the U.S. Copyright Office launched its new electronic system to designate and search for agents to receive notifications of claimed infringement.  Going forward, all new DMCA takedown notice agent designations must now be made through the online registration system. Additionally, any service provider that has previously designated an agent with the Copyright Office through the old paper-based system will have until December 31, 2017, to submit a new designation electronically through the new system. Until that time, an accurate designation in the old paper-generated directory will continue to satisfy the service provider’s obligations under 17 USC 512(c)(2).

You can access the new system at: https://www.copyright.gov/dmca-directory/

These DMCA filings will expire every three years, so they will need to be renewed.  The Copyright Office’s new system is supposed to send out email reminders.  We’ll see about that(!)
Filing fees are significantly lower than they were previously:  now $6 per entity.  All alternative names that the public would be likely to use to search for the Service Provider’s Designated Agent must be provided.  There is no limit to the number of alternative names, URLs, service names, software names, and other commonly used names that can be listed on a Service Provider’s filing for this fee.  However, separate legal entities must file separately and are not considered alternative names.

The Designated Agent does not have to be a natural (living) person. Service Providers now have the option to designate a specific person (e.g., Jane Doe), specific position or title of an individual (e.g., Copyright Manager), a department within the Service Provider’s organization or even a third-party entity (e.g., ACME Takedown Service) retained to handle Takedown Notices.

The Designated Agent’s physical mail address, telephone number and email address must be provided to the Copyright Office, and a Designated Agent may now provide a post office box to be displayed as its physical address. However, in a nod to technological obsolescence, a fax number is no longer required.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this website is not intended as legal advice. Because the law is not static, and one situation may differ from the next, we cannot assume responsibility for any actions taken based on information contained herein. Also, be aware that the law may vary from state. Therefore, this website cannot replace the advice of an experienced attorney. Receipt of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship. MJ Bogatin, Bogatin, Corman & Gold, www.bcgattorneys.com

© 2016 MJ Bogatin

Have a legal question? email it to info@AnnGraphics.com. I will forward it to Bo. It might be a blog post! You can search "Bo's bLAWg" to read more posts. I am looking forward to your comments and thanks for sharing this great information on social media.

 

Make my day! and Buy me a cup of coffee (PayPal Link in right side bar, you don't need a PayPal acct.)

 Don't want to miss the good stuff? Sign up for my newsletter ;-)

 

 

Friday, December 2, 2016

Artist Spotlight - Steph Calvert

 
 

Tell us a bit about yourself: Did you go to school for art? Are you self taught? 
I was the arty kid back in school; I can still remember getting in trouble in seventh grade for looking out the window and drawing instead of paying attention in class. Strangely enough, in high school I was fighting that and seriously thinking about going to school to be a vet - I even took classes like Latin (nerd alert!) that I thought would be helpful in college...

And then junior year, I remembered that vets deal with blood and needles.

So that was the end of that.

I went to Savannah College of Art and Design and graduated with a BFA in computer art in the spring of 1999, focusing on 2D hand drawn animation. When I came out of school, there was less and less traditional animation positions - especially for a newbie with no work experience - so I've been adapting my skills ever since.

I've worked as an in-house artist for OshKosh B'Gosh, I've illustrated two travel themed coloring books, and most recently I've created repeat patterns and t-shirt graphics for Kohl's as well as created a custom pizza box for a client that's literally COVERED with hand lettering and fun drawings! There's some really exciting new opportunities that have been coming in, but it's a tad too early to mention specifics. 

Do you work in just one medium? Several?
As I've grown with my art over the years, fresh techniques get added to my process. Within the last year I feel like I've really honed in on my "style". It's all about digital painting in Photoshop, mixing in layers of hand lettering created with either paint or markers, and bringing lots of hand drawn or painted textures to the party. It's a great way to create pieces that are easy to work with on the production side of things, but I'm not chained to the computer every step of the way.

20+ years of creating artwork professionally on computers has left me always thinking and creating in layers and workability for production. When I draw with markers or paint in traditional media - acrylics, watercolors, or gouache, I usually play around on paper, and then scan everything into the computer at as high a resolution as possible and pull together my finished pieces there. Live trace, vector bits, and smart objects are my best friends. Outside of my husband of course.

I really like the control I have in Photoshop - I can call out specific Pantones, I can get more precise, I can edit that one little stray line that isn't quite working with the rest of the piece. Most importantly, everything and I mean everything is separated out into layers so I can go back and change things easily. Photoshop gives my clients peace of mind knowing the ease of production and editing they'll experience while working with me.


What inspires you / where do you get inspiration from?
I pull so much inspiration from my life! I've been a self employed work at home mom since our son Phil was born in 2010. Nowadays, he's in kindergarten, but his little sister Joy will be in the studio with me until she starts pre-K in a couple of years. My family is hilarious - there's lots to get inspired by.

My latest collection for licensing, This is Halloween, is inspired by some decorations my son Phil and I bought ages ago at a dollar store. My kids love the fun characters and the bright happy colors - even though those little cardboard cutouts have taken a serious beating over the years, they HAVE to have them on the walls every year! I wanted to create a group that made kids smile just as much, in colors that were classic and easy to work with alongside someone's existing Halloween home decor. I've also got a few kids book ideas on tap based on funny things that we've experienced as parents, and don't even get me started on all of the greeting card designs I'm starting to work up based on hilarious one liners that have been blurted out in our house over the years!

How did you start licensing your art?
As I ventured on the path of self employment, I was finding more and more clients were asking for web design. I was happy to oblige; I was great at it and the paycheck was fairly steady. But over time, I was finding that I was becoming more and more unhappy with my work. I missed drawing. About a year ago, I slowly started to pull away from web design; I took advantage of the Black Friday deal on some Make Art that Sells courses from Lilla Rogers, I worked my way through Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way and actually stuck it out through all twelve weeks over the summer... taking the leap of faith is really what helped push me towards art licensing.


What are you working on now?
I'm wrapping up 2016 with lots of great Christmas art that'll be available for licensing, and I'm fine tuning what art I'll be working on each month for 2017. I'm playing with the idea of working within a theme for each month, a month ahead of time. So January I'll work on all things love, so I have lots of great Valentine's theme art to share all February long.

I'm also honing in on what I want my Instagram feed to look like, because that's a great way to get exposure. The balance for me is to share enough to get art directors interested, without giving away the really good stuff. One of my strengths after so much time spent working as an apparel illustrator is coming up with funny sayings that haven't been totally overused in the marketplace. It's been interesting trying to figure out how to share without sharing too much if that makes sense.

Any great advice for our readers?
Failure is for quitters - if you don't ever give up on your art, you'll never fail.

Before I shifted focus to my illustration work, there was a lot of things I was pretty attached to - like my old business name. As I started working with my agent, I quickly started to realize that if I wanted real and drastic change in my career, I needed to be as open as possible to that change! Here we are six months later - I've got a new website, a growing portfolio that's finally showing a cohesive and distinct style, and lots of prospective projects on the horizon. None of this would have been possible if I stubbornly held on to the old ways.

And keep in mind - an illustration agent isn't the silver bullet that is going to make a deluge of work come busting down your door the second you sign on. When you connect with an agent, marketing your work is still your responsibility, but now the exciting thing is you're part of a team. There's more than one of you working on bringing in projects and licensing deals - they're an advocate for you if a project goes south, and can be an amazing sounding board as you work through the direction your career needs to take. My agent Liz Sanders has been so key in helping to shape my illustration adventure!

Anything else you would like to share with us?
I'm always learning something new - it keeps things interesting. A couple of months ago my friend Kim and I took an oil painting class for the first time, and we were hooked! I don't know how well oils would work for art licensing since it takes such a long time for the paint to dry, but I'm definitely continuing to explore this medium moving forward.

I have a group of artwork that'll be seen on girls t-shirts in Kohls in Spring 2017, and I'll also be working on a kids book pitch for one of my many ideas to start shopping around next year. I'm looking forward to connecting with a literary agent that works with illustrator authors for some really fun titles!
 
Are you an early riser? or night owl?

As much as I'd love to be a night owl... I'm definitely an early bird. Even when the kids don't wake up horrendously early on a summer morning, I'm still wide awake by 8am.

The upside? There's coffee.
 
What is your favorite food?

All of it... Is all of it an answer?

I just like snacks is all.

But if I had to narrow it down...

I'd have to say cookies, coffee, macarons, chocolate, pizza, chips, salsa, donuts, cakes, pies, ice cream, fried chicken, cream puffs, bacon, marshmallows, Jelly Bellys, burritos, hamburgers, spaghetti, crab legs, charcuterie plates, grilled cheese sandwiches, quiche, soup, deep fried Oreos, deviled eggs, the candy parts of trail mix, midnight pancake parties, muffins, steak, and all you can eat buffets. And cheesecake.





You can find Steph:
Liz Sanders Agency: http://lizsanders.com/
Email: hi@stephcalvertart.com
Portfolio: http://stephcalvertart.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/stephcalvertart
Instagram: http://instagram.com/stephcalvertart
Twitter: http://twitter.com/stephcalvertart
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/stephcalvertart
LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/stephcalvert
Behance: https://www.behance.net/stephcalvertart
Tumblr: http://stephcalvertart.tumblr.com

Make my day! and Buy me a cup of coffee (PayPal Link in right side bar, you don't need a PayPal acct.).

Don't want to miss the good stuff? Sign up for my newsletter ;-) Want to be spotlighted? email me: info@AnnGraphics.com

 


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Bo's bLAWg - Product Liability Insurance: What you should know


MJ Bogatin (“Bo”) of Bogatin, Corman & Gold, is an Arts and Entertainment Attorney in San Francisco.  He is also Co-President of California Lawyers for the Arts. www.calawyersforthearts.org.  Bo is available to answer some of your questions surrounding the business of Art Licensing. - THANKS BO!

What is product liability insurance and do I need it?  Thanx.  Liz

Thanks for your question, Liz.  Way back in my first Illustrators’ bLAWg, I addressed critical issues in a manufacturing license.  Product Liability Insurance was one of the more esoteric issues that I did not mention in that bLAWg. http://annietroe.blogspot.com/2015/02/bos-blawg-what-should-be-in-art.html

Product liability insurance is protection against claims of injury associated with a manufactured product.  It is usually purchased by the manufacturer to cover claims that someone has suffered damages on account of some dangerous condition or flaw in the product that has caused injury in the course of use of the item.  The short answer to your question, Liz, is “No, you do not need to obtain product liability insurance for yourself unless You are manufacturing products.”
Nowadays, more and more artists are arranging for manufacture of their own product lines and offering them wholesale or retail.  To the extent that an artist is putting herself in the vertical line of sales, it would certainly be prudent to have product liability insurance coverage.  Ideally, however, this is not something the artist should have to purchase for herself, but coverage she could obtain by and through the manufacturer.  Because product liability insurance is a normal business expense of all manufacturers, it is fairly standard for people who make individual contributions to the product being manufactured have the manufacturer make them an “Additional Insured” to the manufacturer’s policy.  However, if the manufacturing has taken place in China or some country where the artist cannot rely on Additional Insured coverage to be provided by such manufacturer,  (or an intermediary “packager” or distributor), then she may do well to obtain her own coverage if the product involved carries any risk of consumer injury.

While it is hard to imagine how an illustrator who licenses an image for use in a given product might ever be personally liable for a product liability claim, it is not unheard of for the illustrator to be named in a product liability complaint.  Since product liability insurance includes legal defense representation, being an Additional Insured on the manufacturer’s coverage is an important consideration.  The manufacturer can most likely have contributors like an artist added without charge, but having the coverage name you are the artist can be invaluable.
Obviously, the artist would not typically be legally responsible for the harm done by the product.  Because a mug with your illustration was poorly made and had a tendency to shatter and cause injury, the artist would not be found liable even if they were sued.  The only situation in which an artist client of mine has had to defend, is when a Chinese-manufactured puzzle had been printed with ink that turned out to be the cause of a child’s illness.  She had nothing to do with the choice of ink used on the puzzle, and was in short order dismissed from the action by the manufacturer’s insurance defense lawyers.  But being named as an Additional Insured gave her a right to rely upon the coverage, without first having to claim against the manufacturer to defend and indemnify her.  Were that tender not accepted, in the absence of the coverage, the artist might be out-of-pocket to defend, even if they were not liable for the claimant’s damages.

But what if it was the artist who had arranged for the Chinese-publication on behalf of the manufacturer?  The product liability coverage could be a financial ‘life-saver.’  The lessons learned were:  have product liability coverage in place just in case, and don’t let your child eat puzzle pieces. 

Disclaimer: The information contained in this website is not intended as legal advice. Because the law is not static, and one situation may differ from the next, we cannot assume responsibility for any actions taken based on information contained herein. Also, be aware that the law may vary from state. Therefore, this website cannot replace the advice of an experienced attorney. Receipt of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship. MJ Bogatin, Bogatin, Corman & Gold, www.bcgattorneys.com© 2016 mjbogatin
______________

Have a legal question? email it to info@AnnGraphics.com. I will forward it to Bo. It might be a blog post! You can search "Bo's bLAWg" to read more posts. I am looking forward to your comments and thanks for sharing this great information on social media.

 

Make my day! and Buy me a cup of coffee (PayPal Link in right side bar, you don't need a PayPal acct.)

 Don't want to miss the good stuff? Sign up for my newsletter ;-)

Friday, November 4, 2016

Artist Spotlight - Cathy Braffet Richardson

 

Tell us a bit about yourself: Did you go to school for art? Are you self taught?
Art to me: The constant appreciation of visual awareness is something that inspires me every day... whether working on a freelance project, creating my own line of designs, hosting a workshop or collaborating with my kids on an art project or dreaming about starting a creative business with my daughter Melissa, art and the creative process is part of my soul.

Looking back to my drawings and paintings as a kid, I have always loved bright color, whimsical line and bold shapes.​ ​From a very young age I remember creating art.... when ever I could. I vividly remember how I felt looking at colors in the sky at different times of the day, and the negative space/composition looking up into the sky through canopy of leaves in a tree. Nature’s lessons shaping my passion of graphic arts and design before I even knew what that was. I believe my creative connection with others, a relationship with nature and a spiritual trust have all built my foundation as an artist.

I received my BFA from Syracuse University's School of Visual Art, where I learned creative discipline and confidence that I could be one day be successful doing what I love. THIS, and supportive parents were the key to the start of my professional life as an artist. After college I studied abroad in Europe through a post graduate semester at Parsons and found my passion of printed fabric and architecture. Both geometric, and organic forms and the repetition in both design disciplines have also shaped my style and visual presence. During my early 20s I lived and worked in NYC. My first graphic design position was at Kick Design where I learned what licensed character art "was". The impact of how the design process of licensed consumer goods was a field I would eternally be connected to. In the mid 90s I was hired by The Walt Disney Company in Los Angeles as a staff designer at Disney Consumer Products​. ​This to me was an artist's dream come true.​  ​
Learning about licensing, design in consumer markets from my mentors during this time of my life helped me build confidence in own art style and brought me to where I am today. My licensing agents, Paul and Marcy at Creatif have been wonderful helping me grow as an illustrator. My clients help me to grow professionally but also allow me to keep current in market trends and ​in​ technology.
​Most importantly, ​​my family teaches and supports me daily with creative balance and bless my life. This is an art of itself.

Do you work in just one medium? Several?​  ​
​On a daily basis I work in Adobe Illustrator and have a love affair with vector points for sure. That​ said, it is my natural joy to paint and draw in a mixed medium format with acrylics/dyes/pens brushes and textures in my sketch books. Creating art with others in either a one-on-one or workshop format “fills my cup! And gets the creative juices flowing”.



What inspires you / where do you get inspiration from?​ 
I find inspiration from my kids; their interests, their lifestyle markets in apparel, home goods, social media trends, music and actually their dreams and desires. I also have always found inspiration through color palettes in fashion and in nature, amazing visual artists, activists and yogis and of course our beautiful Texas Sky....

How did you start licensing your art?​ 
Throughout my career I have worked with entertainment licenses ie Disney etc, designing art for a license OR designing art-product for a licensee. I thought for many years, if flowers I create for Minnie Mouse can sell and be admired, "MY" Flowers for Cathy B. can sell too! Creatif, my agents and I found each other at a perfect time and the story moves on and up from there :)

What are you working on now?
Currently I am freelancing for The Disney Stores and saving up my pennies to start a creative business with my daughter Melissa. We are so excited to create & sell "our art line" on t shirts and other products! Its WIP and very exciting!!!! I am also working on a line of baby prints in a watercolor style which is sort of new for me.

Any great advice for our readers?
My advice to any creative person, is DON'T GIVE UP! And to ​have an ​open mind to see and hear others in a creative process. I have learned there are MANY ways and many directions to take something and always areas to grow - a project, a career direction and a dream. Knowing or experiencing what you "don't like" is just as important as knowing what you LOVE.  Don't be scared ​professionally ​to share your art with others. Supporting other artists, trusting in creative collaboration is amazing! Respect, have gratitude and embrace the "art" of communication and connection with others, with your art and with your creative environment.

Anything else you would like to share with us?

I would love to ask the reader a question, What is your life purpose and what is your mission with your art? This is something I have been working on personally for the past few years and has been extremely important to me in my creative and professional journey. What I have come up with is this: AND I LOVE it. It have brought a deeper purpose into my art and my direction.

care. create. communicate 
This is my mission and my creative purpose.

Gosh, I'd love for you all to check out my website. In the new year, it will be updated with some really fun new and current projects​ as well as a link to "our store" My daughter and I are opening up a very special little business!  www.cathybdesign.com


Are you an early riser? or night owl? 
I am a total night owl and some of my best work comes from working all nighters and sometimes even last minute deadlines! (shhh!) :) ​Finding your groove with sleep patterns/creative process for sure helps​ with starting and or finishing a project! Now that took years to figure out.....

What is your favorite food?​ 
Dark chocolate, my daughter's chocolate chip cookies, "The Fountain" veggie juice from Juice Land​ and yellow tail sushi.

You can find Cathy Braffet Richardson: 
www.cathybdesign.com

I also have a little word of mouth local"ish" side business creating personalized gifts​ ​that might be worth checking out: http://www.facebook.com/cathybdesign

Creatif Licensing: http://www.creatifusa.com/

Lastly, I want to thank Annie for connecting with me through linked in, this is such a powerful networking​ platform. Used correctly with a little elbow grease and communication skills, connecting with professionals here has been very successful. https://www.linkedin.com/in/cathybdesign

 

Make my day! and Buy me a cup of coffee (PayPal Link in right side bar, you don't need a PayPal acct.).

Don't want to miss the good stuff? Sign up for my newsletter ;-) Want to be spotlighted? email me: info@AnnGraphics.com

 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

4th Annual Mother Daughter Pumpkin Carving Contest!



Happy Halloween!
I have moved the contest this year over to my new "an artist's life" blog.

Please head over there to vote for either "Nemo or Snoopy"...I have lost 3 years in a row! Hoping this might be my year.  click here to go to my new blog, see previous years' photos, & what the winner gets.

Or you can leave a vote in the comments below :-)

You all are the best - SO FUN to connect with you, thanks,

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...