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.


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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: 

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.).

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