RESOURCES FOR ARTISTS

(OUR THOUGHTS ON ARTIST RIGHTS AND OTHER THINGS THAT MAY HELP)

We have lots of opinions on the way professional artists should be treated. We will deposit these opinions here on an ongoing basis.

SOME QUESTIONS WE HAVE RECEIVED FROM ARTISTS (AND OUR OPINION)

A business/public institution/organization/office has asked me to display my work for free. This might be a good exposure opportunity. Should I do it?

No. Nope nope. Artists should be compensated with actual legal tender for their work. Exposure alone is not adequate compensation for usage and/or display of your work. We advise our artists when approached to explain that they expect to receive CARFAC rates (or more!) for display/usage of their work. The CARFAC fee schedule tool provides a list of recommended rates for various exhibition situations. Take a look at their recommended fee schedule for exhibition at public places (other than galleries or museums):

 
 

We have found that public transportation or meeting hubs (airports, convention centres) and restaurants are frequently requestors of free art. Remember that exposure doesn’t count. These organizations can and should pay you a fair fee for the privilege of exhibiting your work. It is very reasonable, when approached, to state that you abide by CARFAC guidelines, provide a quote, and remind them that while your work is on display at the their restaurant/airport/office, it is not in circulation in professional art spaces and you need to be compensated for that time.

A magazine wants to include an image of my work in their publication. They aren’t offering me a fee. Is that bad?

Yes. You should be compensated. See CARFAC again!

 
 

Everything we said above about not accepting the promise of exposure as currency? That also applies here. Magazines have to pay their writers, editors, and photographers. Artists should be paid too!

A magazine wants to include my work in a photoshoot. Should I get paid if my work is in the background of a photo?

Yup.

 
 

You can see that these suggested rates are very reasonable. A commercial magazine with a run of 25000 should be able to cough up $126 if they want to include your work in their publication.

Know too that you always maintain copyright of your work (unless you have specified otherwise in contract form), even when the physical work itself sells. No one can use an image of your work (especially for their own commercial gain!) without your permission.