May 13, 2010
7 x 10" watercolor
If you’re an artist or photographer, it is important to know that the image of a person, their home, or business belongs to that person or enterprise. Advertisers have release forms that they use that authorize them to reproduce the images, even of the professional models that they hire. I was in advertising long enough to be aware of this.
Please know that, partially because I painted Lillie from life, not from a photo, and have shown her the greeting cards that I am doing, that she is fully aware that I am using her image. And the profit I am drawing may benefit my name, but the revenue is going fully to Lillie. I am told she is very grateful, and I might add she seemed at the time proud that someone might want to paint her.
Always try and get permission from a person or from the owner of a property when you set about to photograph or paint them/it. I have twice been denied permission. The first time, from a barbecue place in Greenville, North Carolina. Sometime before, another artist had reproduced images of the popular place without knowledge of the law or, I might add, common courtesy. Another time that I was denied doing a painting or taking a photo was by a basket weaver in Charleston, SC. The African American basket weavers there have a cultural background in which, I’ve been told, it is against their religion to have their images portrayed. We all need to respect other peoples’ traditions and requests.
A good rule of thumb, WHEN IN DOUBT, ASK. If you plan to reproduce the image, it’s an excellent idea to have a release signed.