November’s One-A-Day Q&A – Question #15

15 11 2016


Q: Is it a good idea to submit unsolicited portfolios?  Why, or why not? How do artists protect the integrity of their work?


I’m definitely I’m an advocate for copyrighting all of your work. You need to put your copyright © on every page and either work immediately with the U.S. Copyright Office to get it registered or if funds are an issue, I often recommend that people call or visit the Copyright webpage []. After this you can put them up on your website. If you do need help with this, there are lawyers that specialize in doing copyrights, as well as intellectual property lawyers.  Also, it took me a long time to learn that you could actually copyright collections, and it’s less expensive than doing every single piece of art. So this might be something that you would want to consider.

Make sure that you research the manufacturers that you’re sending things out to, especially when unsolicited. And, yes, it’s okay to do…artists do it all the time!

You want to send your collections to the companies and people that you consider reputable, those who work with artists on a regular basis and have good policies on their websites. Make sure your own website has low resolution images and, if possible, put watermarks on your art work. Do these kind of common sense and protective things that will prevent your art from being copied.

Ultimately you have to have trust in the universe or your fear will stop you from doing anything! It’s difficult to prevent people from stealing your ideas, but the only option these days is to hide in a hole. Move forward, think about who you want to send your artwork to, but I definitely recommend to people that if you are going to send unsolicited work, just make sure your copyrights are set. Send in your copyright registration and keep up on it.

There is probably no need to have your website password protected, unless you’re putting up extensive amounts of work. I wouldn’t put all of your work on your website either.  I recommend keeping the number of pieces on the site limited, so manufacturers will have to connect with you to ask for more artwork.

Lastly, if you do get into a conversation with a manufacturer and your ‘gut’ is telling you there is something about this person or company that is not trustworthy, then follow that feeling. Let your intuition guide you.









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