Last week I published my new website which is called Making A Mark (http://makingamark.co.uk) I was wondering what to do for the feature item on my Sunday post and decided I probably better make it that! However I'm at that funny phase where I still feel like I want to keep quiet about it as it's still very much at the "beta" stage.
This site will become the 'hub' website over time for my various art-related activities within the three themes of drawing, writing and sharing. I've been working on it for some time and I think it's at the 'just about acceptable to go on view' stage. The basic pages are 'good enough' for the time being - but I do want to refine them and do welcome any comments. Please pay a visit and let me know what you think.
My plan for how it will develop needs a proper dedicated post once I've got a little of that started so you can see what it will become. My efforts under the 'Making A Mark Publications' banner on my portfolio site will transfer over here and my portfolio website, Pastels and Pencils, will then go back to being much more of a portfolio again.
A little anecdote for those who build websites before I move on to who's made a mark this week.
I always get domain names registered as soon as I've identified a reason for wanting it because I just KNOW that otherwise I'll regret it as it will be gone by the time I decide to do something with it. I've had www.makingamark.co.uk for a long time now - and was very glad I made that acquisition when I saw who else decided to use Making A Mark for their website. This is my competition - the National Assessment Agency - a resource that provides support and information to all markers throughout the 2008 marking cycle! I think I can live with them knocking me off my perch of being #1 in the Google search - and a few extra searches for a certain keyword will do me no harm! ;) :D
Art Business and Marketing
A major item this week is the Orphan Artwork and the copyright debate which is relevant to ALL ARTISTS whether living in the USA or Overseas. This has shunted a lot of the normal links but read on to find out why I'm giving it prominence this week.
What I hadn't realised before is that there are in fact two different bills about orphan works - one in the House of Representatives and one in the Senate, that the first bill has passed the House of Reps on 9th May and that the final content of any proposed merged bill going before the President won't ever get voted on by either house!
- The Orphan Works Opposition Headquarters is dedicated to opposing the Orphan Works legislation. (The Shawn Bentley Orphan Acts of 2008 (S. 2913) and The Orphan Works Act of 2008 (H.R. 5889). It provides a succinct page of:
Creative professionals-- photographers, painters, illustrators, quilters, calligraphers, art licensors, cartoonists and crafters among others— will be travelling to Washington DC on Tuesday, June 3rd, and meeting with our Senators and Representatives Wednesday, June 4th and Thursday, June 5th to share our concerns about this legislation.
Orphan Works Oppostition Headquarters - Lobbying Effort
- this is the current list of creative and visual arts organisations which currently oppose the bill
- I found Little Orphan Artworks by Lawrence Lessig, a Law Professor at Stanford University for the New York Times (20th May 2008) to be very useful.
- He addresses the practical issues for creative artists and I think I like his suggested solution - it's certainly seems to me to be the most practical one suggested to date.
- His website also looks very interesting and you can also read his blog - both seem to have quite a lot to say about cyberspace law.
- Here's an extract from what he has to say about orphan artworks - and I recommend you ALL read the full article (my bold below) - no matter where you live.
The solution before Congress, however, is both unfair and unwise. The bill would excuse copyright infringers from significant damages if they can prove that they made a “diligent effort” to find the copyright owner. A “diligent effort” is defined as one that is “reasonable and appropriate,” as determined by a set of “best practices” maintained by the government.But precisely what must be done by either the “infringer” or the copyright owner seeking to avoid infringement is not specified upfront...........
The bill makes no distinction between old and new works, or between foreign and domestic works. All work, whether old or new, whether created in America or Ukraine, is governed by the same slippery standard
- Award-winning animation producer/director Mark Simon wrote an article Mind Your Business: You Will Lose All The Rights to Your Own Art for Animation World Magazine which is reproduced on their website. He highlights a number of issues - including the benefits for Bill Gates of current proposals - and what he sees as some of the problems.
- Leonard D. DuBoff and Christy O. King were commissioned by The Artist's Magazine to write an article Understanding the Orphan Works Controversy which has been published on its website. While explaining the current situation and highlighting the fact that economic redress for infringement is likely to be impractical and thus unobtainable it seems to me that it still doesn't address the issues of
- how the proposed legislation will apply to the copyright of images generated by people living outside the USA. Just how exactly will those seeking to use images establish where we all live?
- the extreme likelihood that thieves and fraudsters aren't going to pay much attention to any best practice statement for how to conduct a copyright search! It would be really nice to some input from the police who deal with art fraud.
- I'm less happy with the perspectives offered by the blogs of both the Artist's Magazine and the Pastel Journal that some people are being alarmist about this. While undoubtedly some people are being alarmist, the reality is that the situation is very alarming for all practitioners - and the comment in the New York Times from the Law Professor from Stanford is that proposed solutions are unfair and unwise!
- The DuBoff/King article highlights the March 2008 Statement of Marybeth Peters, The Register of Copyrights before the Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property Committee on the Judiciary on The “Orphan Works” Problem and Proposed Legislation. I've scanned it twice and it seems to me that she completely ducks the issue of works generated by overseas artists despite earlier recognising that such works had to be taken out of the requirement to register with the Copyright Office! I'm beginning to think that current proposed solutions to the acknowledged problem are designed to provide work for copyright experts and funding for libraries involved in the copyright searches - and is arrogant beyond belief in relation to the rights of those living outside the USA!
- For those of you who blog rather than read blogs - Jonathan Bailey's article on BlogHerald sets out What Orphan Works Could Mean to Bloggers - and why this is so important for people living outside the USA.
- The Wikipedia article on Orphan Works - although not up to date - provides a lot of links at the bottom to the positions of various groups - with a lot of visual art groups adding their links.
- the Public Knowledge site provides an outline and a useful timeline in Orphan Works - with links of what has happened so far and proposes a solution.
- The message from all sites considering the orphan artwork issue is to write to your Representative or Senator and let them know what you think. However the latter might be better as the bill passed through the House of Representatives on 9th May! What do you think?
- This is the Illustrators Partnership of America suggested framework for such letters. This is their action site.
- Given this applies to all artworks I think it's would be reasonable for artists living outside the USA to write too - but who to? Note this link for overseas artists from the Illustrators Partnership - with framework letter and addresses to contact. Suggestions please as to e-mail addresses - as I'm trying to remember how to fax!
- Tammy L. Browning-Smith, J.D., LL.M (artsandcraftslaw) who identifies in Orphan Works - House of Representatives that letters to the House and the Senate need to be different because the bills are different. She provides a draft of what to say.
- Have you checked whether your art society has sent in a response?
- One option is creating a note or tag that notes your copyright ownership of every image you put on the internet. Read the Jonathan Bailey article listed above for more specific suggestions about how to create an identity for a digital image. I've certainly started trying to be a bit more methodical about using the tags and comments functionality for my images and documents. I'm now wondering about including my nationality as well.......
- This is advice from Creative Commons on how to mark work so it benefits from any creative commons licence - and this is how to go about marking images.
- Thanks to Sue Smith for pointing me in the direction of the Art Business News print version of the Gallery Roundtable about trends in the art market, economic challenges and changes in the art industry and technology which was taken from the live event held at Artexpo New York 2008. Sue neatly summarised the main trends in Trends and the Changing Art Market
- Art Business News also has a very helpful section of links to articles about Marketing in a Virtual World. Here are links to some of them
- 6 Online Techniques to Make Your Gallery Event a Success: Part 3 – E-Mail Campaigns By Lance Trebesch
- 10 Reasons Why Every Business Owner Should Have A Blog By Lance Trebesch and Taylor Robinson
- Tina Mammoser has written about Networking? - and reminds us that friends are also part of our business networks.
The friends of friends cliche isn't a myth. Yes we need to network at focused events, with gallery owners, collectors and other business people generally. But someone you know or could know might know someone else who works in a gallery. Another Etsian's good friend might have a jewellery shop. Someone's partner may work at a creative institution. Best friends might have done a lot of art fairs. Grown kids might live in another city and know some trendy spots with great boutiques and galleries. Of course no one may think to mention it for ages.Art Blogs
- Clive Powsey in Canada commented on one of my blog posts this week and I went to look at his art blog as I always do when somebody comments. He has some great watercolours of British Columbia - including some really stunning paintings of moving water - on his blog Watercolour Painting by Clive Powsey plus what look like some interesting links to other Canadian artists.
- Jeanette Jobson at the other end of Canada in Newfoundland had a stimulating post about "Which came first? The drawing or the painting?" on her blog Illustrated Life which drew some interesting comments too.
- Sue Smith (Ancient Artist) has interviewed Linda Blondheim (Linda Blondheim Art Notes) for today's Sunday Salon: Sitting Down With Linda Blondheim.
- Sue's had some other memorable posts recently including:
- Casey Klahn in Washington State was out sketching a civil war reenactment on Memorial Day and recorded his efforts on his Pastels blog in Battle Sketching! with further comments on his other blog which are reproduced below!
Physical and moral courage is the stuff of battle. Artistic courage is going into a holiday crowd and doing pastels en plein air of something you've never done before. New subjects, unusual environment, subjects you intentionally avoid (horses) and fast moving action!
- Mr Zip (Boogie Street) in Gateshead explains in More Drawing Angst that he is looking to do more drawing and sketching and to get involved with the Moleskine Exchange and other projects but isn't sure how to start - and I'm sure the same sentiment applies to others. I've suggested making sure to visit lots of blogs - sooner or later you spot a project!. Getting involved always seems to be linked to making comments on blogs - so that people can get to know you. What's your view? Do you have any helpful hints? Maybe people who participate in projects can provide their perspective?
- I've been charmed by Helen Percy Lystra's new blog with no name at http://www.helenlystra.blogspot.com/. She's well past the three month mark now - so this looks like it could run and run!
- enjoy an audio slideshow by the BBC about the wonderful Beryl Cook who has died aged 81 and her delightful paintings - always great fun! The Times have also got a good obituary/article of this engaging lady artist who didn't start painting until she was 40! Check out her website to see why her work was much loved and never out of production as licensed images.
- Thanks to Casey Klahn for reminding me about the Pastel Masters article by Naomi Ekperigin published by American Artist in their June edition and on their website. It covers Edgar Degas, Mary Cassatt, Wlliam Merritt Chase, Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin (1699 – 1779) and Jean-François Millet (1814-1875). It's always good to see attention being given to artists who have been influential in the use of pastel and I've added this article to my information site Pastels - Resources for Artists
- The Times has announced in Is there a Price to pay for free art? that museums and art galleries in London are packed! I was tickled by the idea that Tate Modern was beginning to look like a creche last weekend!
- We seem to have reached Open Studios Season
- South East Open Studios runs from 6th-22nd June in the South East of England. I found the map fascinating (see above) - there are big concentrations around Sevenoaks and Tunbridge Wells which rather bucks the usual pattern of where artists live!
- Greenwich Open Studios is on 14th/15th June and 21st/22nd June and promotes the work of visual artists living and working in the London Borough of Greenwich. It is preceded by Greenwich Open Studio Artists @ RENEWAL - A special preview exhibition of artworks by local artists sponsored by RENEWAL. Exhibition open every day Sat 31st May to Thurs 12th June, open 12-6pm 31st May to 12th June, 22 Bardsley Lane, Greenwich SE10 9RF. One of the participating artists in this event is Tina Mammoser (the Cycling Artist) - and I have an invite to the Private View of 3rd June!
- For those who live near Linda Blondheim (see above) Linda's Annual Hot Dog Picnic in Gainesville Florida - featuring artwork as well as hot dogs - is on June 12, 2008 from 10am-8pm
- Let me know if you have an annual annual open studios event for a group of artists in your area and I'll post in my Sunday blog post. People - like Linda - who feature in this weekly post from time to time can have an individual mention!
- I've been writing about painting holidays all this week - of which more below - and it seems like a good time to highlight Adam Cope's project Paintings of Painters Painting : Drawings of Draughts-Persons Drawing on his blog Dordogne Painting Days
- I wondered when I started my mini-series on painting holidays what might happen in terms of people who read this blog and who also teach. I'm really pleased to see Jeanette Jobson's comment. She is relatively new to teaching - but you just know from this post Learning and teaching that she cares about how she teaches, reflects on her task and seeks improvement.
- Making A Mark - Why choose a painting holiday?
- Making A Mark - How to choose a painting holiday
- Making A Mark - How to make the most of a painting holiday
- Making A Mark - The big gap in the painting holiday market
- Making A Mark - A checklist for painting holiday hosts
- Making A Mark - How to find a painting holiday website
- I'm in severe danger of making this week's post a rehash of Jeanette Jobson's blog! She's also written recently about goose quills and quill pens - and I'm just wondering whether we can all persuade her to start thinking seriously about a micro-industry in her farmyard!
I start my project on Colour tomorrow. This will last for the next couple of months. I'm doing this because I love colour, think I know about colour - and then every time I start to look in more depth at particular closely at particular aspects of colour I find I am no longer sure any more!!!
What I am certain of is this project will turn out to be a journey of discovery for me - and for anybody else who cares to join in. Do stop by to take a look at an outline of ways I might go forward from tomorrow.
At the moment, the trick seems to be knowing where to start! I started gathering links to information many months ago but still can't find a satisfactory way of ordering the infomation on Colour - Resources for Artists. Please make any suggestions below - plus I'd be interested to hear what aspects of colour puzzle you.
PS Have you ever visited Making A Mark on Squidoo?