Group Details Private

SVS Instructors

The fearless instructors of SVS

  • RE: Fanart in a Portfolio?!

    @LauraA You post an interesting question!
    First I think it's important to distinguish the definitions of "fan art". The distinctions got a bit muddled during the podcast conversation

    The question asked in the podcast was about "fan art". That is, artwork based on intellectual property owned by someone else (Batman, Captain Marvel, Star Wars, etc). In this case the fan-artist is looking at an image already created and then making a "new" image that looks substantially similar. In copyright law this is called a "derivative".

    Fundamentally all fan art of this kind is an infringement. To legally reproduce it requires permission from the current IP owner.

    As was mentioned in the podcast this fundamental infringement can (and often is) allowed/tolerated/sometimes encouraged by the IP owner for a variety of reasons that Jake covers in the podcast.

    Now there's what you created for Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe . . .
    What you made (while certainly artwork of a story of which you are a fan) is not "fan art"
    Here's why:
    The copyright to a text applies ONLY to the text and is owned by the author.
    The copyright to an image applies ONLY to the image and is owned by the illustrator.
    As you wrote:

    I have liked the Narnia series since I was a kid, long before the movies came out. When I did my own illustrations I went out of the way to read the text carefully and not take my imagery either from the movies or from Pauline Baynes's lovely original illustrations. Any apparent similarity is either from the text or from my study of 1940s evacuee clothing

    With this piece you've done exactly what every illustrator who has ever worked with an author has done for decades. The author can never claim ownership of the artist's visual interpretation of the written text.

    You mention the "film producers". The film producers of LW&W created and own only their version of the story (the script) and their versions of the characters (actors likenesses and costuming choices)
    Any similarities between your illustration and the movie interpretations CAN overlap but must be limited to the description in the original text. If your illustration looks significantly like the actor, or use a distinct costuming choice from the movie then you've crossed the line into infringing on the LW&W movie.

    In this post I'm talking just about copyright. One of the fun new wrinkles for IP is that of trademark. I did see the there's a "word mark" held by the C.S. Lewis (PTE.) Ltd. for "The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe". So if you were going to aggressively promote and sell the print I would suggest contacting an IP attorney

    posted in 3 Point Perspective
  • RE: Fanart in a Portfolio?!

    @carlianne You can go into your system preferences for the keyboard and instruct the OS that !+?=‽

    You'll find that some programs and websites support it and some don't. But it's always worth it!

    posted in 3 Point Perspective
  • RE: Fanart in a Portfolio?!

    In the episode Lee (kind of) stumbled onto one of the things that gives me great pleasure in my typing life and so I would like to add a bit more information for anyone else who would like to use this woefully underused punctuation mark . . .

    The "brand new" punctuation Lee created in this podcast is in fact already a thing -- and an awesome thing it is!

    This mark --> ‽ <-- is called an interrobang (although I fully admit that "Quemation" is a much better name) created by Martin Speckter in 1962.

    I first heard about it from this episode of 99Percent Invisible
    It is now my favorite punctuation mark. I mean, who wouldn't love something as expressive at this‽

    posted in 3 Point Perspective
  • Fanart in a Portfolio?!

    alt text
    Art by Chris Akins

    Does Fanart belong in a portfolio? Yes, but also no. And should you change your professional name when it’s already established, or are you stuck with the screen name you came up with when you were 14 years old? This week, Jake Parker, Lee White, and Will Terry dissect these questions and also talk about new TV shows and projects they’re working on.

    Ask A Question!

    Click HERE to listen and read the shownotes.

    posted in 3 Point Perspective
  • RE: Unconventional Kidlit list out this morning

    @Randi-Gordon Great list. Thanks for posting!

    posted in General Discussion
  • RE: Copyright Discussion

    @Becky I had this question starting out. Here's my personal anecdote:
    I wanted to include iconic red Converse high tops in this children's theater poster I was doing. I contacted an IP attorney via Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts.

    The advice I got for the project was, technically I should remove the logo, but that most companies don't have a problem with logos being included in smaller projects like a theater poster as long as it doesn't disparage the company. That is, legally it was an infringement (but a trademark infringement rather than copyright infringement) but that the infringement would likely be "tolerated".

    I still decided to remove the Converse logo from the poster as it wasn't absolutely required to communicate my keywords.

    But for instances like this I would recommend checking with an IP attorney.

    posted in Questions & Comments
  • The Style Conundrum

    alt text

    Should you follow art trends? What compositions do you keep using? And is it too late to start illustration as a career? This week, Jake Parker, Lee White, and Will Terry discuss the answers to these questions as well as offer a rant on the state of the American Cinema.

    Ask A Question!

    Click HERE to listen and read the shownotes.

    posted in 3 Point Perspective
  • RE: Copyright Discussion

    Thank you for the links. The copyright document will be useful in the long run, but seems intimidating at the moment.

    I totally get that! Nibble away at it in chunks. Perhaps on a night when insomnia is an issue? But if you make your living via copyright (and all illustrators do to one degree or another) I think it just makes sense to know how it works.

    Do you recommend a particular edition of the Business and Legal Forms for Illustrators?

    Not really. If you can get the most recent, go for it! But my copy is easily 15 years old.

    posted in Questions & Comments
  • RE: Copyright Discussion

    I invited this discussion so I'll definitely join in!
    First, if you haven't yet done it read Title 17 of the US Copyright code Sections 1 - 5 (or similar for your particular country)

    Some basics of using photo reference in your illustrations:

    #1. Photos that you take yourself (especially photos OF yourself) are the absolute best!
    You own and control the copyright to those images.
    You can make all the "derivatives" you want.
    You can look at them while you draw,
    You can trace directly over them,
    You can include the actual photos in your artwork.

    #2. Photos that were taken by someone else are less safe.
    To be totally safe get permission from the Intellectual Property owner/Copyright holder/ original photographer. Permission may or may not include compensation of some kind. Depends on the agreement between you and the IP owner.

    #3. If you use photographs that were taken by someone else, don't limit yourself to just one. (The temptation to copy might just be too great!)
    My rule of thumb for any photo reference I didn't take is a minimum of 5 different images from different photographers. And if I find THE PERFECT PHOTO 😱🤩 ---
    I delete it.
    Don't use it.
    Trash it! (again the temptation to copy that one photo might just be too great)

    When using photos that were taken by someone else, the goal is to use the photos to inform you of details you might not otherwise have already stored in your visual memory.

    If the process for #3 just doesn't get you the info you need refer back to #1 -- take the photo yourself.

    In the CBP Zoom session Jake brought up the issue of a model's likeness.
    It is true that you own your "Likeness Rights". That is, someone can't take a photo of you and start using your face for a major advertising campaign without your permission. The same is true for anyone you take photos of.

    So #4: When using models be sure to explain what you intend to do with the photos. I usually stipulate that I'm going to use the photos to get details of pose, clothing, lighting etc. I'm rarely interested in having the finished art look like my model so I tell the to not be offended when the final art doesn't look like them.

    You can take #4 one step further and have your model sign a "model release".
    For my most common models (friends and family) I've never worried about that.
    When I've used young actors from the local children's theater I do because I want the parents to know that I'm a pro.
    I like all the forms found in Business and Legal Forms for Illustrators

    posted in Questions & Comments
  • RE: Discussing Lee White's THIS PRETTY PLANET on my social media this week

    @Becky totally agree! I know when I first saw this spread (and @Lee-White had chatted with me about the storyline he was constructing for this book) I just thought-- "Damn, that's a power move!" Because based on listening to the original song the author never thought of the line this way.

    posted in General Discussion