It's All About Respect

What do you do when you've been wronged...when you discover your work was included in a publication without your knowledge or consent?  And, when you look for the credit line, acknowledging your work in that book, and find nothing?  What do you do then? 

These aren't idle questions; this situation happened to dear friend and Carolina Mixed Media Art Guild president Penny Arrowood.  You can read about the whole story, the satisfactory conclusion and lessons learned on her blog, "Thoughts Askance".

As events unfolded, Penny asked me to be another set of eyes reading through her correspondence prior to sending it.  In each letter or email, I was struck by the way she was always respectful of the author and publisher; asking questions instead of hurling accusations. It was a great illustration of what my grandmother used to say--"You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar".  In this situation, it was clear that reasoned, calm discourse and asking pointed questions produced the desired results.  Kudos to Penny for her perserverance, good humor, and for her unwavering insistence on doing the right thing.

For me, one of the lessons learned is that we as artists must be vigilant about how our work, the product of our own creativity, is handled.  And, while sometimes this makes us seem unkind or rigid (for example, I do not allow photography of my work when I am at shows unless I know specifically how that photo is to be used), we must respect our work enough to value it, and require others to do the same.  We artists must give and receive credit for our creative output; it's the right thing to do. 
You'll note the addition of the "Artists for Respect" badge on the sidebar at right.  It represents the following pledge, from Julie Prichard, on her blog:

You are pledging to:
Review copyright laws and be conscious about using images in your artwork that are not your own.

You're pledging not to use music in your videos without consent from the recording artist. (Not even for a minute.)

You will not pass off someone else's work as your own whether it be online or in person.

You're pledging to respect the artist or instructor who worked hard to provide art or instruction for you.

If you're an artist with a blog, and agree with this pledge, grab the badge and display it too. 

It's all about respect.


Penny A said…
As MY grandmother would have said: "Bless your heart!" Many thanks, dear one, for your friendship, support, and wise counsel! All of which is highly valued, and even more appreciated!

Thanks, too, for these beautiful words!