Print market

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Print market

From Virgil Elliott

Published before 2005


Kim,

There are quite a lot of unscrupulous operators in the print market looking for artists to rip off. I was approached by one about twenty years ago, whose proposal included no money for me, but just some of the prints for me to sell on my own! The copyright and reproduction rights were to be signed over to him and his partner, and I was to get no cash in return for them, and no royalties! I said that sounded like a very good deal for him, but not for me, and he said, "Oh, we like to cut the artist out of it as early as we can."

So many artists are deficient in business sense that crooks like this guy (ED KREHER is his name) make lots of money preying on them, while the artists they get rich off of usually remain poor. Artists have to learn about business, and look after their own interests, or they will become victims of unprinciples parasites. The art business is full of them.

A print deal should be turned down unless the contract stipulates that each print carry a copyright notice with your name on it, and that the copyright and reproduction rights remain your property, and that you will receive an agreed-upon percentage of the sale of each print. Money up front for the artist is an indication of good faith on the part of the person proposing the deal, but I suggest having a good lawyer look over the contract before you sign anything. Production costs should be borne by the other party, not by the artist.

It's amazing how many people love an artist's work, and yet still try to take advantage of him or her in business deals. Be on your guard.

Virgil