Checklist for Crediting Your Art

It’s not unusual for artists to be concerned about protecting their copyright, but what I can’t seem to reconcile is when artists aren’t taking precautionary steps to claim copyright in the first place.

I’m not talking about officially registering for copyright. Whether or not you choose to do this is up to you.

I’m talking about giving yourself credit whenever and wherever you show your art.

Whenever. Wherever.

You may be thinking, Of course I do this. I would never show my art without credit.

Oh yeah?

Here’s a little challenge: If you think you have all of your bases covered, I invite you to use the checklist below to do a quick review.

First, Tell Us Who The Heck You Are

If I came across this once, I’d only be amused, but I run into it several times a month.

I visit a website, social media page, or open an email where the artist’s full name is nowhere to be found! I can’t make this up.

I can see how this happens. After all, you know who you are. Your brain is filling in the blanks because you’re too close to see what isn’t there.

If you want to be known in the history books, pick a single format for your name and use it consistently. For example:

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Would You Benefit From Using a Different Artist Name?

The arguments against using your given name are 1) that it’s difficult to spell or pronounce or 2) that it’s too common. Do you see how these two problems are exact opposites: one is too hard and the other too easy.

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The Name Game: How to Name Your Art Business

How To Name Your Art Business | Alyson Stanfield, Art Biz Coach

One of the first steps an artist makes when turning professional is to decide on a business name. Here are some insights about naming your art business, with links to previous posts. Be sure to read the comments, which have terrific personal insight from other artists.

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Legal Resources for Starting an Art Business in the U.S.

Just because you’ve started selling your art doesn’t mean you have a legitimate business. You have to get some things in order, including registering with your department of state. Here’s a list for starting out.

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Use (or Drop) Another Name for Your Art Business

Last week I encouraged you to use your real name–in whatever form you choose–for your art business. This week I want to give hope to those of you already creating art under a different name or business name.

There are two primary reasons for using a name besides your own (a “Doing Business As” or “DBA” name).

The first is that you are a service business like Art Biz Coach and want the benefits of the service to be in your business name. But even with a service business, you should be front and center for your business since we hire services from people we trust and like. If you want to see how this is done, visit Art Biz Coach and notice how my picture is on

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Use Your Name for Your Art Business

Art history is a history if individual artists, not of company names. Since my master’s degree is in art history, I naturally want you to use your name when promoting your art. Using a company name puts you in league with all of the companies out there who are manufacturing and promoting unremarkable products. You’re different. Art is different. Art is not a mass-produced product. It’s remarkable!

Using your name as your business name tells the world that your art is different from the mass-produced stuff they can pick up at Target or Pier One. It says “This is made by hand, and not just any hand, but the hand of an artist.” While it may seem safer to hide behind a business name, ask yourself what playing it safe has ever done for anyone. Seriously. You have to take

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