SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

Copyright question

Discussion started on

OddBerryCreations

Guest
I have a question. I am doing an internship and I have been told I can use the graphics that I create on my website but I give up all copyrights and ownership of everything. does this sound legit and something I should do?
#1 - January 10, 2013, 05:20 AM

Member.
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region carolinas
Yes - if by "everything" you mean the work you create for them. Since it's an internship (as opposed to you working as a freelancer/contractor) you're basically doing work for hire - they own anything you create as a part of the duties of your internship.

Anything you create outside of the internship (your own personal work) is still yours of course, and if they're saying they own that too, well that's no good.

[Edit: Just to clarify the freelance thing - if you're doing freelance illustration for someone, meaning you're not employed directly by them (or in an internship) then you retain your copyright and have to assign specific rights to them. It's generally best not to sign over the full copyright to a freelance work, unless you're charging accordingly (i.e., a much higher rate). But again, an internship is a different situation.]
#2 - January 10, 2013, 06:04 AM
« Last Edit: January 10, 2013, 06:07 AM by Anthony »

Creator of Mootastic Art and Children's Books
Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region nymetro
What Anthony said. Also, if you end up getting hired on as a full time employee, they will likely hold on to the © of anything you make as well. Since you are making art for them/their products, and not personal work, that's pretty standard. If they are asking for the rights of your personal work, that's not ok.
#3 - January 10, 2013, 06:51 AM
Site - http://sruble.com
Twitter - http://twitter.com/StephanieRuble

picture book: EWE AND AYE (now available as an ebook!)

OddBerryCreations

Guest
Ok, thanks for reassuring me. I knew there was a shady area but since I'm not a pro at any of this yet, I want to ask those that DO know what the deal is. I don't want to bail on the company even though my supervisor isn't the most warm and endearing person he's still reputable and I don't want to burn any bridges essentially EVER but especially not at this point in building my career. You guys are great. Thanks!!
 :grouphug2:
#4 - January 10, 2013, 06:55 AM

OddBerryCreations

Guest
And now I need some support and reassurance from my blue board family. The internship is over. After turning in one logo and finding out I had transposed 2 letters, I was told I'm not detailed enough and that it wasn't going to work out. Now I'm in VA and the company is in California so it's not like I'm going to see this guy on a daily basis...or if ever. I know this is all part of the process but it doesn't make things any easier for me or my ego. Will not continuing with this internship hurt me in the industry? I am a talented designer/illustrator otherwise he wouldn't have even taken notice to me. Maybe he was having a bad day?? I don't know. I just know I'm quite bummed out right now. What are your thoughts?
#5 - January 11, 2013, 06:14 AM

Illustrator
Member.
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region arkansas
Your question is -- "Will not continuing with this internship hurt me in the industry?"

That depends.  Were you hoping for a recommendation from them in order to get another internship or a first job? You probably won't get that.  Honestly, with an internship, it's the mentoring (not just getting coffee or shredding papers) in the field you're interested in pursuing, the experience and skills you hopefully develop, as well as the network connections that are what you want to attain.  A good internship can make the difference in how quickly you become successful in your field.  But so can determination and interest....and most definitely, a good portfolio.

It would have been nice to have a few professional designs from your time with them to use in your design portfolio, but if that isn't an area you want get more work in (do you want to do a lot of graphic design or illustration?)...it sounds like that internship was more focused on graphic design....but if you're unsure what you want to do in a creative field, then that probably could have been a good internship for you.

If you want to be a generalist, then you have a general portfolio....if you want to be focused on one area, then you focus only on that work, or you might consider having multiple portfolios, i.e. children's book illustration, editorial illustration, graphic design -- that could be three different portfolios. 

One good thing you definitely got out of that internship -- you found out you need to work on your "attention to detail".    ::-)

So...
1) see if you can repair your relationship with the company and continue the internship,
2) get another internship and try harder, be more focused and detail-oriented (this was offered through your school, right?), or
3) keep on working on your portfolio on your own with self-directed assignments until you get your first job in-house or official client job (if you're freelancing) post-graduation.

Good luck! :)



 
#6 - January 11, 2013, 08:24 AM

OddBerryCreations

Guest
I wasn't hoping for anything but experience and it seems that right out of the gate I was in over my head. Not everyone is going to be warm and friendly I know that, but I honestly felt like the little bit of communication we did have was lacking something...I'm just not sure what it is. We parted ways on good terms and I'm not sure if there's anything more I can do. I think it might be better to just cut my losses and walk away with this as positive an attitude as I can. It's been a tough day but I never expected it to be easy. This internship was not offered through my school; it was something I found myself. I am currently working on illustrating an ebook (completey volunteer) and they love my work. Maybe illustration is the way to go?? I don't know. I thought I really wanted this internship...but now looking back on it, I don't think I did. Not fully at least. I'm bummed out but I'm trying to stay positive. But now my fear is, if illustration is where I'm headed...how do I get started in that? Graphic design has been my go-to for creating projects and artwork in a snap. I can do it, I just don't get anything from it. My drawings are different. I'm so confused.
 :faint :gaah :spaz
#7 - January 11, 2013, 09:28 AM

Illustrator
Member.
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region arkansas
You need to remember your signature quote: "Can't rise to low expectations."

:)

#8 - January 11, 2013, 09:38 AM

Official Shenaniganizer
Emeritus
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region canadawest
Odd, if it makes you feel better, I did a really intense advanced graphic design/prepress technology program...never held a "day job" as a graphic designer. In Canada, turns out entry level GD is about minimum wage. I did freelance stuff a bit and some volunteer stuff, but that's when I started pursuing children's writing/illustrating. I wanted to write and illustrate kids' books since I was 12, so I figured it was a good time to learn how. But the graphic design has been such an amazing asset to creating dummies, to me the course was more than worth it.

Can you get an internship through the school?

 :hug
#9 - January 11, 2013, 09:51 AM
THIS LITTLE PIGGY (AN OWNER'S MANUAL), Aladdin PIX June 2017 :pigsnort
KUNG POW CHICKEN 1-4, Scholastic 2014 :chicken

http://cyndimarko.com
@cynmarko

Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region sandiego
Oddberry:

I started with an unpaid internship... holding a B.A. in Graphic Design. Before graduating with the second degree in Illustration, I cold-called a small local publisher and asked if I could intern there to help/learn. (There was no call for internship in the paper or anything. Just a cold-call to the Creative Director for a dream-opportunity.)

I barely knew how to use a computer back then. I had taken just two computer design courses... both beginning classes. But they were desperate for some help (lucky for me)... and I was free (totally unpaid).... so it worked out. I asked a lot of questions and helped where I could. I learned Quark, Illustrator and Photoshop on the job... on a very basic level. That small publishing house was a novelty and pop-up book packaging company. What is it that I do now? I'm a novelty book creator, mostly. That internship changed my life. And they actually did offer me a full-time position after 3 months--- as a junior designer with low pay. (Did I make mistakes while I was there? Oh geez... many, many, many. Thankfully, they were the forgiving type,... and saw that I don't give up easily.) 1 yr later, I was their art director and paid considerably better. 3 yrs later, I quit (to relocate) and was freelancing as an author/illustrator and selling multiple books to that small company. 5 yrs later, I was selling multiple novelty books to major NY houses like S&S and Penguin. 200 books later (in 12 yrs)... I am still SO inspired by this work that I do. It just simply doesn't get old. Each new idea feels like love-at-first-site. It's dreamy!

Moral of the story: internship is one of the BEST ways to learn. Graphic design will absolutely help an illustrator! I thought I learned a lot at school, but the actual professional atmosphere really helped me get how to apply my talents to business. I even interned at a print shop back in high school. Even that helped. In this tough job market, you might not find many paid internships... but if you can afford to do unpaid ones (by living at home, like I did),... go for it. The chances of landing one of those is greater than a paid one... and leaves more options.

GOOD LUCK! Also... spend more time working, less time online (and I don't mean here, necessarily,... but social media/online forums really do take up such valuable time--- something that didn't exist as much when I was just starting out.)... and you have a lot of work to do to get to where you want to be. Focus... and you'll get there!
#10 - January 11, 2013, 10:22 AM

OddBerryCreations

Guest
I appreciate all of the feedback and support. I was in tears a couple of times yesterday only because I'm still new to how this works and it was a bit of a hit to the ego to be told that 'you suck'. No those weren't his exact words but it's what I heard anyway. He was a bit of a negative person and you could just tell he was very short and brass in all of his communications so maybe I was saved from having the negativity affect me? I honestly didn't FEEL it to begin with so maybe it ended for the best? I am still working on the ebook and they love me so I have something to look forward to. I will have published work at some point and it's for the Wildlife Organization so that's something, right?

As far as the cold-calling and just working my tail off, you're right, that's what it's going to take and I know this. I was just hoping that my graphic design work would land me a job and then I could work on my illustrations. It honestly doesn't look like that's going to happen. I guess I'm just going to have to continue to work on my illustrating skills and wait until I have the sort of work that I want that I am proud of and want to show art directors. I don't know where to start that I feel confident enough about but I guess I have to start from scratch...with pencil and paper...right?  :grin3
#11 - January 12, 2013, 07:28 AM

I draw stuff for chocolates.
Member
Poster Plus
I've been in this industry for umpteen years. Sometimes you'll be going along fine and then *poof* the relationship you've developed will dissolve.

I think with advertising and graphic design work - especially as a freelancer - one has to develop an even thicker skin than in publishing.

Some things to consider:
If you are going to stay in graphic design - join a group like the Graphic Artist Guild or AIGA.
Come up with your own standard contract where you reserve the rights to display any work you create in your portfolio for promotion of yourself as a designer.
Develop a check list of things to check BEFORE sending any work to a client. Spelling always counts.
(Don't feel too bad about the logo debacle. I once worked for a firm doing annual reports for a Fortune 1000 company. Somewhere along the line a word in a bio dropped a letter and went from being right to wrong -- it was actually printed before ANYONE caught it. A dozen people must have proofed the darn mechanicals and no one saw the error until the client had the final delivery. Such things happen to everybody. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and resolve to triple check your work from now on.)
Remember in the advertising and design industries things are pretty cut throat - not like here where everyone seems so friendly and helpful. Don't expect warmness and friendliness, the higher up the ladder you go the tougher the crowd gets. Do your best work, be professional with everyone you come in contact with from the receptionist to the head honcho and find friendship and camaraderie outside of the office.
#12 - January 13, 2013, 06:35 AM
patreon.com/wendymartin
Animal Totem Mandala 2016
The Story Circle 2016 (Piñata)
Color and Conjure 2017 (Llewellyn)

Administrator
Poster Plus
  • ****
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region wisconsin
We've all been there, some of us in 72 pt type. I have this as one of my email signatures:
The worst typos remain invisible until you hit Reply All. If the typo creates an error in fact, it will remain invisible until the letter is in the mail or the book has been printed.
#13 - January 13, 2013, 08:02 AM

I was once the boy who wouldn't sit still!
Member.
Poster Plus
Odd Berry, I looked at your website and like your definition of Odd Berry. I took internships when I was in college and they did not lead to jobs. What I did was take the experience I got and used it to build up portfolio work. Do not get down about this! The fact that you took on an internship is something to be proud of. That is only the first step forward. Keep sketching and keep designing. What I had to do in order to get more portfolio work was to create my own work to show.
Make a fake wine label or create box comps for a made up soap company. Create a logo for ODD BERRY the new refreshing drink that's delicious and different!
Go to the library and check out books on award winning Graphic Design work and recreate products and graphics like the experts.
What I do is ALWAYS bookmark websites that inspire you. I have a folder on my desk top of inspirational graphics. These are not for me to copy but to look at and get inspired in my free time to create more work for my portfolio.
#14 - January 22, 2013, 03:55 PM

OddBerryCreations

Guest
Thanks guys and thanks Jeff!! It's so nice to be able to vent to people who understand my frustrations. I am currently working on an e-book for the Nikela Wildlife Organization. It's completely volunteer but they love my work and love the fact I am so easy to work with. They are also using my work for children's coloring kits. It will be published next month and that means I'll have my work in a published format before graduation!! I'm so excited!!

I am creating things on my own and have come to realize I enjoy creating vector artwork. I sketch my work out and then color it with my software. It's been a rewarding time and I'm so thankful I didn't take what that guy said to much to heart. I'll get there...one day, I'll get there.

 :grouphug2:
#15 - January 25, 2013, 09:32 AM

Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI RAE
  • SCBWI Region arizona
So, OddBerry, perhaps you can change your signature line to: Always rising to new expectations.
#16 - January 25, 2013, 11:00 PM
Regional Advisor Emeritus

www.bobimartin.com
Organisms That Glow
Theme Parks
What Are Gems?

When i get into really sucky situations..or things aren't going my way..i'll always remember the wheel..sometimes your down sometimes your up..when you're down..you're bound to go up..just do your best to stay up..but sometimes we need to go down to really appreciate the top. With your talent..your only way is up..it might not be in an instant, tomorrow or later but you're already headed in that direction. You can do it OddBerry! YES YOU CAN!

 :goodluck
#17 - February 20, 2013, 09:37 AM

OddBerryCreations

Guest
awww thanks desertfox and you're right. It's all a working progress and I AM getting better and learning things which means I'm going in the right direction. Thanks for the encouragement and support!!  :grouphug2:
#18 - February 20, 2013, 09:48 AM

But now my fear is, if illustration is where I'm headed...how do I get started in that? Graphic design has been my go-to for creating projects and artwork in a snap.

As a working graphic designer and an aspiring children's book illustrator, I know from personal experience that your graphic design skills can only help with your illustration work. You have trained your eye on things like balance, color, negative space, etc. Speed will come with practice and you can always mix elements of graphic design with your illustrations. I will hand letter and ink some of my projects, then scan them and do all the coloring and tweaking on the computer with my designer sensibilities.

If you're super, incredibly slow at illustrating like I was, try to find another graphic design position in order to pay your bills and continue with your illustrations in your spare time. It may not be as great as the internship may have ended up being, but it may end up being better. Other options for both illustration and graphic design work would be to inquire at local places that you think could really use your talents. Does that corner bakery have really bad menus? Is there a local newsletter that could use small illustrations? They may pay you in trade rather than in dollars, but it's an option to think about that gives you something you can label "professional work" instead of student work. Don't give up, don't stop learning, and don't stop having fun with what you do.
#19 - February 20, 2013, 08:07 PM

Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI RAE
  • SCBWI Region arizona
Great suggestions, nightengail!
#20 - February 20, 2013, 09:37 PM
Regional Advisor Emeritus

www.bobimartin.com
Organisms That Glow
Theme Parks
What Are Gems?

Members:

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.