Blog posts need photos, so here are some recently commissioned fall/winter double-sided table runners!
In all honesty, NOT crediting someone's work shouldn't happen AT ALL. It is disappointing and unprofessional. It shouldn't even come up. But it does. If someone is making money or marketing by using someone else's images or any images of someone else's work, you MUST GIVE PROPER CREDIT (see the bottom of this post for what "proper credit" looks like). There are no exceptions. If you are a blogger or an Instagrammer who is using someone's pattern or making something inspired by someone else, you should also be crediting your posts.
Here are the incidents I've been involved with/observed. I've left company names anonymous to preserve privacy:
- One company did not credit quilts at all in a newsletter sent out to thousands. I sent in a complaint and they quickly, professionally, and thoroughly addressed the issue. I thanked them for that.
- The same company incorrectly credited four quilts in another newsletter and only used guild names (no names of quilters or their works of art). They have stated they are working to address the issue. This makes me wonder if I should continue working with this company in the future.
- One company featured a quilter's work but did not read their description of the quilt on their blog, and they incorrectly described what the quilt was about. The issue was addressed quickly and the text was changed.
- One company posted the results of a highly publicized contest, without any names of quilters or quilts, on both Instagram and their blog. When I (and others) questioned them, they took down all the posts and it was determined that there had been a miscommunication. All has been corrected. Even so, this makes me question if I want to be involved with this company and any other large scale contests in the future.
If you don't credit someone for their work, you are ignoring the fact that they made it with your materials. You are brushing aside their worth as an artist and amplifying your message in a negative way. The handmade community, under all the stress it already faces from the public, does not need or deserve this.
The number one lesson here for both individuals and companies who are publishing other quilters' works on the internet (especially if you are doing so without permission, which, hopefully, you are asking for):
Do your research. Include a quilter's name (at the very least) AND work titles (if available, and if not, attempt to find out!).
There are deadlines and announcements that need to be posted at certain times, but that does not mean that proper artist credit should be left out. This is a very serious problem.
If you are ever in doubt, you can always email or tag someone to check. It's better to be safe than sorry. Please consider this post when you are writing about your own work in relation to someone else's, or when you are about to publish an advertisement of some kind.
And now we'll be back to our regularly scheduled programming. It feels good to get this out. I don't know if it will make any difference but I feel like it had to be said!