If you are reading this page, you may be interested in using my words in your artwork. I get many requests to incorporate excerpts from my writing in works of visual/graphic art and handicrafts (including painting, etching, lithographs, jewelry, weavings, textile art, and ceramics), and each time I am moved to hear that my words have touched another artist's soul. Please know that, as one artist to another, I will always try to work out an arrangement with you that is mutually beneficial, supportive of the creative process, and protective of the rights of each of us. To facilitate the collaborative process, I have come up with the following guidelines:
1. Requesting permission
If you wish to use words from my blessings, poems, translations, etc., in your artwork, please e-mail me with details (medium, edition, pricing, etc.), and make sure to include the exact text you wish to use. (Please note that if the text contains any Hebrew or Yiddish, I will ultimately need to see hard copy for proofing.) Most of the time, I will be happy to grant permission.
Any text for which permission is granted should, whenever possible, be copyright-credited briefly on the piece of artwork itself, preferably alongside your own copyright, as follows: "Words copyright © (year) by Marcia Lee Falk." An accompanying page (or brochure, flyer, card, etc.) should include a fuller credit notice, identifying the source of the quotation, the book it is excerpted from, date of publication, and copyright, followed by the line "Used by permission."
For example, if you make a papercut containing the lines "Of all pleasure, how sweet / Is the taste of love!," the following note should appear somewhere on the papercut page itself: "Words copyright © 1993 by Marcia Lee Falk." The full credit in your accompanying flyer should read: "Text by Marcia Falk, excerpted from poem 23 in The Song of Songs: Love Lyrics from the Bible (Brandeis University Press/UPNE, 2004), copyright © 1993 by Marcia Lee Falk. Used by permission."
We all know how difficult it is, in our society, to make a living selling one's art. For this reason, writers always appreciate receiving compensation when their words are used outside the context of their books. Yet I am well aware that, for the very same reason, independent artists with limited resources may find it a particular burden to pay permission fees. The last thing I want to do is stand in the way of your fulfilling a creative vision; hence, I've tried to come up with guidelines that balance these various considerations. If something below does not feel appropriate to your particular circumstance, please feel free to let me know what you think would be a better arrangement. Here is what I've come up with:
a) If you are using my words on a one-time basis for an original, individual piece of artwork, I do not require a fee. I would, however, be grateful if you would send me a photograph of the work for my files.
b) If you are reproducing my words in original art editions of more than two or three (such as lithographs, silkscreens, fiber art, or ceramics), and if you intend to sell these objects, then it is appropriate that we come to some mutually workable agreement for compensation. Please suggest what you think is fair, keeping in mind the size of the edition (i.e., number of times the piece will be reproduced) and the amount you will be paid for each piece.
4. Publication and distribution
If and when you sell or donate your artwork (or reproductions thereof) for use in other formats, as, for example, in an art book, please let the prospective publisher know that s/he must get my permission as well as yours to reproduce the work. Send a copy of your correspondence to my office so we can follow up if necessary. In this way, we will be insuring that neither of our names or copyrights gets dropped from our work. Please be assured that I will not stand in the way of your work being published and distributed; I only want to see everyone properly credited and, where appropriate, compensated.
Thank you for your interest in my work, and best wishes for creative fulfillment and success in your own work!
© Marcia Lee Falk.