Custom Work release forms

Hello all of you amazing talented artists!

As I venture outside of my artist realm into the business side of
things I have a few questions…

I am starting to contemplate doing custom work to get my name out
there… my marketing on Etsy hasn’t gotten me very far…

For those of you who do custom work do you have clients sign a {bid}
contract? Do you have any clauses which release the images, design
work, sketches, and rights to said materials, to you for
representation in portfolios? How are they worded, do you have a back
up contract if the client does not wish to grant you rights to those

Let’s say a client has an idea they have drawn out themselves and
want it followed to a “T”. They then consider the image, and any use
thereof, to be their intellectual property, and thus, when you create
said piece they then also own the physical article, therefore you
have no claim to said design/final product. I have not encountered
this personally but I as an artist would feel that way. Yet I would
not hinder the maker from displaying the piece in their portfolio…

You see I ask this because I’m delving into the couture bridal
market… brides are notoriously - um - particular about who get to
do what with their ideas. I am completely willing to not include my
work for them in my portfolio. I am simply wondering if that has ever
happened to any of you. Also if use of a contract has helped or
hindered your business.

Thank you for all your responses in advance!
Liz Rishavy
Miele Melograno

You raising so many questions with have no direct answers. I only do
custom work. To give you some idea, I have a presentation on my
website for new clients of what to expect if they decide to go with
the project. But what works for me, will not necessarily work for
you. It is a trial and error and error correction process.

Leonid Surpin

in my opinion the custom order contract is important but what is more
imortant is to develop ones ability to discern the most important
part of the deal and that is, what does this customer want ? there
are many ways to do this and somtimes you think you know and then you
find out that you were all wrong. one of the biggest obstacles i must
overcome is to clearly give the customer the undestanding that they
are not going to hurt my feelings. most people are really a tempest
of fear and uncertanty underneath their calm exterior and in order to
get past this to help a client I think that one must posess sincerity
in this vocation of custom jewelry many people in the jewelry
business try to put on the appearance of sincerity and go to great
great efforts to convince thier customers that they are in fact
interested in the customer, but, they fail because they are really
only interested in the money which 99% of people can see even if they
wont admit it - best regards goo (:

Hello, Liz -

Many years ago I was a graphic artist (print & electronic). There is
a Graphic Artists Guild, so probably a similar guild for 3-D artists.
But GAG has a very well-written book with examples of contracts for
work-for-hire (you get paid but own NOTHING, not even bragging
rights), and contracts where you own the rights and negotiate the
output, change orders, etc. If you can’t find anything else, use this
as a starting point. I was impressed by the level of professional
advice available to members, and their push to represent
print/electronic artists as professionals worthy of their status (and
financial/ personal status requirements).

best regards,
Kelley Dragon

I have a very similar situation. I had a picture of one of my rings
in the paper; the ring shows the chemical formula for caffeine. I
have had quite a few enquires (and sales - gotta love publicity),
people like the style of the ring but want something different, a
different formula, a date etc. One (potential) customer emailed
asking for the initials of his children, I suggested putting the
dates as well so it would look like a formula. He has replied asking
for a discount if I do more - meanwhile a customer walked into the
store asking for initials and dates of his children on a ring. I
have made and photographed a wax for the store customer, I think I
will send this to the email customer as well. Is this the right thing
to do? How would you deal with it? Previously I have named rings for
the original customer.


Absolutely beautiful designs, and a compelling wonderfully
informative website. Thank you so much for showing me such detail on
the creation of the Champagne ring. I know I have a long, long way
to go before I can come close to creating something so beautiful and
well constructed. As a beginning fabricator, your pictorial story
sets me a high goal to achieve indeed. I can’t wait for my classes
to begin.

MikiCat Designs

As a beginning fabricator, your pictorial story sets me a high goal
to achieve indeed. I can't wait for my classes to begin. 

The most important thing to remember is that there is no magic
involved. The most complex jewellery pieces is nothing more than
sequence of simple steps applied in the right order. School will
teach you the steps. How to make sequences, you will have to teach

Leonid Surpin