The 13-year-old artist achieved justice by defending her copyrights from the organizers of the children's competitionBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/en/article/the-13-year-old-artist-achieved-justice-by-defending-her-copyrights-from-the-organizers-of-the-childrens-competition
The Alliance of Young Artists and Writers is a well—known charitable organization founded in America in 1994. Its goal is to find young talented artists and promote their creativity so that they can gain recognition and contribute to culture.
Every year, a competition is held under the auspices of the organization, collecting works by young creators from all over the country, the winners of which receive a scholarship. And past nominees include celebrities such as Andy Warhol, John Updike and Stephen King.
However, as a young artist from New York named Sasha Matthews found out, not everything is so smooth with the charitable intentions of the famous award. Being, perhaps, the first contestant who carefully read the rules of participation, Sasha noticed that the organization requires artists to give up copyrights to all works that go into the portfolio for the competition.
Sasha Mathews has been drawing since childhood. And since the 5th grade, when she had the opportunity to try her hand at a school magazine, comics and illustrations became the focus of her work. And so, preparing in December 2017 to send his title work — a comic book called "Superheroes of every Day" - to participate in the competition, Sasha's father, Scott Matthews, saw in the text of the contract the wording that all copyrights and commercial interest in the work are transferred from the author to the organization in whose property appeals and creativity itself.
Dad explained the situation to his daughter, but said that the decision to participate should be made by her.
But the choice was obvious — after all, Sasha would have to give up ownership of his work. Considering that by that time she had already become a self-sufficient illustrator, and the work began to bring in earnings, which Sasha spent on charity, the artist could not afford it.
Having refused possible fame and victory in a prestigious competition, Sasha, it seems, nevertheless has not lost her fame. The young artist immediately came out with a sharp criticism of the organizers on Twitter.
In response to the tweet, the contest organizers sent Sasha a link to the FAQ section on their website.
A few months later, Sasha wrote a long and very reasoned post in which she went through the positions of the organizers of the contest and told how their legal agreement allows them to exploit the work of young artists, turning it into their property and allowing it to be used indefinitely for their own purposes, and also indicated that the questions and answers section was created on the same day when the organizers responded to her, in a ridiculous attempt to show everyone that the conditions of participation were open and reasonable.
And — where without it — the artist backed up her criticism with a caricature.
"Congratulations!.. We just took away your copyright." Illustration: Sasha Matthews
In the end, in the struggle for her rights, Sasha managed to convince the organization to reconsider its position — she was sent a letter saying that they intended to change the conditions of participation, because the whole point of the competition is to help young artists, and "if changes in the conditions will benefit them, then that's what we should do", noted Virginia Mcenerney, executive director of the Alliance.
And here are some illustrations from Sasha Matthews' book "Superheroes of every Day", which she was going to send to the competition. Work on the collection began back in 2016, and the idea was to emphasize the merits and work of ordinary people — with their worries and hobbies.
In this way, the young artist wanted to show that each of us is a superhero — for our relatives and friends, and each of us's hobbies are always unique and inimitable, and therefore they can be considered superpowers.
For each work, Sasha asked from $ 50 to $ 100 from people whose orders she drew, and for just 100 illustrations she scored about $ 11,000, which she donated to the American Union for the Protection of Civil Rights and Freedoms.
"This illustration was commissioned by Sonya Noring to celebrate the abilities of her friend Gail Campbell. Gail juggles two jobs and manages to look after mom and kids"
"This is Paul Southworth. He cares about the environment and always cleans up the garbage after himself"
"This is Jesse Selengut. He loves to play the trumpet, and his favorite musical trend is the music of the jazz era"
"This one was commissioned by Nick Fulton. The illustration shows his wife Orsola de Marco, she is an astrophysicist, studying double stars"
"This illustration was commissioned by Yana Rodin Tracy. Her son is on it, he loves to play guitar and is friends with the family's dog and cat — Bella and Max"
"And then Dave and Eleanor Yu Sassers asked me to portray their dog Chacho"
"In this illustration, my grandparents are Steve and Cynthia Harmon. They are fond of cooking, wine and photography. And he also likes to feed the birds"