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Agreed on all points; well said.

 

 

Barry Kent MacKay

Bird Artist, Illustrator

Studio: (905)-472-9731

http://www.barrykentmackay.ca
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Markham, Ontario, Canada

 

 

 

 

 

From: SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration- [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Emily S. Damstra
Sent: Friday, October 30, 2015 10:19 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [SCIART] Flora and Fauna Illustrata project - Minnesota Landscape Arboetum

 

I agree with Mieke's statement:  "I would very much appreciate it if we, as GNSI, would take a stand in this." 
I think Britt's suggestion is spot-on: "I would not mind seeing the GNSI hosting a page that lays out the case for compensation as the norm in artist/organization/project relationships. As well as what you are really doing when giving it away for free."

Britt asked: "Is part of our mission to let members know about other volunteer/charity opportunities where they can use their skills?"

In my opinion, I think it's fine for the GNSI to publicize volunteer/charity opportunities as long as they are clearly identified as such, and as long as they don't have ridiculous conditions like requiring artists to give away the rights to their work. However, I think a much more important part of our mission should be to take a firm stand about exploitative "opportunities" like the FFI. Without that kind of leadership by organizations such as GNSI, the cultural shift that needs to take place – regarding the prevalence of these exploitative "opportunities" – may never happen.

I also take Gail's point that the GNSI is a volunteer-run organization: "It would be wonderful to be able to fully investigate everything that comes our way, but unfortunately we don't have that kind of time." 

I'm not sure if there's a workable way to vet every "opportunity" that organizations hope the GNSI will publicize - but I do think it's worth a discussion. Perhaps establishing a set of general criteria, and asking organizations to vet their "opportunities" themselves might work? In my view, not publicizing any charitable/volunteer opportunities at all would be preferable to publicizing all of them, unvetted.


Now that this FFI project has been investigated and (I think it's safe to say) is evidently a very bad deal for artists, can we not remove it from the GNSI website?




---
Emily S. Damstra
natural science illustration
Guelph, Ontario
(519) 616-3654
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www.emilydamstra.com

emilydamstra.wordpress.com

Twitter: @EmilyDamstra

 

On Fri, Oct 30, 2015 at 8:57 AM, Britt Griswold <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

It is a issue for sure.  On the one hand you don't want to discourage an organization's appreciation of the art (which they are showing by starting a project like this). And as long as everyone is clear that you are essentially doing volunteer/charity work for that organization, it is hard to argue with their selection of that process. But how much energy and time should the GNSI put toward spreading this word is the issue.  The GNSI itself is a volunteer/charity organization. Is part of our mission to let members know about other volunteer/charity opportunities where they can use their skills?

On the one hand I agree with the position that these sorts of project are not helping artists make a living, and the GNSI is partly about helping people and organizations understand what it takes to make science art.  On the other hand if we just ignore these types of projects and people, no education takes place. Plus it it is a free world, so if someone goes in with their eyes open and educated, they can make their own choices.

I would not mind seeing the GNSI hosting a page that lays out the case for compensation as the norm in artist/organization/project relationships. As well as what you are really doing when giving it away for free.

Make sure you can square that with helping the GNSI (also a non-profit that really has little budget...and lots of people volunteering their talents).  At least we don't try to claim all rights to people's art (sheesh!)

Britt



On 10/30/15 8:22 AM, Mieke Roth wrote:

Yes, the rights transfer is what ticked me off also.

But as an organization I think you have to be aware how “informing” is received. If given by an
organization such as the GNSI it can easily give information an air of legitimacy, even when the
organization doesn’t see it that way. And I can’t  imagine that the GNSI would want to place a
disclaimer on every piece of information it spreads. But even if you do that, such information is
still easily perceived as a silent and unwitting endorsement.

Mieke

*Mieke Roth*

*Onderwerp:* Re: [SCIART] Flora and Fauna Illustrata project - Minnesota Landscape Arboetum

It’s not unlike, I think, what is experienced by people in the entertainment business as performers
(not other aspects of that business) in that the exploiters know, or assume, we are all in it out of
love for the actual act of doing, AND dependent on recognition, AND that there are more of us than
there are paying jobs making it a buyer’s market (or non-buyer’s, all too often).  Entertainment
performers, too, are constantly asked for freebies.   I do try to be as generous as I can be with
everything I have, but I also have to earn a living.   What really, really, irritated me about this
deal was that the artist is expected to relinquish commercial rights to the art that is donated.
That is really beyond belief.

I didn’t see this as “promoting”.  I agree that it is “informing” and don’t have a problem with
that.  I have a problem with the actual event, itself, not with the information that it exists.

Cheers,

Barry

 

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