Should You Watermark Art Commissions?

As the internet grows, it becomes a more dangerous place to post art. There are art thieves all over the web, ready and waiting to steal work and claim it for their own. It makes sense to watermark the pieces you post on social media. What about art commissions? Should you watermark art commissions?

Although you should lay claim to your art commissions, you shouldn’t watermark them. Ensure you leave a signature and set clear boundaries and standards with the person who purchases the piece from you.

If you’re interested in learning more about watermarking art commissions, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn more about why you should use large watermarks on commissioned pieces, if a signature is a right choice, and if you should watermark your art on Twitter. The more you know, the better your commissions can be.

Why Shouldn’t You Use Large Watermarks?

If you have an individual order a commission from you, it doesn’t make sense to place a large watermark over the piece. They are paying for your art because they love it – they don’t love the watermark. If you put that item over the work, you are ruining what they paid for out of fear.

The addition of a large watermark on a commissioned piece may:

  • Ruin the art for the investor and prevent them from admiring it
  • Prevent future business from that client
  • Appear paranoid to the client who paid you

It’s not a great idea to set a large watermark over a commissioned piece.

Of course, that statement differs if your piece goes on a popular website. If more people are going to see it beside one person, you need to ensure they know it was created by you. 

There are additional ways to claim your artwork without placing a large watermark over your piece. Let’s talk about one of the best ways to prove that your work is yours without ruining the entire image for the person paying you.

Should You Put a Signature On a Commission?

A signature is an excellent way to lay claim to a piece without placing a massive watermark over the top. You can also form creative and distinctive signature methods, making it obvious to you but not as clear to those who attempt to steal your art. A signature is a part of who you are as an artist and will develop over time as you grow as an artist.

Here are a few examples of signatures you could explore as an artist:

  • Place it on a leaf or another prominent part of the work
  • Add it on a color in a slightly darker hue

These will prove you created the piece.

If you’re a little unsure about removing a watermark from a piece, you can always place a standard signature in the corner to make it clear you were the one who created it. The signature lays claim, but it also allows the new owner to show others who created the work. It’s a tiny form of an advertisement on a commission.

Should I Watermark My Art on Twitter?

Social media is a different story than commissions. If you put your art on social media, anyone can see it. There is the potential for many people to take images of the art and post them as their own. Should you watermark your picture on social media, or should you leave it with a signature like with commissions? It’s a tricky decision.

A watermark can distract the viewer from the art beneath. On the other hand, a lack of a watermark is an open invitation to steal the work and use it without permission.

It’s better to be safe than sorry if you place your information out there. Put a watermark over the top to ensure nobody can claim your art for their own. Define the work as your own.

Final Thoughts

When you make art commissions, it can be tricky to learn how to protect them. Watermarks might seem like a good idea, but used incorrectly, they can send the wrong message to the individual purchasing your art. Add a signature, but save the large watermark over the art for items you post on Instagram and other social media platforms.

We hope this information was helpful! The more you know about watermarking, the more professional your work will be when presenting your pieces as commissioned works. Watermarks are excellent ways to defend your pieces from art thieves, but you shouldn’t use them too much in the professional environment.