Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Chalk Drawings, Kinkos, and The Law

Since I am big on big art, I'm all for taking average size images to the copy shop and getting them blown up to be really impressive.

Often, if you just biggie-size ordinary art, it becomes magically frame-worthy

Case in point: the chalk drawings I did on the sidewalk outside my home.

I wanted to create something primitive in its appeal, and then bump it up a notch with today's technology to make it unusual.

Skirting the Law

Did you know that if you take printed images like calendar photos, greeting cars, or magazine pages into Staples or any copy center, they won't copy it because it violates copyright laws?

Here's what else falls into the same category:
  • Musical lyrics
  • Architectural drawings
  • Cartoons
  • Newspaper clippings
  • Maps
  • Paper currency (if reproduced same size)
Of course you can make copies of copyrighted or trademarked material if you have permission. It's not as difficult as it sounds. My Staples store told me even Google will give you written permission to use their images.

And of course there are plenty of free and public domain sources of images and graphics, from the Library of Congress to The Graphics Fairy.

Sometimes the simplest approach is to create your own images. That's what I did with a piece of chalk and my camera.

I paid just $3.89 plus tax to have the photo I took and put on a zip drive printed poster size as an "engineering/architectural print." It's a well kept secret that this blueprint copy is the economy way to go when you want a big, black and white reproduction. Poster sized full color images will set you back about $12 -- still a bargain, even though the paper is not heavy.

My advice: Look through your own photos. Or take some new photos you know will look good reproduced jumbo size. What can you create and legally enlarge for framing?

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