For a while now, I have been constantly irritated-"vexed" if you will-by the issue of signing my artwork. Because my work is very symmetric, I hate the thought of destroying all that with my goofy signature. When somebody brings this to my attention, I always say that I sign, date, and title each on the back of the piece, buy they always bring up things like: How do people know it's your artwork? What if somebody copies what you do and try to pass it off as one of yours? et cetera.
Valid questions. Although I would love to daydream about my work being so original that people would automatically recognize it as mine, it is a concern. How would people know it is my work? As for the other question, I hold by the maxim that "imitation is the highest form of flattery". If my work were in high enough demand that somebody thought it would be easy to make a buck by going through all the work I go through to create a piece and sell it, I would think that there would be easier ways for the unscrupulous to make money.
For me it's about the art. I know I made it, I take photos of each piece and make sure each one is recorded with the title, date of completion, and my signature, I keep all that written down and on file. So if somebody sold something that I didn't make but using my name, that might be the buyer's fault. Now that I have a website, anybody with an interwebs connection can see what I have done.
Yet something still nagged me about the whole situation, so what I finally came up with are Certificates of Authenticity. A cool, little certificate to assure the buyer that what they just bought is an original work of art, by me, and has the information about the piece that they might want to have. Here's a low-resolution example that I scanned:
In addition to the verbiage in the two short paragraphs, I got to get a little graphic design-y and create a watermark of each work, so that, with the title, dimensions, date, and signature each certificate is one-of-a-kind. I even added a place down in the left-hand corner for a stamp that can only be seen under a UV light (yep, I work in ink, so why wouldn't I have UV ink? =)
So there, a fancy solution to a simple issue. Hopefully, collectors will feel like they are getting a little something extra with their artwork.
For my current collectors, don't feel left-out! I have made these certificates for every piece I have done. So send me your physical address and I will mail one to you!