DEAR FASHION ILLUSTRATOR, BEFORE YOU SHOW OFF THOSE DESIGNS
Image Credit – (www.allwomenstalk.com)
Fashion illustration according to Wikipedia is communicating your fashion ideas in a visual form that starts with illustration, drawing and painting after which a fashion designer (for those illustrators that are not also designers) picks them up and brings that design to life.
The concept of Fashion design has gotten a lot more attention than it used to thanks to the rapid growth of technology which now makes it so that these designs don’t need to be sketched with the traditional pencil, you can do it with your computer and the final illustration/sketch will come out just fine.
As a fashion illustrator you need to put your house in order before showing off those beautiful designs. Let us examine a few cogent points/steps that in the author’s opinion should be taken
1. TRADEMARK YOUR LOGO, NAME
A trademark is a symbol or a sign which differentiates the goods and services of one business from another one. As a fashion illustrator, a trademark of your name or logo is very crucial to your business. The importance of the trademark includes but is not limited to the fact that banks would more readily recognise that your trade mark is registered and are quick to give loans in such instance.
By registering your logo as a trademark you are positioning your brand in a way whereby any person who uses same without your permission would be liable at law.
2. USE THE COPYRIGHT NOTIFICATION SCHEME
Although copyright is automatic, it is always advisable to use the notification option as provided by the notification scheme. Copyright Act Cap C28, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 states in Section 1(1)( C) that Artistic works are part of the works eligible for copyright. Graphic designs which include paintings, drawings are artistic works under which fashion illustrations fall.
So before you put out that work why don’t you make sure your work is copyright eligible, in order to protect against infringement; because infringement (especially without any form of recourse) can be painful when it happens, need I say more? Contrary to words out there, you cannot copyright an idea in itself. It is only when it is expressed in a permanent form that copyright can exist.
3. REGISTER YOUR BUSINESS AS A COMPANY OR BUSINESS NAME
A Company, (which can be a LTD, PLC, or GTE depending on what part of the Companies and Allied Matters Act 1990 it is registered in), is a separate legal entity in its own right; this means that it different from its shareholders i.e. those who own it. A business name is a name or style under which a business carries on activities. Operating as business name is the cheapest and easiest way to start business as starting with a company would take a lot from you financially considering you are just a start up. However, it’s much safer financially to operate a business as a limited company because if the company goes into debt and liquidation the customers can take the business name owners’ personal assets but if it’s a LTD company they take the company’s asset only.
4. ONLINE PRESENCE
After your business has been incorporated, the name has been secured, and your designs have notification numbers; the next thing you should do is employ every social media tool available. For you it is a big deal. Social media cuts across Instagram, Facebook, snapchat, twitter, websites, blogs. Ensure your online presence is well optimized, leave no stone unturned. This is good for your business.
STAND OUT YOU ARE A FREELANCER
Except you are working for a fashion house then you are a freelancer, and for this reasons you have to know that you will ‘HUSTLE’. You need to have a signature, and for your design to stand out and be beautiful.
When a fashion designer sees your work they should already know who you are and what you were thinking about when you were illustrating. ART IS A FEELING, ALLOW YOUR CONSUMERS BE IN YOUR HEAD WHEN THEY WEAR YOUR DESIGN. DON’T STOP PRACTISING TO ENSURE YOU GET BETTER OVER TIME.