Kathryn Kalisz, Sci\ART Global, llc.: Settling a Matter (I Hope)

To my readers,

The following post is not part of my normal writings, and I feel that most of you will find it quite boring and not worth your time. This is more of a legal document that I am posting to deal with inquiries relating to copyrighted images and files that for some reason, I keep getting roped into, even though I have had nothing to do with it since before the client’s death.

Please feel free to skip the rest of this article.

Sci/ART Illustrations and Copyrights

While I was freelancing, primarily from 2000 to 2006, there were a number of common practices that I followed when dealing with clients and handling artwork created for them. Of these is the practice of maintaining digital backups of everything I’ve done (and oddly, I still receive the occasional request from these clients to resend ‘lost’ artwork, even though I haven’t freelanced in over 5 years). I also follow the standard format for rights ownership, which means that I retain all rights, domestic and international, to any piece of art I have created, except for the purpose for which I created the art, unless I specifically relinquished those rights in our contract. What this means is that, if I created a book cover, the client could use that art as a book cover, and that’s pretty much it. If they try to resell the artwork, turn it into a poster and sell it, make campaign buttons and give it away, or whatever, it would be illegal for them to do so. Most of you who are artists likely understand the way this works, but if you don’t, there’s a general explanation of the whole shebang in the book, Six Figure Freelancing by Kelly James-Enger.

From about 2001 thru 2009, I did a large body of work for my mother-in-law, Kathryn (Kitty) Kalisz. During those years, I worked on illustrations for her book, Understanding Your Color, A Guide to Personal Color Analysis, on every version of her company’s website, on advertising materials, and on the original designs for one of her products, the Personal Books of Color (very nice, high-quality personal swatch books). While doing this work for her, I treated my work as I would with any other freelance client, which means that I have all of these files backed up and that I retain the copyright to all of these items for use in any way other than that for which they were initially commissioned.

Since then, I have been ignoring a very vocal critic who has accused me of everything from sabotage to fraud to sales of copyrighted materials. Generally, I would just ignore such claims (since they are all false) and in fact, I’ve tried SO VERY HARD to stay completely out of this industry, but this person has been at it so long, that her very claims keep dragging me back into it. The real problem is that she claims I’ve sold Kitty’s files, especially her book and swatch book designs, to one of this person’s competitors in Australia. Mostly she does this on her Facebook page, and I really couldn’t care less what she says there, except every time she starts, I find out about it from a number of sources.

I’m not entirely certain of her intent other than perhaps to besmirch my reputation, but the odd side effect of this is that some people who read these claims have believed her, and have been seeking to have me sell them the files, since they’ve been led to believe I’ve done so already, once. This does lead me to wonder if every time she goes on a rampage if perhaps she also sends a boat load of her potential clients to go and look for her competitors website and products as well? Anyway, even though I would never do such a thing (even though I believe I certainly would be completely within my rights to), it has become quite apparent that my silence has only helped her to damage my reputation in the eyes of at least some, and I’d like to set the matter straight; her latest verbal tirade and the ensuing influx of email over the matter prompting me to finally take the time to write this post. Otherwise, I would be blissfully ignorant of all goings-on in the world of Personal Color Analysis.

So, let’s hit these images one at a time, and I will direct any future inquiries into the matter to this post.

Swatchbooks

Please, once and for all, understand this:

I have not, nor will I ever, sell or give away the files to Kathryn’s Personal Books of Color to anyone. If you want to compete in this space, do what others have already done and figure it out yourselves. I know it can be done as it has already been done several times. In fact, the first set of fully color-accurate swatchbooks was produced the first year Sci\ART was in business by (we suspect) one of Kitty’s students from South America with only two days of training.

Furthermore, I only have the original files, which worked on a printer that isn’t made anymore, and using printer settings that I simply don’t have. My copies of these files would be practically worthless to you. Also, Kitty had them modified over the course of at least 5 years by at least 3 interns. Whatever I have is just version 1 of a system that she improved upon over the course of half a decade.

Website Designs

I honestly have no idea why anyone might want website art for someone else’s company, but again, I won’t sell or give these away. These were made to represent Kitty’s business, and I feel they should stay this way.

Book: Text Files

While I do have backup copies of the text files for the original book edition (the book was created in MS Word, and I had inserted some of the illustrations directly), these are not mine to sell. They are copyright Kathryn Kalisz, and someday, after the estate finally settles, these files and ownership of the book should belong to her daughters.

Book: Cover and Interior Illustrations

Understanding Your Color: A Guide to Personal Color Analysis

Understanding Your Color: A Guide to Personal Color Analysis

While I truly believe that Kitty would have followed the lead of those she admired, Albert Munsell, Johannes Itten, Walter Sargent, and others, and made these illustrations and diagrams available for everyone. In this day and age, this would be called Creative Commons, and while I had considered making these images available in that manner, I have decided against it. The reasons for these are many, but generally relate to the book itself. Half of the interior illustrations I did for Kitty are so common that variations can be found elsewhere or recreated cheaply by any half-decent artist with a copy of Photoshop or Illustrator within an hour, if not in mere minutes. In fact, the concepts for a number of these images were simple re-envisionings of illustrations that already exist (color wheels, color pyramids, electromagnetic spectrum, etc.). However, the ones I created for Kitty’s book all have a common look and theme to them, and I think it would do the book a great disservice if the images in the book become overused or common, rendering it nothing more than clip art in the book itself.

Other illustrations, such as the seasonal wheels, I believe were completely Kitty’s concepts, and I feel should live only in her book. If you wish to present any of the artistic concepts discussed in the book to others, please create your own takes on these diagrams rather than using the ones I created for Kitty.

Finally, the covers for both the Analyst and the Client editions, really don’t belong anywhere other than the cover of this book.

What this means: the illustrations in the book may not be used by ANYONE, for any purpose, including, but not limited to: classes, courses, ebooks, articles, posters, handbills, or ‘for sale’ products of any kind. The only place these may be used is in Kitty’s book, Understanding Your Color, A Guide to Personal Color Analysis, and only in the version originally published by Kitty, currently sitting in the Library of Congress, ISBN #s 0977633411 and 9780977633418. In exception, the cover may be used as a representation of the book itself, for instance, as a product shot for sales or reviews of the publication.

If the book is revised, ALL THREE of Kathryn’s daughters must agree to the revisions, otherwise all interior illustrations that I created and the cover must be omitted from the revised publication.

At some point in the future, I will put thumbnails of the illustrations I am referring to on this post for easy reference.

PLEASE NOTE: I am already tired of talking about this as it has been going on for over two years. I have no wish to discuss it further. Comments on this post will be closed from the outset. If anyone has any reason to talk to me about ANY of this, send me an email that I can forward to my lawyer and he and your lawyer can discuss it on your dime.