Do you sign all of your art? Many artists decide to not sign artworks because they think it interferes with the composition. I have been guilty of this myself. I did not autograph a couple paintings produced during my early years as an artist.
I certainly wish I had signed them!
Unless the individuals can remember I painted those artworks, or they wrote my name on the back themselves, I will forever be forgotten as the artist.
“I wish I knew then, what I know now”, as the saying goes!
In recent years, I have been signing my artworks on the back. But, with my current unseen collection, I will be focusing more on having a signature on the front.
Here are some general rules and guidelines of artwork signature signing that I am being guided by.
Rules and Guidelines for Signing Art
- I will be making my signature the same for all my drawings, paintings, or prints, so that others will eventually come to recognize that I completed a particular artwork just by looking at my distinctly styled signature.
- I created an autograph that was not too eye-catching, since it could possibly distract from the artwork.
- My signature is easy to read. If my name could be identifiable, then I would have simply defeated the whole purpose of having an artist autograph in the first place. If you are an artist who prefers to use initials on the front, it will be a good idea to include your full signature on the back of the artwork.
- I made sure not to sign too close to the edge. When my paintings and drawings are eventually framed, my signature will not be hidden by being too close to the border. I also find that I have to crop some images slightly when photographing art for prints and display on the web. To account for this cropping, I needed to have my autograph a little further inside the composition.
- I am signing my paintings immediately after I finish them, while the paint is still wet. This will ensure the tones are evenly matched, and the signature doesn’t stand out. Doing so will also make it very difficult for forgers to reproduce them.
- I am using the same medium that I used for my artwork. This is very obvious. My signature for my oil paintings are done with oil paint, and my drawings – graphite.
Man Ray Signature
The Importance of Signing Your Artworks
Art buyers, critics, and the general public will eventually come to recognize you and your art by just viewing the signature.
If an artwork is sold without an autograph, others who see it will not automatically know the artist. Of course, someone may tell them, but they may forget unless they know you personally. But something that people can actually see (a signature) is much more easier to remember. Many times an artwork is resold without the seller actually informing the buyer who created it. So, signing the artwork would let anyone know that you are the artist, even 100 years from now.
Leonardo Da Vinci Signature
As an aside:
Nowadays, there are very unique and interesting ways to find out who completed an artwork, besides being identified by an expert. If the image appears elsewhere on the web under your artist profile, others may find out who completed it by using Google image search.
What about including the date on the front of the artwork? Do you do this? Do you think it is a good idea to include the time that the print, painting, drawing, etc. was created right on the front, next to the signature?
Please state your opinions below.