Tami writes: I have a question – I started doing some tutorials and have people interested in doing them. I was approached after one was done, with this question…”are you going to ever do tutorials where we are free to sell our prints when we are done?”
How do I handle this and is there a way to make what they learn from me free for them to sell prints?
Everyone handles this a bit differently. Some artists allow you to make prints of the work you do from their tutorials, most do not. Tutorials are intended to learn from, they are not a road map for how to create something to sell.
Part of this will also depend on where your reference photo came from for the tutorial. For example, if I use a photo I got from a stock image site and copied it exactly in one of my videos, the student would need to buy the photo/license from that site themselves to use it in their own artwork, but if they did they would have full rights to copy my tutorial and then use it to sell given they had rights to that reference photo too. If I got the photo from a free site like Pixabay then they would have the same rights as me to draw/paint that object. In this case it is totally ok for a student to copy and sell prints…IF they have rights to that original reference photo.
When you make tutorials it is expected that students will copy your work for their own learning purposes. It is not expected that they will turn around and sell it if it is a unique design (adding specific backgrounds etc). When an artist decides to start selling work and making prints, they really need to be creating their own work, not copies of other artists. They will not build a good reputation for themselves in the long term if they are only selling copies.
I know that for a new artist who wants to sell their work, they may not have many (if any) of their own original work yet, so they want to sell what they did from an art lesson, but this is really not how those lessons are intended and technically the student can get themselves into legal trouble if they try selling the work or making prints if they did not have rights to that design or reference material