Book:Warner Brothers Animation Art - Published to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the Warner Bros. Studios, this album features authentic animation art of everyone's favorite characters. More than 300 color illustrations trace the evolution of the uniquely American art form through the development and growth of the Warner Bros.
After a brief introduction to copyright and trademark law - students put on their "Fair Use" hats and create compositions extending the edges of a postcard image. This is a great way to recycle donated postcards.
Students LOVE drawing their favorite cartoon characters - This lesson highly motivates children. They also need to know the real issues facing artists who wish to promote their work. "Freedom of Expression" allows them to create works of art. Even licensing agreement forms request to see an example for review - thus authorizing the creation of the work. However, that does not grant them the right to publicly display their work. To do so is a violation of trademark and copyright law. (Note: I wrote to Warner Brothers for permission to use the image that is on this plan. I waited over 4 weeks for a reply).
Preparation: Collect more than enough post card or greeting card images for your students. Tina had a stack of postcards donated and came up with this lesson to use them. You could use fine art images, too.
The teacher leads the class in a brief discussion of copyright and trademark law. Terms such as appropriation and derived art are presented. Consequences are presented (what happens in the Real World when and artist infringes on copyright/ trademark?).
Students view "Illegal Art" web site online as well (Art Crimes is a good one to get discussion going). Through a WebQuest - they are directed to some real cases as well as resources for learning more... such as Name Brand Bullies.
Once they review the resources, they decide their freedom of expression is important, so they create this fun project learning about colored pencil shading and extending the composition - camouflaging the original post card into a completed composition. They determine that Fair Use provisions of copyright law allow this use (in educational setting).
Teacher reads this statement from a well known company (copied from a how to draw book):
?No license is herein granted for the use of any drawing of a 'D' character for any commercial purpose, including, but not limited to, the placing of any such drawing on any article of merchandise or the reproduction, public display or sale of any such drawing. Any use other than home use by the reader of any such drawing is prohibited."
"D" characters are not allowed in school.... so stay away from everything "D". Tina did not use any "D" cards.
Student artists will decide on the placement of the postcard. Card should not be placed directly in the center (think of rule of thirds - so postcard image is a focal point).
Using pencil, students are to continue the design around the card, eventually filling the entire sheet of paper. Originality and imagination is important in extended composition.
After sketch is complete, students use colored pencil to MATCH EXACTLY the colors on the card. The entire card is completely colored. Students may have to blend colors to achieve the correct color.
Students write a short response on copyright and trademark law. Why is it important to respect copyright and trademark laws? Why do corporations protect use of their trademark? Why is freedom of expression important? How can an artist express freedom of expression and also stay within copyright/fair use guidelines?
Students will be given extra credit for any copyright /trademark violation art they find online. Write a short statement if the use is Fair Use - Parody - or other use (such as Freedom of Expression - non commercial) Give them a few clues how to go about doing this assignment. I found quite a few WB and D characters in my surfing. Some "MacD" art, too. A few sites have statements about the trademarked images.