September Edition: Creative Spotlight
It’s the first edition of our monthly series, Creative Spotlight where we showcase to you different creatives, what they do and their views and experience on Intellectual Property issues. For September, we have the brand ATS, @artistsmith.
IPTLC: Thank you for having this interview with us. Can we meet you?
ATS: I am Adeyanju Tobiloba Steven, a 400 level Law student at the University of Ibadan popularly known as ATS.
IPTLC: Nice to have you here ATS. Your art and creativity seem very interesting. How would you describe it?
ATS: I would describe my art as all-encompassing. This is because I do not limit myself to painting on just one particular surface. I paint on walls, that is what is referred to as graffiti, clothes of different textures and types, and even shoes. I also paint on the canvas as well.
IPTLC: Wow, so every surface is a place to create art. Just looking at what you create, I’m sure anyone would wonder what runs through your mind before you bring your imagination to life. Can you tell us what actually inspires your work?
ATS: My works are inspired by God most times, I feel like he just drops them in my head sometimes and I just work around what I have in my head and it comes out nice. I get inspiration from what I see sometimes, including cartoons and regular graphics we see every day.
IPTLC: Interesting. I’m actually a lover of cartoons myself. Just looking at these works, I am very sure you put a lot of effort into it.
ATS: Yes, I put in so much effort into creating. Sleepless nights, headaches, an aching chest sometimes and I still don’t stop. I give it my all and more every day. In creating a single piece, I don’t spend less than 8hours and I just keep painting till I get what I want every time.
IPTLC: Wow! 8 hours? Do you think all this effort should be rewarded?
ATS: Definitely! All it takes is time and God’s grace. I’m sure I’d be rewarded accordingly and even more than I deserve by God’s grace.
IPTLC: I’ll say amen to that. What would it actually feel like to see someone else representing a replica of your work as the original and profiting massively off it?
ATS: Woww that’d be quite painful I suppose. I’d do anything to make such a person pay. Everything within the law.
IPTLC: Has such a thing happened before and have you taken any form of action to prevent something like that from happening?
ATS: Well I’ve not actually. But I’d like to know how to do so.
IPTLC: You could sue the person. All you need to do is gather evidence to show that the person copied you. Evidence needed could be the date that your design was posted and the date that the design of the person was posted. It would be best to consult a lawyer if such issues should arise.
ATS: Oooh. Thanks a lot. I’ll keep that in mind.
IPTLC: Let’s come over to you now. You said before that you get inspiration, amongst other sources, from various cartoons and graphics you see every day. These cartoons and graphics were obviously created by someone else. Has anyone ever accused you of stealing their work?
ATS: Yeahhh once. It happened about a year ago when I painted a graphic design I got from Pinterest. I consulted with a Law Student who knew more about Intellectual Property and I was told I wasn’t actually in the wrong. But I took the post down anyway.
IPTLC: I see. Not a bad approach. It is better to be safe than sorry. To round this up, and just bring everything down to the base we would like to know, are you aware personally, of any Intellectual Property terms?
ATS: Well, I actually just have a general knowledge per se about how intellectual property works. Nothing so detailed therein.
IPTLC: Would you mind sharing some of your general knowledge with us?
ATS: I know that it is wrong in law to copy and duplicate the intellectual work of another and offer it for sale or portray it in a way that it looks to a reasonable man like it was made by the person. I also know patents, copyright, and trademarks are intellectual property rights that protect brands, businesses, and inventors. So basically in more simple terms, I know I’m not supposed to copy and offer for sale any work that is done as a result of the creativity of another without their permission. However, this doesn’t apply if I’m only doing this for my personal use or practice as long as I give them recognition.
IPTLC: You are actually quite on track. We are happy to hear that you understand the basics and you are aware of how to respect the rights of other creatives like yourself. You could drop by at IPTLC meetings you know. We discuss the rights of creatives like you and many others in various industries. We would be very happy to have you around.
ATS: It’s no problem. I’ll be there.
IPTLC: Thank you so much for your time. It was a pleasure having you.
ATS: Pleasure was all mine. Thank you too.
We have come to the end of the session. Thank you for reading. Feel free to check out more works of ATS on Instagram at @artistsmith1. Also, stay tuned for our next creative.