Creator Spotlight with Fine Artist Mary Adelaide Clark

Fine Artist Mary Adelaide Clark

Mary Adelaide (“Addie”) Clark is a recent graduate of Davidson College in North Carolina and is now embarking on a career in the fine arts. Her work can be found at www.Maryadelaide.art and at @adelaide_art on Instagram.

What was the inspiration behind becoming a creator? What do you enjoy most about the creative process?

I’ve always been creating in one way or another. I would make little houses out of shoeboxes when I was younger and draw on all my folders and notes in school. Art as a full-time career never seemed feasible though. I was worried about the lack of structure and clear direction in the long-term. It came to a point in college though when I realized (or maybe accepted) I just didn’t have the energy to do anything I didn’t love. I love that the creative process always reminds me to stay present. When I’m creating, I can’t set rigid expectations because I’ll end up missing what’s already working.

Can you take us through your creative process? How long does it take? Does everything you produce make money?

My creative process is a little all over the place. I work in a lot of different formats and mediums, but the direction I take depends on the space I’m in. When I’m painting, It is a lot of spray paint and fast acting material that I throw together to see what happens. From there, I’ll take a photo of the piece and rework it digitally, which I can then use as a reference point. Most of what I make doesn’t produce money, but it gives me material to pull from later. I’ve always thought of art as being like sports, the games are only 10% of the play and the rest happens in practice.

What do you think is the biggest misconception about your line of work?

I’m not sure if I know the answer just yet, as honestly, I may be the one holding onto some misconceptions. Originally, I thought that art could only be a side job unless you made it big. But with all the technology and resources available today, there’s so much more possibility than I ever realized.

When did you first become aware of copyright, and why?

Copyright has been in the back of my mind for a while; I knew it existed, but I get nervous about anything that involves a lot of writing, rules, or paperwork. So, I tried to ignore it for a little while. With my paintings, the value is in the physical textures and layers of material, so I wasn’t worried about showing them off online. But I was producing so much digital work at the end of my senior year at college and didn’t know how to protect it. Then I looked into copyright and the process of registering your work to protect it is much easier than I thought, and I wish I hadn’t been so scared of it.

What do you do when you encounter someone stealing something you’ve invested your intellect, time and money into?

Since I’m new at the business side of art, I fortunately haven’t run into the legal or financial issues of protecting my work yet. However, authenticity has become such an important priority of mine, and I feel like copying not only steals from my success but makes it harder for the infringer to find their authenticity too.

What is your biggest copyright-related challenge?

I’m currently just learning about copyright and making sure I’m setting up my works to be protected by copyright. Since I only create five prints of any painting I create, I want to ensure that I can promise buyers that the works they purchase from me will be protected in the future.

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