Over the last several years I have provided a certificate of authenticity in various forms to patrons who have purchased original artwork. And frankly, I'm shocked when I don't get one for an original painting! I have purchase 4 pieces over the last 2 years that did not have a certificate of authenticity from the artist - not a single one of them had a certificate! Ya'll this is very concerning and let me tell you why.
My call out to my patrons who have an original Stephanie Weaver without a certificate in the video:
3 Reasons Artists Need A Certificate of Authenticity
Here are some additional notes I didn't cover in the video but help support the need for the certificate of authenticity.
#1 Reason: Prove that it is your work
I recently went to Jennifer Taylor's end-of-year sale at a studio where she teaches. I LOVE Jennifer's work and I had to have a piece of it, I didn't really care what it was, I just wanted one.
When I first walk into any room I go the path of least resistance, and in her art sale it was going left...and I quickly found out why - to the left were her student's artwork. I almost snagged one with glee and then realized it wasn't Jennifer's. I quickly saw that her students' style almost mirrored her style and I'd have to be an expert to discern the difference (thankfully the tag told me). I almost bought a piece that wasn't Jennifer's. I did end up purchasing a piece that was unnamed and had no authenticity (and btw, I did tell Jennifer she needed to do that and she said she knows and scolded herself - she's awesome). My only documentation is the purchase agreement and relaying this story.
#2 Reason: Prove it is an original painting or a limited edition
How many people have purchased a Thomas Kincade giclee that is "hand-embellished"? What does "hand-embellished" even mean? So here it is, it means that someone manually added paint to a print, whether it was printed on paper or canvas. For Kincade, he had a crew of "master highlights" who would go over the giclees with cadmium yellow mixed with white to get the raised look and glow. This is not an original and because he didn't actually do it, it should be worthless.
#3 Reason: Prove its value.
One day the artist who painted the paintings is going to die. It is unavoidable. If the artist's work increases in value upon their death, you will need to prove that it is, in fact, the artist's work in order to sell it at the valued price. This can be accomplished through a bill of sale and a certificate of authenticity.
CERTIFICATE OF AUTHENTICITY TEMPLATE
If you are an artist, you need to take the time to create a certificate of authenticity for every piece of artwork you create. To help you, I've created a template that you can use.
Download it here: