Art Discussion

What do you think about signing your drawings? Is it necessary or does it matter?

By Kimmo Oja


  • Hugo Seijas artist
    Hugo Seijas (@hugo) Plus Member
    12/13/2018 @ 12:25pm

    I don't find it necessary for most things, but I think it legitimatizes the art that is actually sold as authentic.

  • OKAT artist
    OKAT (@okat) Plus Member
    12/13/2018 @ 4:08pm

    Nowadays I sign my drawings mostly as a form of protection. Social media makes it so easy for folks to reshare and repost work with no credit to the original artist. I keep it subtle and usually in the bottom-right corner.

  • Tressy Jane artist
    Tressy Jane (@tressyjane)
    12/14/2018 @ 8:36pm

    I don't think you have to but I choose to because I feel it says to someone else that that piece belongs to someone and I enjoy doing that finishing touch when I feel my piece is complete.

  • kid tiki artist
    kid tiki (@kidtiki)
    12/17/2018 @ 6:21am

    i think it's necessary to help recognise your work as your brand. By putting your name on it you send it out into the world amongst all the other brands, but helping to distinguish yours as unique and just as important as every other brand that is out there. And when a person likes your work, your brand name helps them to recognise and search more of your work. Peace.

  • Kimmo Oja artist
    Kimmo Oja (@Kimoja) Plus Member
    12/17/2018 @ 9:53am

    Great and very important comments from all of your. Maybe my bigger problem in signin drawings is that i feel like braggin or pretend to be like real artist if sign my works.

  • OKAT artist
    OKAT (@okat) Plus Member
    12/17/2018 @ 5:49pm

    @Kimoja Kimmo! Are you kidding? You are a real artist!!! Your work is incredible. I'm just a self-taught doodler and I sign my work. It's about being proud of your creation and trust me, the people that like your style will be proud that you've signed the piece.

  • Lauren Konopacki artist
    Lauren Konopacki (@lettermore) Plus Member
    12/17/2018 @ 8:40pm

    I can definitely see why artists do that, but I don't personally...I really admire when artists have a cool, well thought-out mark or symbol that serves as the signature .. something that you could make a stamp out of and just SEAL THAT SUCKER! love it.

  • Caroline Rodriguez artist
    Caroline Rodriguez (@carolinerodriguez)
    12/18/2018 @ 10:04am

    @lettermore That's interesting that you don't Why is that? @Kimoja Say what? You are kidding right? Your work is fabulous. There is no such thing as a "real artist" in the end you find the group of people that like your style or messaging. I agree that not everything needs a signature if you are sketching in your book and what have you, but it's your art, do what you please with it!

  • Kimmo Oja artist
    Kimmo Oja (@Kimoja) Plus Member
    12/18/2018 @ 10:18am

    Thanks @okat and @carolinerodriguez for so kind comments :) Why i start and want this discussion? It is not that i feel i am not any good and worth of it. Some reasons , i dont know why, i am not feeling comfortable when sign my works. Like Lauren @lettermore says i want some stamp or something to mark my works. In my new post i use some kind of it

  • LiterarySketches artist
    LiterarySketches (@LiterarySketches)
    12/18/2018 @ 1:16pm

    I think that if you want to share your art, you should sign it in an easy to see place so if someone steals it, you have your watermark on it. People can remove watermarks in Photoshop but if you signed it, it's more likely that someone who saw your original piece will recognize that it's your art because they saw your signature on it originally and they can notify you. If you don't want to share it or if you are only going to show someone briefly in person, you don't really need to sign it. You should always put the date on your art, so you can look back to that point in time and know when you made the art and you can measure your growth through time. It also helps you organize your art by style because that changes over time and you probably made the art of the same or a similar style if the periods are near each other. It's still up to you but I think signing your work (espiacally if you have a large following) is a good way to prevent art theft but tracing is kind of difficult to avoid because they don't need to remove your signature, they drew it so they just wont put it in. Tracing is fine if you do it for practice but not if you claim it so maybe try something more thorough if you are worried about that. I get that feeling of not wanting to sign my artwork. It makes it feel less organic sometimes. Try coming up with some sort of a logo or a symbol that you can mark your art with, that can help sometimes. You can make it less conspicuous but still clear. Or if you really don't wanna sign it, who says you have to! Your art is all up to you so do what makes you happy! Like @lettermore said, it has benefits but if you don't like it, that's totally okay too. If you put a date on it, even on the back if it's not digital, time can be enough proof.

  • LiterarySketches artist
    LiterarySketches (@LiterarySketches)
    12/18/2018 @ 1:20pm

    @Kimoja Anything creative that expresses something is art. from poems to still-lifes. From art school to self-taught. From doodles to realism, it's all art! I don't think signing is like bragging at all, I think it's just a preference of signing it or not signing it. Maybe try signing the back, or just putting a date. If someone takes a signature as a brag, they probably still wont take a date as one.

  • LiterarySketches artist
    LiterarySketches (@LiterarySketches)
    12/18/2018 @ 1:21pm

    @kidtiki Well said

  • Junkyard Sam artist
    Junkyard Sam (@JunkyardSam) Plus Member
    12/18/2018 @ 1:38pm

    Some of my favorite artists sign their work on the back, and I feel like there's confidence in that... They choose purity of the art over self promotion or credit. It's like they know their style is so recognizable that they don't need their signature on the art. Other times I see artists on the internet use a giant watermark name across their art. Often the people who do that aren't even good -- no one's going to "steal their work." It's just offensive to the viewer. Signing subtlely in the corner is OK. It's standard and what most people advise. Some asian artists use a red stamp as a signature and that can look really nice. I guess I'd like to sign my work on the front but I don't because I feel like it would detract from the art. The few times I've done it -- I've regretted it... so I sign on the back unless a buyer requests otherwise.

  • Bobcomics artist
    Bobcomics (@Bobcomics)
    12/18/2018 @ 1:43pm

    I rarely (if ever) sign a doodled drawing as that takes away from the spontaneous nature of doodling. If I have put enough work into the drawing I usually sign it as a finishing touch.

  • Hugo Seijas artist
    Hugo Seijas (@hugo) Plus Member
    12/18/2018 @ 1:59pm

    @JunkyardSam yes! It also puts a huge barrier to anyone that wants to share it because of the huge water mark.

  • Junkyard Sam artist
    Junkyard Sam (@JunkyardSam) Plus Member
    12/18/2018 @ 2:04pm

    @hugo I thought about your note about how a signature legitimizes the art. To your point -- I suspect if a person is a fan of an artist then they would actually LIKE the signature on the art for that exact reason, if they are buying a piece. It also helps for identification if the work is posted or pinned on Pinterest with no credit. So maybe I should rethink my take on it. I just worry it could look "spammy." It just depends on the art. For some people a signature fits naturally and even looks good on a piece. As a buyer I would definitely want the signature.

  • AKU NAPIE artist
    AKU NAPIE (@akunapie)
    12/19/2018 @ 10:13am

    for me, i do sign it. because i proud with my artwork. :)

  • Kimmo Oja artist
    Kimmo Oja (@Kimoja) Plus Member
    12/19/2018 @ 4:45pm

    What @literarysketches say about date at back of paper is really good idea ! I start to use it, later is hard to say when draw it I’ve been thinkin that asian style stamp too. It looks nice too

  • Joanna M Gregores artist
    Joanna M Gregores (@joannagregores)
    12/21/2018 @ 5:12am

    Ialways sign my work, i think it's a way of showing that your respect what you do!

  • Marina Wang artist
    Marina Wang (@Bungehappy)
    12/24/2018 @ 8:55pm

    I don't think you NEED to sign your work, but I like to write my name and the date on most of my doodles and art just because it makes it seem complete.

  • Dietrich Adonis artist
    Dietrich Adonis (@ArtNinja2000) Plus Member
    01/27/2019 @ 4:19pm


  • Melissa R Cooper artist
    Melissa R Cooper (@Melissarochell)
    01/29/2019 @ 1:00am

    I think it depends on the kind of artwork you produce and your audience. It can be a distraction to some. If it’s a work on paper, I find it safest to include a small signature (with print number and number of edition size if limited edition) in an area that can easily be shown or hidden depending on how they decide to mat the piece.

  • Phil Conner artist
    Phil Conner (@pcartistry)
    02/01/2019 @ 5:18pm

    Sign it! I struggled with a signature on my art at first, I felt it didn't look right, and I never really liked the way my name and signature looked. So I decided to look at it as art within art...artception, if you would, create a fun signature that is unique.

  • J.Kill & Hide artist
    J.Kill & Hide (@Dallyvanters)
    02/07/2019 @ 10:59pm

    I appreciate when people do it cuz sometimes when I like an artpiece I want to know who did it and it may be almost impossible to find who did it XD That's why I sign mine❣

  • k librandi artist
    k librandi (@thespecterhermit)
    02/17/2019 @ 8:58pm

    I feel that signing your work is necessary. It shows that your art work is finished and adds to the overall professional look. It can also make you feel like a true artist and build up some confidence too.

  • L artist
    L (@Tuininga)
    04/01/2019 @ 12:35pm

    I try to always sign pieces I give as gifts, sell, or post on social media. I didn't used to. I started because 1) It's mine 2) if it becomes owned by someone else over the years they could forget who created it in the 1st place or someone else could end up with it and never be given the name of who made it. 3) paranoia 4) I can usually sign small enough that it doesn't disrupt the image. Downside of signing--As my work tends to be abstract sometimes it looks good from more than 1 direction 9 I love when that happens). the signature can make someone assume it's supposed to be presented in a certain way when it doesn't have to be. I wish I was better at dating drawings. Unless I sign it I don't think of it, but if I never share the piece in some way I tend not to sign it, so I have a bunch of drawings that I can only guess at when I did it.

  • Helene Mckerlie artist
    Helene Mckerlie (@DragonflyzDen)
    05/02/2019 @ 4:26am

    For me personally, I enjoy signing my work. It's something I have always done, and it's a signal for myself, it means I finished that piece and I'm both happy and proud that I have. I very rarely touch a piece after I've signed it. It does help with the copyright thing too. If the piece looks like a signature would ruin it, then I work it into the design itself so it disappears from direct view (like in the pattern of tree bark, or a clothing pattern). This also makes it harder for someone to crop out as well if you're concerned about this kind of thing. But it also depends on the work too, what kind of piece you are designing, what it will be used for etc. It is definitely a person to person preference. But yes, for myself, I like to sign my work.

  • erik cheung artist
    erik cheung (@metamorphosis)
    05/21/2019 @ 12:01pm

    I used to refuse signing on the front of my art work for reasons that it disturbed the composition. Space was my thing. My past art teacher said we could use the signature to balance the work...well I do not buy that. But looking back at my past works between 2010-2015, I find the works seem empty without the signature.

  • Sonja Monica Beijneveld artist
    Sonja Monica Beijneveld (@sonjamonica)
    06/04/2019 @ 12:37pm

    Maybe your creation is your signature?

  • Marqueta Michelle Wells artist
    Marqueta Michelle Wells (@21smartbeauty)
    09/03/2019 @ 10:59pm

    I think signing your artwork is important simply because it's to recognize who put their hands to it. Some signatures that I've seen were illegible and to me that's just like not signing at all. I prefer to have my signatures legible whether on the front or back.

  • Leighanne artist
    Leighanne (@AbstractHuman8)
    01/14/2020 @ 4:13pm

    I feel weird doing it and often forget. However, I would love to make it a happen for the pure fact of internet thiefs exist. I do find that I never like my signature though...I feel like it’s always subpar in comparison to what I’m signing.

  • Artlicity artist
    Artlicity (@artlicity)
    01/31/2020 @ 1:01pm

    I think drawing signatures is important because some people benefit from you and sell your paintings as an artist.

  • KEVIN artist
    KEVIN (@doodlekev)
    02/22/2020 @ 4:01pm


  • Hayley Jackson artist
    Hayley Jackson (@hayleygjackson)
    05/31/2020 @ 5:33am

    I do it to protect my art from being stolen and for authenticity when sold. People buying art also prefer it signed in my experience too.

  • Dietrich Adonis artist
    Dietrich Adonis (@ArtNinja2000) Plus Member
    07/25/2020 @ 7:54pm

    Sign or initial doodles, sketches, artwork of any kind. . .ALWAYS!!

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