Friday, December 24, 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

30 Years ago... John Lennon

30 Years ago when I was still in art school, this was a very sad day.

My roommate Bill and I were watching MNF when the news broke that John Lennon was shot. I remember Amorette Thomas telling us in tears that John and how all of us were upset. Some of us went to Fred Wessel's print shop at UHA and did a bunch of art work of John. This was my piece.

Just a sad day to remember...

Monday, December 6, 2010


With the Fairview Inn's and WATD's help, our raffle raised $1,100 to assist our neighbors in need this holiday season. 100% of your $10 donation will be used to towards buying Christmas dinner, warm blankets and a present for over 300 families in Marshfield. 

The winner of the cherry Shaker Jelly Cabinet was Katie Walsh, whose father surprised her for Christmas by purchasing a ticket in her name. 

On behalf of myself, my wife Arlene and the Marshfield Community Christmas
Thank You and have a Happy Holiday.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Cover Illustration for LBA

Cover illustration for the good folks Karen and Jan over at Broadbased Communications. 
Great people to work for...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Marshfield Community Christmas Raffle

The Ken Dubrowski Artisan’s Studio and the 
Fairview Inn Restaurant are asking for your
support this holiday season by purchasing a 
$10 raffle ticket for this custom made
hand-built cherry Shaker inspired  Jelly Cabinet.

Ten Dollars per entry and all proceeds go to MCC.
Make check payable to Marshfield Community Christmas
Fill out and mail or drop off entry no later then December 2nd 2010.
Mail to Ken Dubrowski Artisan’s Studio
845 Moraine Street Marshfield MA 02050

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010

Cherry Blanket Chest

I just completed this blanket chest for a client.
This large blanket chest is made of solid cherry with dovetailed sides. The interior has two side compartments and is lined with cedar to make those blankets smell nice. The finish is a hand rubbed oil finish that looks great. 

The chest goes at the end of the bed to hold quilts and blankets.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Quincy Access Television Video of "The Creative Process"

Quincy Access Television (QAT) has posted a short video interview of my solo exhibition show "The Creative Process" on their website. The show runs in the Thomas Crane Library for the month of September.

Click to view QAT Video of Ken Dubrowski

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Brad Holland replies to Questions on Mark Simon Article

Brad Holland was gracious enough to send me the following reply to questions raised on the issue of reprographic royalties from Mark Simon's article.
I am reposting it with his permission.
Hi Ken,

We’ve had several inquiries about this subject since Mark Simon’s article came out.

Some involve  the suggestion that if artists want to be paid their reprographic royalties, they should contact their publishers to ask if they’re “eligible.”

In my opinion, this would be sending artists on a wild goose chase.  Mark was wise not to suggest it in his piece.

First things first: If you’ve ever done work that’s been published in books, magazines, journals and newspapers, you’re eligible to receive reprographic fees.

Reprographic rights are just like other rights. They don’t come from the publisher. They’re yours. 

The only exception would be if you’ve signed them all away.

And even if you’ve signed one or two all-rights contracts, it’s not likely that you’ve surrendered all your rights to every published work you’ve ever done.

So a.) If you fit this description, you’re  eligible.

But b.) Let’s say you take this advice and contact your publisher. What are the chances a publisher will even take your call?

At best, you’d be lucky to get an editor or sales rep.  Then what?  They’ll refer you to their legal department.  Now you’re the dog that’s caught the bus. And how many artists are ready to tangle with a corporate lawyer who holds all the cards?

Contacting your publisher about your reprographic rights comes down to one of two scenarios:

Scenario 1: Let’s say you’re an artist who’s published a book, of which you’re the named author.
  • Here you have a single publisher to contact and a personal sales record to inquire about.
  • In this case, maybe you can get somewhere by asking for the reprographic royalties for that specific book.
  • We don’t know of any cases where this has happened, but for the sake of argument let’s assume it could:
  • These fees are called title-specific royalties, and
  • They can be tracked only because you’re the sole author of that particular book.

But how many artists are the sole authors of books?

And what about all the other work you’ve done?

Scenario 2:The real issue in reprographic rights involves all those artists who contribute to collective works such as magazines. The fees involved here are collective fees. They’re called non-title-specific royalties and they’re collected under blanket licenses.

How do individual artists get paid for their share of this “juke box money”?

If you followed the advice to contact your publisher, here’s what you’d actually have to do:
  • Call the publisher of each and every publication you’ve ever worked for to
  • inquire about what percentage of that publication’s total reprographic revenues you’re entitled to
  • for each and every picture you’ve ever done for them. 

How’s that likely to work out? 
  • You can call publishers, but how many will take your call?
  • Or editors for that matter?
  • So you may get through to the art director, but
  • How many art directors will want to start fielding inquiries from every artist they’ve ever worked with about the reprographic sales figures of every issue of the magazine in which their work has  ever appeared.
  • The art director won’t be able to help you anyway;
  • Most have never even heard of reprographic rights.
  • So he/she will direct you to the sales or legal department.
  • Ask the company’s lawyers if you’re “eligible for reprographic royalties,” and they’ll say no, case closed.
  • So then what?

Telling artists they should each confront their publishers one-by-one is to condemn them to fruitless and ineffectual individual actions. There’s no way we can collect non-title specific royalties without a collecting society.


Because to determine an individual’s share of non-title-specific royalties, you need to make three statistical calculations:
  • What percentage of total reprographic royalties should go to visual artists?
  • What share of that total should go to illustrators (as opposed to photographers, fine artists, etc.)?
  • What share of that should go to which individual artists?

Collecting societies in other countries make calculations like this every day, all the time.

But artists can’t deduce these numbers themselves by talking to publishers. For this you need bean counters.

And you need bean counters who work for you.
The Copyright Clearance Center collects over $165 million in reprographic royalties every year. CCC has bean counters, but they work for CCC. And CCC works for publishers.   

As artists,  we won’t get our share of these royalties until we have bean counters who work for us.

That’s what a collecting society would provide.

According to IFRRO  figures, an average 15% of reprographic revenues should be going to visual artists right now.

Fifteen percent of $165 million annually: do the math.

And that percentage is expected to grow with the growth of digital photocopying.

We started ASIP to act as a collecting society because nobody else was doing it.

It should have been done two decades ago.

If we don’t act together now, we should expect to lose these rights for good.

That’s why I’ve signed the ASIP mandate. I have 42 years of rights at stake.

The form’s easy to fill out and membership is free.

Here’s the place to go:

Thanks a million for your commitment to this issue, Ken.

 – Brad Holland, for the board of ASIP

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Where's My Vote Opening September 16th

The "Where's My Vote?" opening will be held at the School of Visual Arts in NY on Thursday September 16th 6 to 8 pm...
Check out the link to view the artists involved.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Who is Keeping Artist's Royalties?

Check out this great article by Mark Simon about reprographic royalties and why artists are not getting paid for their work.

Monday, August 9, 2010

This Months Flying Magazine Illustration

Illustration for September's Flying Magazine.

Friday, August 6, 2010

"Where is My Vote?" Exhibition

School of Visual Arts (SVA) presents “Where Is My Vote? Posters for the Green Movement in Iran ,” an exhibition of over 125 political posters by graphic artists world wide created in support of the protests in Iran that followed the 2009 presidential election.
August 30 - September 25, 2010
Reception: Thursday, September 16, 6-8pm 
Visual Arts Gallery 
601 West 26 Street, 15th floor
New York, NY 10001

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Links to Articles to Amend the Independent Contractors Law

With the testimony given at yesterday's Creative Caucus action at the MA State House and with the Boston Globe Op-Ed now calling for an amendment to the Independent Contractors Law, I have provided a series of links to help explain the issue more clearly for those that have not had a chance to review it.

Here is background information on a problem not only happening in MA but one that now has national implications:

Short white paper:


Also of note:

The Journal of Biocommunication has posted on their website an unprecedented issue devoted to just one topic "artist's rights". This issue focuses on aspects of artists’ rights, and broadly covers subjects of illustrators’ rights during the late 1800s. They have also included several articles from prominent individuals in the field like Brad Holland, Cynthia Turner, Bruce Lehman, Terrence Brown and Chris Castle, that discuss more recent issues surrounding existing copyright law, copyright registration, artists’ rights, and the current U.S. Orphan Works legislation. To understand what is going on in our industry it is important to know where we have been. These five articles best outline in great detail the issues artists are facing and should be read by everyone so please forward it to anyone in the business.

You can download the article by going directly to their website

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Text for the Creative Council to Amend Independent Contractor Law

I am speaking to you on behalf of the illustration community and as a member of the Illustrator’s Partnership of America. I am a freelance illustrator, furniture maker and independent contractor living in Marshfield MA.

Over the past ten years the artist’s community, comprised of photographers, illustrators, artists, musicians and other similar fields have seen their intellectual property become the commerce for corporations who wish to seize control of this property and profit without compensation to the creators of the work. This attempted corporate takeover of our industry has resulted in a loss of revenue to artists as well as a loss of taxable revenue to states such as our own.

The Massachusetts Independent Contractors Law reclassifies freelance creators who produce intellectual property as employees. This creates two dramatically illegal effects to freelance creators. Both result in the illegal confiscation of a creator's property and copyright licensing revenue.

1) It wrongly imposes an USC 17, §106(a) Work-for-Hire copyright status upon freelance creators - who are also known as "authors". Copyright is the law of authorship. It is quite simply a creator’s exclusive right to make copies of his or her work, authorize others to make copies, and stop those who make unauthorized copies. Copyright automatically protects an original work of authorship the moment the creator fixes an idea in a tangible medium of expression. Copyright ownership automatically vests with the author; an author's right is based upon the act of creation itself. The copyright grants a specific set of exclusive rights to the author, and to others authorized by author, to reproduce the work, prepare derivatives based on the work, distribute the work under the creator's terms, perform the work, or display the work publicly.

The USC 17, §106(a) Work-for-Hire Doctrine is an exception to the vesting of exclusive rights with the creator, which strictly applies to the employer/employee relationship. It vests copyright with the employer of staff artists, writers and musicians by default because the employer provides the overhead, tools of the trade, training, retirement, health care, insurance, facilities and assumes all the risks and uncertainties normally borne by a freelance creator. Since the employer is taking all the risks and providing risk-free conditions for creators to create, the employer is granted the copyrights the employees create and the renewable wealth from the licensing of those copyrights.

2) It imposes an illegal employee status upon freelance creators - also known as independent contractors.
This violates Title 29, Chapter 7, Subchapter II of the United States Code the Wagner Act or the National Labor Relations Act. Freelance creators, who are independent contractors, are strictly prohibited from unionizing or collective bargaining. Independent contractors are also protected from unwanted unionization by the National Labor Relations Act. It is illegal for unions to interfere with the business affairs of self-employed independent contractors yet this law allows that interference to exist.

In 2004, the Conyers bill (c) was a national attempt by one union (the UAW/GAG Local 3030) to forcibly legislate an unwanted freelance artists union by re-classifying freelance artists as employees for the purpose of collective bargaining. It was defeated when IPA exposed its irreconcilable legal conflicts with U.S. Copyright Law and the National Labor Relations Act.

There have been other recent federal and state attempts to weaken creators' exclusive rights in order to gain a financial stake in their copyrights. The Orphan Works Bill is one example of corporations trying to gain control of our domestic royalties. Artists have already seen their earned foreign royalties diverted to non-profit organizations that have claimed to represent independent contractors' copyrights. These losses not only deprive artists from their earned income, but deprive states and the US Treasury from revenue by diverting taxable royalties to nonprofits.

I ask that this group take heed of the concerns of our industry to prevent any further erosion of our rights and listen more closely to the artist community. I believe an amendment to the Independent Contractors Law to those who produce intellectual property is needed immediately. I feel that by working jointly with the artist community, our state could use this industry to help create new markets and much needed revenue to a depleted economy.

Thank you

(a) Title 17 of the United States Code, also known as U.S. Copyright Law.

(b) USC 17, §106a is the Work-for-Hire Doctrine. It is an exception to the vesting of exclusive rights with the creator. §106a Work-For-Hire strictly applies to the employer/employee relationship.

(c) H.R.4643 Freelance Writers and Artists Protection Act of 2002

Friday, July 23, 2010

Journal of Biocommunication Artist's Rights Issue

The Journal of Biocommunication has posted on their website an unprecedented issue devoted to just one topic "artist's rights". This issue focuses on aspects of artists’ rights, and broadly covers subjects of illustrators’ rights during the late 1800s. They have also included several articles from prominent individuals in the field like Brad Holland, Cynthia Turner, Bruce Lehman, Terrence Brown and Chris Castle, that discuss more recent issues surrounding existing copyright law, copyright registration, artists’ rights, and the recent attempts to pass U.S. Orphan Works legislation.

To understand what is going on in our industry it is important to know where we have been. These five articles best outline in greta detail the issues artists are facing and should be read by everyone.
You can download the article by going directly to their website
or you can download each individual article separately with the following links:

• Trojan Horse: Orphan Works and the War on Authors by Brad Holland

• Historic Rights Issues in American Illustration by Terrence Brown

• Orphan Works Legislation—A Bad Deal for Artists by Bruce Lehman, Esq.

• Artists’ Rights are Human Rights by Chris Castle
• Perfect and Strengthen Your Copyrights by Cynthia Turner

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Boston Globe in support of amendment to MA Freelancers Law

The Boston Globe ran an editorial today calling for the amendment to the Freelancers Law in MA.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

WBUR Morning Edition

Tomorrow morning on WBUR's (90.9) Morning Edition between 5 and 9 Andrea Shea will be doing a show on the MA Freelancer's Law. There will be segment with short interviews with illustrators ( I am included in one small blurb), lawyers and activists about the negative effect of the bill.

You can listen in online at or via ITunes WBUR link on the radio.

While I have no way to know how the story will been perceived, I ask that you take a second and please forward this to all artists and ask them to listen in tomorrow. If possible, please ask then to contact WBUR or Andrea via email and to consider doing more coverage on the issues facing creators of intellectual property, such as the Orphan Works Bill, the diversion of our earned royalties from foreign reprographics and/or some of the legal battles we are facing in our industry.

I appreciate you taking the time to listen.

Thanks again, Ken

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Art Show Opening that runs to July 3rd

Great opening last night of my show at Hingham's South Street Gallery. The show runs to July 3rd...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Patriot Ledger Feature Story

The Patriot Ledger did a feature story on my solo exhibition this Saturday June 5th

Monday, May 31, 2010

Art Show Opening at South Street Gallery

This Saturday, June 5th between 6 and 9 p.m. the South Street Gallery in Hingham will be hosting
a wine and cheese opening reception for the work of Artisan Ken Dubrowski .
Ken's illustrations and unique hand made furniture pieces will be on display and available for purchase.
We hope to see you there for the opening.
Check out these links to websites that are featuring information on the show.
Listen live this Friday 2:30 on WATD radio
South Street Gallery
Ken Dubrowski Website

Illustration on Gulf Spill.

I did this sketch twenty years ago for a painting on the Valdez oil spill. I finally painted it when Sarah Palin was going around exclaiming "Drill Baby Drill" in her stump speeches trying to get voters to support her...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010 interview about gallery show posted an interview they did about the studio and show this June 5th

Link to

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tea Party Protests

The Tea Party campaign has shown over the past few weeks what it really is preaching and many like Sarah Palin extort it to their advantage.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

White House Seeks Artists' Comments to Improve Copyright Protection

Dear Ms. Espinel

I am writing to you concerning the issue of copyright protection and how a loss of this protection will affect artists like myself.

Over the last decade, freelance writers, artists and photographers have seen significant attempts by some to take possession of our copyrights. These corporations wish to dismantle copyright or to find ways to profit from the ownership of images at the expense of the actual owners.

Many artists are fighting to protect artist’s rights on the national level as copyrights and intellectual property become commerce, but they do not have the financial resources to compete against corporate involvement or organizational corruption.

One such example is the current debate over the attempt to pass an Orphan Works bill. This bill, which is an effort to overthrow copyright protection under the guise of freeing up intellectual property for the general public is a real financial threat to artists and their copyrights. If this bill were to pass, artists would be forced to register their works in several for-profit Orphan Works registries in order to prove that the work is not abandoned. Much like existing domain name registries, artists would have to pay all scanning and registries fees on their entire body of work on an annual basis. I myself have over 1000 images and countless more sketches.

This financial burden just to provide proof that artist’s copyrights are not abandoned, even though existing copyright law already protects their work would become so cost prohibited that many artists would fall into noncompliance and risk losing ownership of their work. Their work would then be purchased and appear on the internet forcing artists to compete against their own works.

Many for profit businesses have seen the financial benefit of having artist’s works deemed work for hire or orphaned so they can be used without further compensation. These for profit businesses and even several artists’ organizations that once protected copyrights have seen that by supporting the Orphan Works bill, they can participate in an annual revenue stream with the creation of their own version of an Orphan Works registry. Artists do not have the resources in place to fight to protect what is already theirs if such a bill were to pass.

Artists can no longer turn to those organizations that once protected artist’s rights. Organizations that are collecting these royalties and should be distributing them to their rightful owners are instead keeping these fees to support their own activities or worse yet, support bills that further hurt the artist community.

For years, a small group of artists have tried to find a way to get foreign reprographics fees, which is earned income that freelancers make but do not receive, distributed back to the rightful owners. These are overseas royalties rightfully earned by the copyrighted work of artists but because there is no distribution system in place, these royalties are being diverted away from the owner.

Since there is no government run or independent system in place, this money can be used any way an artist’s organization or society deems fit. Already these funds have been used to prevent continued efforts to successfully return these royalties to artists. And there is no accountability in place as to how these royalties are being used.

I fear these once respected groups and for-profit businesses will continue to pursue venues in which they solely profit off of artists at the expense of artist’s copyrights. If we continue to allow our copyrights to be weakened in this manner, the financial costs to protect our works or to prevent our own royalties from being used against us will only increase.

There are ways to protect copyright law without allowing for the dismantlement of existing law. We need to ensure the public that the administration will instead move forward to prevent the loss of income to artists, help return royalties earned to artists and the continued protection of their copyrights by offering a fair Orphan Works bill.

In order to do this correctly more attention and public debate is needed with artists who have shown a willingness to defend artist’s rights and not profit from them.

I thank you for your attention on this matter.

Ken Dubrowski

Freelance Illustrator
Director of Operations Illustrator’s Partnership of America
845 Moraine Street
Marshfield MA 02050

Monday, March 8, 2010

Current Woodworking Project

My current woodworking project for a couple in MA. This custom designed cabinet is a two piece cherry entertainment center with pull out shelves and a hand rubbed finish...

Just getting ready to finish the top part.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

New York Yankees painted on the walls

As baseball season nears, I am spending some free time doing something I wanted to do for a long time and not get in trouble for. I am painting the retired New York Yankee legends in Black and white all around the trim part of our bathroom.
It takes about four hours to get each player right.

Once that is done I will start building the Yankee facade that goes around the top of the room and finish it off with a few other hand made pieces I am working on.

Monday, February 1, 2010

HB 1844 Testimony

Chairman Senator Thomas McGee
Chairwoman Representative Cheryl Coakley-Rivera
Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development
Room 39 and Room 112
Massachusetts State House
Boston MA 02133

I would like to thank the members of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development for taking the time to listen to my testimony. My name is Ken Dubrowski and I am a nationally known freelance illustrator working in Massachusetts since 1989. I am also the Director of Operations and a founding member of the Illustrator’s Partnership of America.

I am here today to testify in support of HB 1844 An Act Relative to Independent Contractors. As a freelance illustrator I work from my home studio competing for assignments with other illustrators from around the country. Most of my clients also employ on-staff artists. These clients hire freelance artists, like myself, not to compete or replace on- staff artists but to work with them to bring my unique style to their publication. As a freelancer, I am not afforded the same benefits as a staffed artist who receives paid healthcare and office expenses, but given current U.S. and international copyright law, I am afforded the protection of the ownership of my copyrights. This allows me to control the usage of my images and how I wish to resell those images to other clients.

Under the Massachusetts Independent Contractor 2004 Law, I am not afforded those protections, as I will no longer be considered a freelance independent contractor but an employee of my client thus losing the ownership of my copyright. Once a company owns my work it can be sold or resold without my consent.

The unintended consequence of this law hurts Massachusetts-based freelancers in several ways. First, outside companies may seek to ignore using artists from our state for fear of having to pay penalties. This puts Massachusetts’s artists at an unfair competitive disadvantage, as our trade industry is restricted from open and fair competition with artists outside of our area. The outcome of this law will be a loss of taxable income as Massachusetts based artists see commissioned work going to artists outside the state. This will have a disastrous effect on the Massachusetts economy, as artists will be forced to either transfer their residencies out of state or consider other more drastic measures.

Second, as companies begin to collect the rights of these works, artists would be forced to ironically compete against their own images. In addition, companies would be able to package these newly owned images into collections without having to pay artists any further fee for the usage of their work.

Third and most importantly, this law as it is written will only continue to erode an artist’s protection to his or her own copyright. This law allows those who wish to rewrite copyright law to gain a foothold in our industry by declaring independent contractors as employees.

Over the last decade freelance artists and photographers have seen significant attempts to take possession of our copyrights. During this time, many groups have been trying to dismantle copyright or to find ways to profit from the ownership of images on the web.

The Illustrator’s Partnership of America has been fighting to protect artist’s rights on the national level as copyrights and intellectual property become commerce. Bills such as the Orphan Works Bill are an attempt to overthrow copyright protection under the guise of freeing up intellectual property for the general public. Many for profit businesses have seen the economic benefit of having artist’s works deemed work for hire or orphaned. Thus forcing artists to protect what little control they still have of their own work. Even our own clients have been exploiting our secondary rights without permission or compensation to us for many years.

I ask that you amend the 2004 law to protect our ability to work and earn an income in the state of Massachusetts by adopting the Independent Contractor Bill 1844 as soon as possible.

Ken Dubrowski
845 Moraine Street
Marshfield MA 02050 781-837-3457
Ken Dubrowski Artisan’s Studio
Director of Operations Illustrator’s Partnership of America

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Robert Kaufman Passes Away

I write with great sorrow to inform you of the death of Robert Kaufman,
Illustrator, and faculty at The Art Institute of Boston. I understand from
Susan LeVan that many of you knew him well (and often served on illustration
juries here), and I wanted to be sure you knew of the funeral services for
him this coming Friday, January 15th, 3:00pm, at Levine Chapels, 470 Harvard
Street in Brookline, MA.

There is additional information at the AIB Illustration blog:

Robert was wonderful colleague and friend, and is much missed by all of us

Geoffry Fried
Senior Associate Dean
The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University
700 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02215
617 585-6682

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Rush Limbaugh : For the Love of Money

This spring and fall I am having several art exhibits that will showcase both my illustration and personal paintings.
Here is one of my new pieces that I am showing so if you have a comment on the work please feel free to let me know what you think. If you wish to be included in am email of the dates of the show drop me an email.