When you start selling your work and making money from your art, you not only need to worry about the copyrights of your own art, but that you don’t accidentally infringe on the copyrights of other artists. You would think that the idea of stealing someone’s work would be pretty straight forward but, it suddenly gets murky when we think about the smaller details, like brushes. Are Procreate brushes copyrighted?
Procreate brushes themselves are copyrighted, which means that you can’t sell or distribute any Procreate brush that you haven’t created yourself. Most artists allow you to sell art that has been made with their brushes, but it’s important to check their licensing policies to be sure.
Like I mentioned, things can get murky once we start talking about things like brushes, so let’s dive a little deeper into what you can and can’t do with Procreate brushes.
But, before we get started, let’s review an important disclaimer.
Disclaimer: all of the information in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Before taking action, consult with a legal professional. Adventures with Art will not be held liable for any decisions made based on the information in this article.
Ok, now that we have that squared away, let’s dive in.
You Cannot Sell, Share, or Distribute Procreate Brushes (Usually)
Procreate brushes are copyrighted, with the copyright being attributed to whoever created the brush. As such, it’s considered copyright infringement to sell, share or distribute that brush without explicit permission from the artist who originally created it.
To be clear, we are NOT talking about art that you create with Procreate brushes. We’ll talk about that later.
What we are talking about is taking the file for the Procreate brush itself and selling it, sharing it, or distributing it in some way. Basically, it’s stealing. A Procreate brush is its own kind of work of art that only the artist who created it has a right to sell, share, or distribute.
What about the “usually” part. Well, every artist determines their own rules about how their products can be used. While it’s rare, it’s possible you could stumble upon a licensing agreement that gives you permission to sell, share, or distribute their brushes. Again, it’s not common, but it’s conceivable.
To understand this better, let’s talk through some questions about copyright.
What is copyright for artistic works?
A piece of artwork is copyrighted to the artist who created it as long as it is an original piece of work and it exists in reality. This means that an idea for an art piece cannot be copyrighted but, once it has been created, it automatically is copyrighted to the artist who created it.
In summary, a piece of artwork is copyrighted when:
-it is an original piece of artwork
-it isn’t just an idea. It’s a piece of work that exists in reality. This means that it’s “fixed,” which just means that it’s on paper, canvas, computer screen (digital art), sculpture, etc. It’s a tangible object instead of an idea.
A Procreate brush does qualify as a copyrighted piece of artwork. The tangibility of it is a little complicated given that we don’t admire the brush itself, but it does still tangibly exist.
As soon as a Procreate brush is created, it is copyrighted to the artist who created it. This is true for any other type of art as well.
Does an artistic work have to be registered for a copyright in order to be copyright protected?
Art does not need to have a registered copyright in order to be copyright protected. Copyright protections begin as soon as a piece of art is created. Even without a copyright registration, artists can file copyright infringements against those that steal their works.
If you are really concerned about copyrighting your work, there are some ways you can fight a copyright infringement when you have a copyright registration. If you want greater protections than basic copyright protections afford, it might be worth looking into (source). Remember that this is NOT legal advice and you should consult with your lawyer before taking any action.
Procreate Brushes are Copyrighted
In short, Procreate brushes are copyrighted pieces of art that can’t be sold, shared, or distributed by anyone aside from the artists who created them.
If you have Procreate brushes that you use, you can only use them for your own art. Don’t be tempted to share them with friends. As artists, we all want to support other artists, so make sure to respect brush creators when using their artwork.
Ok, so we’ve determined that Procreate brushes themselves are copyright protected. But, what about art that you create with your Procreate brushes?
Can I Sell Art That I Make with Procreate Brushes?
In most cases, you can sell the art that you create with Procreate brushes, as long as you aren’t selling the brush itself. When you purchase or download a brush, it’s important to check the licensing agreement to make sure.
There are a LOT of artists who make money from their Procreate art, and they aren’t violating a ton of copyright infringements for each brush they use while doing so.
More often than not, Procreate brush creators are fine with artists using their brushes in pieces of art that they sell. As long as the brush is used to create an original piece of art, and the brush itself isn’t being sold, it’s all good.
That said, whenever you purchase or download a Procreate brush, you want to make sure to check the brush creator’s licensing agreement before doing so. Most brush creators will have a very clear statement on their website about what you can and can’t do with their brushes.
If they don’t, you can try reaching out to them for an answer. But, if you’re concerned, just stick to purchasing and downloading Procreate brushes from creators that very clearly say that you can sell your artwork that’s created from your brushes.
Is My Procreate Art Copyrighted?
Once you’ve finished a piece of artwork with Procreate, it is copyrighted as long as it’s original and being displayed as a finished piece of art. Your Procreate art is copyright protected in the same way that any other piece of art would be.
Copyright is something that you don’t want to mess around with as an artist. Make sure to do your due diligence to make sure you don’t accidentally infringe on any copyrights. And, when in doubt, make sure to reach out to a legal professional to make sure you have all of the info you need.
Diana has been an artist for over 27 years and has training in drawing, painting, digital drawing and graphic design. Diana’s latest obsession is digitally drawing with Procreate and Procreate Dreams. Diana has experience selling her art across a number of platforms and loves helping other artists learn how to make money from their art as well.