Thursday, April 26, 2007

When in doubt check it out!

You know, just 10 years ago, when I didn't have a cell phone, or the Internet, I was running around, looking up info in libraries (Oh how I miss spending HOURS each day at the 2 NYC public libraries on 5th Ave in Manhattan *sigh*) and looking in phone books to find people, businesses and manufacturers.
12 years ago, I started my design business for "real" (although I had been in the art business virtually since I was 4 or 5 years of age! Yes, even then, I was making art and selling it!). It took me a few months to actually learn about all of the things that I needed to know as far as banking, keeping records, laws, rules, guidelines etc.
It took me a while to find out how to get the right kind of business license, where and how to file my taxes, etc.

I did a LOT of talking on the phone.
A LOT of calls daily.

It was quite expensive to call out of state or even out of our local area code, and I had to set time limits with whomever I was speaking with.

These days, cell phone usage plans help to make all of the old toll call fees a thing of the past.

Having the Internet also cuts down on time spent looking up info and finding out details.

I was always told that we were not allowed to deface money. I was lectured once about gluing pennies together with crazy glue.

Since then, I have steered clear of using money in my art work.
However, many people wanted to use coinage in the swaps that I have been hosting.
Thinking that it was illegal, I asked people not to use it.

After looking into it on the Internet, I found this link-

HOWEVER-even though it was still worded in a way that kept me thinking that it was not OK, 3 people emailed me saying that it was.
Yesterday, I needed to find out what the *truth* was about using money in art work. SO, I used the PHONE to call *Washington*, and spoke to 4 VERY kind and helpful people, all in different departments of the US treasury and US Mint.
When in doubt, check it out!
And the calls were not something I had to worry about paying for, and the info I learned while on the phone was relieving.
Yes, we can mutilate coins! However, we may not cut up paper money.
If we create copies of paper money, it must be at least 25 percent in size, OR 150 times the size if we enlarge it.
Working with people is SO much easier for me than it was just 10 years ago!
I am really looking forward to what will be in the next 10 years.

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