Can I use a personal drawing of a celebrity as an example to do portraits for people online?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can I use a personal drawing of a celebrity as an example to do portraits for people online?

I have many celebrity drawings that I
did a few years ago and only a few of
people I personally know. The
celebrities photos were taken from
Google and I drew them to the likeness
for practice. I was wondering if I
would reach a legal hurdle if I used 2
or 3 of them as examples to showcase
the details I can portray. I am not
trying to sell the celeb drawings, just
need to show an example but do not want
to have a copyright infringement of any
kind occur. Thank you for any advice
you may have for me.

Asked on April 27, 2017 under Business Law, Ohio


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You should obtain the written consent of the celebrity before using a portrait because the appropriation of one's name or likeness for commercial purposes constitutes invasion of privacy.  Consent from the celebrity or celebrities should be in writing so that there won't be any future claim that consent wasn't given.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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