Wednesday, June 5, 2013
BIG BIG LESSONS
What I didn't foresee was how this image would spread on the interenet. Notice I forgot to sign it...the watermark is on it now as a result of this.... I forget to sign my quick art a lot. I just get excited to share it. I love sharing. I love spreading my passion. I love giving happiness to others.
I do not love that my image is now found on a few sites without any credit at all to me. Well maybe not 100% because after all I didn't create this to seek attention I created it to express myself. To inspire others. To make people feel good. So when I see it pop up on various facebook inspiration pages or Pinterest it makes me smile even if no one knows it is mine.
But something happened last night. I listed this print as a digital download on etsy and posted it on my facebook. A friend mentioned that the Today show pinned it! How exciting right? They have quite a reach on Pinterest so that has to be a good thing right? Well hold the phone. Go to visit their board and there is no link at all to me. It links to someone who must have found my image on Flickr or my blog and downloaded it without crediting me on their pin. Then it got pinned and repinned and repinned and repinned furthering me from my work more and more with each pin. What baffles me is that ours news comes from this same source. They pinned without crediting me. What does that say about their trustworthiness ? Anyways my good friend made sure to link me on their board and all is fine with me there ... maybe this will lead to a Today show appearance??? I can hope.:)
So all this lead me to investigate my work a little more. I did a google search and found the image on tons of blogs. Again a little weird but no biggie...i like sharing. Then I opened a blog and it turned out to be a front for porn with my image ... great. Well as I searched more I came to my image in zazzle. Now I have a zazzle so I thought at first it was mine but.... no. Someone is selling my image as theirs. Now THIS makes me mad. Not the money thing I am not a material person but this is a violation of what I own. Fortunately it appears that the seller is not really selling a lot but it still burns me. Zazzle did nothing so I called. Now I am waiting for them to remove my items. I'm giving them a few more hours then I will call again. I also closed my Zazzle shop. The person claiming my art as theirs may be a deceitful bastard or maybe she is just a girl who doesn't really understand copyright. I'm guessing and hoping for the later.
Which brings me to the reason I am sharing this. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not assume that because you find visual art online that it is yours to do with whatever you choose. It is not. It belongs to someone. Someone who already struggles to make money. Someone who only wants to share their talent with the world and doesn't want their art to be tarnished by theft and deceit. When you pin make sure you are giving credit where it is due (I went through my pins today and made sure they are credited...I had to delete a few that weren't so I am just as guilty) Just respect the artist. It is not too much to ask.
And to my artist friends be careful. I am not going to let this stop me from sharing I will just be far more cautious with how and where I share. Oh and I will not forget to sign my work. :) I know you have all been yelling at me for years because I forget that but now I will listen. The Internet is wonderful and horrible at the same time. We just need to remember that when we share we share with a few bad apples who don't give a rats ass about who they screw. It sucks but it is reality.
All that being said this whole experience has also inspired me! Inspired me to create more and create better. After all my work was good enough to be stolen and featured on a porn site. Humor is all I got for that part. :) It was also good enough to be pinned by the Today Show! That's pretty awesome. If the world is so into my 10 minute sketches just wait until I unleash the rest of what is hiding in this crazy noggin of mine. Because it's good.
Be good to each other. Hug an artist today.
be happy! Kim