So, I recently had lunch with a group where I met a really odd person. First, I need to say, that I have a fairly high tolerance for odd people (I mean, c’mon I fit into that category myself!). Anyhow, at the lunch table the converation naturally turned to art. This person asked me what kind of art I did and I tried to explain in 5 words or less. She obviously didn’t understand at all and started asking me about file formats, etc. I do graphic design, primarily for $, but that wasn’t the part of my work that I was addressing.
She then explained that she was an artist and went on to explain what she does (graphic design sorts of things using paintshop pro; basically she creates tubes for other people to use in their forums, messageboards, etc.) She then started rambling (and I do mean rambling) about cease and desist, and how she dealt with that, etc. I tried to explain that I haven’t had that issue as I don’t do artwork based on others’ work (I didn’t get into contracted graphic design where I must use their logo, or colors, or whatever it is that is required). I’ve never had anyone accuse me of stealing their artwork. Now that’s not to say, that someone somewhere has not had (or is having!) the same idea for a painting or photograph as I do. However, I would hope that even if we are similiarly inspired, the work itself will be very different. I do get inspiration from other artists’ work. My blog graphics sometimes are an example of this. I’ve been inspired by many of avatars that I’ve seen around. Now, I realize that mine does have the look of avatar (to a certain extent) but the creation and design are mine. It’s one thing to be inspired, it’s another steal, especially, especially, if you are then going to reproduce it for others use as Ms. PSP has apparently been doing.
The conversation changed a little when someone asked me about my web hosting. Ms.PSP tried to hijack the conversation back by throwing out that she might very well have been taking images from my site. Ok, I was about to throw out a cease-n-desist; on the whole conversation! However, I sensed that she was looking for confrontation or maybe just attention, so I kind of let it go. I told her I didn’t think that most people would be interested in stealing from me; at which point, she said that my site was probably one that she had been using to create her artwork.
Okay, time out. I know a little about the psp internet community. Generally, the kind of work coming out of the community, is a little umm…. different. Think elementary school teacher bulletin board material. I am sure there are probably some people using psp to make very professional graphic designs, but there’s not alot of that on the web. Now I have nothing against this community, but it seems like because the software makes it so easy to steal work and use it, that thievery is just rampant.
Sigh! I am aware of all the possibilities of how folks can steal stuff (believe me). I am aware of things I can do to alleviate that thievery. I do what I can. I also own the original artwork and negatives to photos. I would hope that folks realize that work is really mine and that what is represented on the web is a mere representation (an at times, a very poor representation at that!)