Understanding Life From The Artist’s Lane

A lot of artists are freelance (meaning they get approached by people and are paid to draw art for certain projects) or simple hobbyists (they make art and put it online but they don’t get paid at all). The work is hard, meeting client standards and most times, they don’t understand how graphics design works.

Here’s some nice graphics of dumb stuff clients have said to their designers!

Very, very few people can live being a graphic designer. Usually, they’re supported by other people, like a spouse or family, or work more than one job to cover the costs of their basic needs. Art as a profession is a practice of balancing rent, food, bills, a social life and work with art. Quite often, people have to put their passion aside for themselves.

Vivian Ng, comic artist and illustrator, mentions in her tweet that getting into paid comics work and zines is “99% luck and 1% never stop drawing+posting”.

So most artists will tell you not to get into art as a career. Not because it’s competition, but because it’s not for the majority of artists and that it’s a tougher job than any other career. Please, save yourself.

And just because these are really funny, here’s some more dumb things clients say to their designers!

–VZ

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Digital art doll THEFT

Source: Digital art doll THEFT

Art moves from the physical to the digital — this artist has been tracing photos of dolls that other artists have worked on and then sold the works as prints for thousands of dollars! Mijn Schatje has been admired around the world for her stolen art and that’s just unfair to the people whom she copied from.

We need to call her out on her theft!

–VZ

5 Things NOT To Do With Online Art

So you know what to do with art that you like. What shouldn’t you do, then?

Here’s a quick list of what you probably shouldn’t do with art you find online and why.

  1. Take art without permission

The number one peeve of all artists. Nothing annoys us more than seeing our art under someone else’s name. Sometimes, it adds insult to injury when someone’s re-post is more popular than our own. Taking art without permission just tells the artist that people don’t care about an artist’s rights as a person and that the thief didn’t care much about a simple common courtesy like asking politely.

2. Criticise the art

It sounds a little counter-productive, but there’s a reason why the ‘sensitive artist’ stereotype exists. It doesn’t matter if you call it an effort to help the artist improve, uncalled criticism can still hurt the self-esteem that nurtures great art. Sometimes artists will ask what their audience enjoys about their art and where they may need improvement, but like all criticism, no one wants to hear it when they don’t want it.

3. Ridicule the art

You’ve heard of the blogs that make fun of art that people have found online. It’s straight up bullying and degradation of an artist. Not fun at all.

4. Attack the artist for the content

Art is an expression of the self. It’s also an exploration of aspects of the mind, so naturally there will be disturbing forms of art that exist. Creating explicit art can be seen as a healthier expression of the mind rather than an actual performance, though it stands to reason for there to be sufficient barriers and warnings in place. Telling an artist directly about how their art is problematic or why the content is wrong is likely preaching to a choir. An unimpressed choir at that too. However, a polite discussion of the content of the work can lead to an understanding on possibly overseen aspects of art that could be potentially hurtful. Always treat an artist with respect.

5. False accusations of plagiarism

No one likes this, and it only serves to cause drama that is easily spread around and misinterpreted. It may also hurt the artist’s future prospects of work, so false accusations of anything are a really low blow.

The less respect an artist receives from their audience, the less likely they will continue creating art. Protecting artists is a reflection of society and culture.

–VZ

5 Tips On What To Do With Art You Like

The internet’s a great place for sharing art, but saving online artworks and posting them somewhere else without saying who created it can really hurt your favourite artists!

Here’s some tips on how you can share art that you like:

  1. Show your love!

A lot of online art sites have the ‘Like’, ‘Bookmark’ or ‘Favourite’ option. Even if you’re not an artist yourself, you can help both the site and the artist by signing up for an account and liking the art. Plus there’s the added benefit of having more site accessibility as a member!

2. Stay tuned for more!

Like ‘Likes’, you can ‘Follow’ or ‘Watch’ the artist! It shows support for the creator and encourages them to create even more content. Nothing feels worse for an artist when their hard work isn’t noticed.

3. Tell the artist that you liked it!

It’s the internet so there’s no need to feel shy when talking to artists that you admire. Leave comments on the art saying ‘I really like this because ______’ or ‘This looks really cool because _______’ and I can guarantee you, the creator will be tickled pink. Not only are you giving the art recognition, but you’re also letting the artist know that you really, really like their hard work.

4. Share within the site!

This changes for each website, but a good website will make it obvious for you. You can share peoples’ art on your own accounts by bookmarking, reblogging or adding the work to a favourites album. It lets people who follow you see your favourite artist’s work without stealing from them and taking away from their hard work!

5. Tell other people about it!

Everyone likes being shown things that other people think they’d enjoy. You can send your friends the URL of the art that you like so they can see it too. This is a great way to help spread your favourite artworks around without taking away from the original artist!

–VZ

Other People Can Take Art From Artists, Why Can’t I?

There are some artists that allow people to take their art and put it on another site with a link to the artist’s home page (e.g. taken from DeviantArt and posted on Tumblr, or taken from Tumblr and posted on Facebook). The reason why some artists allow this is because it provides exposure of the artist to wider parts of the internet. However, not all art on the internet wants exposure.

Why?

The simple fact is that artists like to know where their art is and what’s being said about it. There will be some really nice artists that will let you take their work and put it on another site if you ask them, but the key fact is that they know where their art is and how much traffic is gets. Sometimes this is because of countries putting up online barriers that artists want to work around, sometimes this is because they think the exposure from you will outweigh the loss of control they have over their artwork. Sometimes, artists don’t let people take their art to put somewhere else because they could potentially get into trouble with their real life work!

The best course of action when you want to share art on another part of the internet is to get in contact with the creator and ask for permission.

But artists put their art on the internet where it’s pretty much up for grabs by anyone! Why does it matter if I ask for permission?

It’s a common courtesy that should be extended to all artists. An analogy for taking art and posting it without permission is like walking into someone’s house, picking up their painting hanging on their wall, hanging it on your own wall and then hosting a dinner party where all your invitees ooh and ahh over it. Maybe one or two of your guests ask ‘who painted this?’ and you’ll say either ‘I don’t know’ or ‘it was this person I took it from’, but the one who’s hurting the most is the creator with the empty wall.

Just like asking to borrow important objects, everyone appreciates being asked before being taken from. And please, if the artist says ‘no you’re not allowed to take my art and put it somewhere else’, don’t post the art anyway and disrespect the artist’s wishes.

I don’t really care, I just really want to share this art! I mean, I’m not hurting anyone!

Well, then you’re an asshole that hurts artists.

–VZ

What Is Copyright And What Does It Have To Do With Me?

Copyright is complicated and we’re going to make it uncomplicated right now. Move over, DeviantArt.

Copyright is a law that gives ownership of work to creators, whether they be painters (digitally or physically), musicians, or writers and outlaw others from stealing their hard work and profiting from it.

All artwork is immediately placed under copyright law when it becomes something tangible. Whether it’s written on paper or messaged to someone online, that idea becomes yours. However, ideas are things that cross over easily with other peoples’ ideas so copyright of ideas is still a very murky area. Pictures, paintings, dances, music, writing, etc. are all protected by copyright and are automatically owned by the artist. Copyright law prevents anyone but the artist from illegally using or redistributing their work if they do not wish it (which is mostly the case).

The creative commons license is a set of rules enforced by copyright law that allow non-artists use of artists’ work. No artwork is automatically put under the creative commons licence without artist consent, meaning no artwork is immediately available to the public for any use aside from looking at it. There are a lot of really nice artists and photographers who put their work under the creative commons license because they want to share their art with everyone around the world. However, just because you can’t see the work under creative commons or don’t know if the art is shared under the creative commons doesn’t mean you can use it as you wish. Please try to contact the original creator about redistributing their content yourself and respect their wishes when you receive an answer!

P.S There’s no such thing as copyleft! However, it usually means the work is available for use under creative commons. Please make sure with the original creator whether or not you can use it if you’re not sure!

–VZ

Online Art Theft Is A Thing And It’s Serious

You might have heard the war cry of the DeviantArt artist — “This is my art, no stealing!!1!” — and laughed at the sloppily recoloured image of a Sonic the Hedgehog character or a badly traced My Little Pony horse. However, do you know how long it took the artist to edit the image? Even if these characters are just different colours with different names, do you know about their detailed backstory? What can people use and call their own and what is stealing art? Why am I even making a fuss about online art theft at all?!

Copyright is confusing as is without bringing the online world into the fray, but this blog aims to give some insight into what artists and non-artists can do with the cool pictures they find on the Internet. One day, there will be a world where art is free to be shared without the fear of theft. #deathtoarttheft

–VZ

Hello world! Important Information!

This is a social media campaign run by a third-year student for a university course in 2015. The campaign aims to educate artists and non-artists of the rights held by original creators regarding the work they put online, and act as a resource for information. While this campaign aims to run over the course of 6 weeks, the effects may affect people much longer than the projected time.

The owner of this campaign takes no responsibility for any damages and/or losses incurred by individuals or groups resulting in disputes over copyright. This campaign remains purely ideological and philanthropic. Page views, discussion, feedback, etc. will all be gathered as data for assessment and will be treated with full confidentiality.

–VZ