Saturday, September 14, 2013

Art and Copyright in the 21st Century

It has recently come to my attention that a number of my artworks that I have displayed on this blog have been stolen and used without my permission. This is an odd event for me. It is terribly intrusive and hurtful as an artist. But it is also a common problem for the contemporary illustrator. Being a digital artist is difficult. It is hard to find sustaining, well paying work. But it is also difficult to find the free time to work on personal work that you can then share with the world. Since becoming an illustrator I have certainly missed some aspects of the fine art world. Trying to get your work displayed and noticed can be difficult. Especially when your personal work isn't always marketable to the general masses.
Artists of the 21st century now turn to online sources to spread the exposure of their work. An artist can't compete if they can't display a good website showcasing their work. I have a decent website that I use, though I admit it does little to attract any attention. Outside of the commissioned work I do, I try to find time for personal pursuits, and I often like to write and share my experiences with others. Tentacle News has been the main outlet for my artistic and literary communication with others. A chance to show off things I am working on. So it hurts to find this open outlet of expression abused for someone else's gains.
I do not wish to cease the showcasing of my personal work on TN, this blog is one of the few things that pushes me to continue to create new and original works. I do not wish to keep these images to myself, and in the digital age, you need some exposure of your work to get anyone interested in possibly purchasing your work.
So where do I go from here? Well there will obviously be some changes to older posts on TN. I am slowly going through posts and replacing high risk images with new pictures displaying my watermark. I hate having to put a watermark on an image I want to show off, but it has sadly come to that. I guess after years of working in retail, I should know better. If you make a product worth stealing, someone will find a way to do so. I will post new works with this watermark, and soon in the future I will hopefully be showcasing a new strategy in aiding people to contact me for purchase of my works. If these things are suddenly worth stealing, perhaps to someone, they might finally be worth purchasing.
I hope everyone continues to enjoy the work and content I put into Tentacle News, and I hope they continue to read and share with others. I do apologize for the less displayable images in the future, but I hope this revelation will explain my reasoning. Thank you all for your support.
~ Jeff Powers

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