art journaling decency guidelines

I want to make a couple of points about another artist's recent rant on her blog and facebook. I agree with her on some points and really disagree on others.

  1. I agree that it's totally uncool to clip art from other's websites, call it copyright free and then pass it off as your own work.
  2. I agree that if you do use the work of others that you should give full credit as you are able. If you can't remember who made the work then don't post it or ask readers to help you figure out who made it.

My major disagreement with the other artist was how she went about dealing with the matter. Yes getting your shit stolen and passed off as copyright free sucks, but there are ways to deal with it that can make it a win-win for both parties. You can send a cease & desist email or ask for credit. Give that time to work. If it doesn't then start with firmer measures. Imagine if the person had not removed the video and had put up the assertion that the work was a derivative piece? What would you do then? See a lawyer most likely. I really think that publicly humiliating another artist is not the way to go.

I think that the linking to youtube, blog rant and trashing the art was a way to marshal the forces to create a flame war. Flame wars are not cool and are very distressing to the person at the end of the flame war. I think that those of us with followers (I'm in no means putting my meager follow group into the same level as the other's) have to be more careful of what we write and do online. Some of our followers will defend us in ways we cannot imagine and saying "If you are posting something in a public forum then you must be accountable to answer to the public.(the artist wrote that in a comment response)" is not an excuse for inciting your followers into a flame war. WE have to be held to a higher standard than the average blogger or youtuber. WE are inspiration and yes, even, role models to the people who follow us. Rallying the troops like this isn't cool. Naming and shaming this person is libelous and defamatory.

To turn this into a more positive thing I'm proposing some additional rules of art journaling, we'll call these the decency guidelines:

  1. If I use images from another artist I will give credit.
  2. If I publish, via the internet, that derivative work I will credit the artist.
  3. If the artist asks for credit I will give it. If the artist wishes the image removed I will remove it ASAP
  4. If I notice my work online, I will ask for credit or ask for my art to removed. I will give reasonable time (24+HR) for compliance.
  5. I can rant and rave on my blog but I'll be respectful. I won't marshal my troops and sic my followers onto the offender.
  6. I will respect the work of all art journalers no matter what I personally think of the work itself. I won't make fun of the work out there for other to see for that artist has taken the time and effort to put a piece of themselves out there for others to see and I know that it would suck to have that done to me.

The artist then put a video up where she talks about mixed media art. let me put a few things straight, at least in my own mind.

  • Media- stuff you make art with. Paint, pencil, ink, collage etc…
  • Mixed- combining stuff, 2 or more things mingled

So collage is a media and paint is a media. Combining the 2 in an art journal= Mixed Media.

Mixed media is LITERALLY the combining of 2 or more media. Collage is a broad spectrum art form that includes cutting shapes out of paper (Matisse) and cutting images apart and gluing them together in new ways (Hoch). Collage is a completely LEGIT art form. It takes 2 pieces and combines them into a new derivative work. If you haven't seen the work of Hannah Hoch you should look her work up and be prepared to be blown away. (She worked in Bauhaus Germany.Early 1900's) to say that collage is not a legit artform or is shit is really out there.

Whether we like it or not people are always going to boost our art online. It sucks. But until you can no longer right click and download stuff, it will always get stolen. It sucks, bad. I've had a lot of my stuff stolen and in one case yes, taught. that is what happens when you put your shit out there for people to see it. I considered pulling my stuff off the 'net but that would have taken a substantial amount of my income (at the time I made more on books than I do now). That's not the answer. hte answer is to take the high road, to empower, encourage and get people to make their own work. Say f*ck this shit and use it to your advantage.

Feel free to flame away on me I've got a thick skin.