I decided that, rather than saying something that makes me happy, I would try to start something to make others happy.
Why? Today I had an e-mail from an extremely talented artist, she put her work on the internet and she was harassed, plagiarised and stalked. She now doesn’t want to share her art any more and has removed some of her work from the internet.
Her work is not controversial, it is not lewd or crude, it’s beautiful fantasy landscapes with dragons in silhouette. There is no reason it should provoke such animosity.
I find it disheartening to think that anyone can be bullied to the extent that they lose the love of something they have such an amazing talent for.
I won’t say who she is, I’m sure she doesn’t want to be dragged back into the interwebs again.
So what message do I want to portray? It’s simple- Respect the Artist.
It’s too easy to see a piece of artwork and think it’s ok to use it because it’s not immediately obvious who created it. Someone did create it, so it’s not yours and you can’t use it unless you have permission to do so.
In fact if the work is copy written it’s also illegal and could leave you open to lawsuits, even if you didn’t know it wasn’t ok to use it. Yes, even if you have changed it, it’s still their work. If you want to use it, ask.
I’m not just talking about people who create artwork, I’m talking about authors, comedians, bloggers, photographers, film makers etc.
It can take days, weeks, months or even years to create certain things and the damage it can do when someone steals it or defiles it it can be devastating.
If you come across some work and you don’t think the person who is using it is the original author, see if you can find out who is and let them know that their work has been stolen.
Bullying is unacceptable.
It’s fine to leave an honest review or a comment. Reviews and constructive criticism are welcomed and often begged for, that can help us grow, but nastiness is unnecessary and it’s not ok to bog people down with e-mails. It’s not ok to stalk them.
Treat others as you would want to be treated.
I’m sure many of you already know this, but there are obviously some people out there who do disrespect others work, and sometimes it gets to the point they start attacking the artist. This is unacceptable. The lady who has inspired this post has said she has even been attacked by fellow artists, to me that’s just crazy. We’re all in this together!
We need to rally round and raise awareness against bullying, against harassment and against plagiarism. We don’t have strict internet laws yet so we need to respect and look out for each other.
Forget respecting art, respect the person who created it. Don’t be a killer of dreams.
Please help spread the word using #RespectArtists
Or, if you feel the need to vent, feel free to do so in the comments below.