average joe schmoe

anonymous asked:

I have a friend who's amazing at art and I keep telling her to post it online but she's afraid of posting without a watermark. What is your opinion on watermarks, yay or nay? Pros and cons?

WATERMARKS are REALLY important when posting art online!!  If you’re an artist please watermark your work!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found people taking my personal art AND art I drew as commissions over the years and either reposting it without a source/permission, using it on personal sites or in RP profiles without permission, or even trying to sell it on shitty mugs and mousepads HI HELLO EBAY CHINA

If you think your art isn’t good enough to get reposted or used somewhere without your permission, THINK AGAIN!!  IT HAPPENS TO ALL OF US because we live in a society where art and artists are severely undervalued so your average Joe Schmoe thinks any image they rip from google is Free and belongs to them now because they “found” it. 

THIS IS DOUBLY TRUE FOR FANART oh my god fanart gets reposted and reused and RESOLD so easily. 

Watermarking isn’t foolproof because it IS possible to remove marks if someone is determined enough.  People can crop it out and just take their favorite part of the picture for an icon or whatever.   Thankfully most reposters are harmless and too lazy to remove watermarks!  Still, simple watermarking WILL help you in typical cases of art reposting and it can even deter reposting/reselling in the first place. 

But HOW you watermark your stuff is just as important as doing it!

I always mark my stuff with two things – my signature + artblog address:

Sometimes the signature is easy to find (more of an artsy personal touch) and sometimes I “hide” it somewhere in the image itself to prevent it from being erased easily, or prevent it from being noticed it at all.  Sometimes I’ll add two signatures in different places: one obvious, one hidden.  Thus, if something ever happens to that picture or someone tries to edit it, I can more easily assert my ownership of it because lol there’s my signature, asshole.  It helps that I’ve had the same signature for many years. 

Lately I’ve been making my signature a more natural part of the art itself.  I don’t hide it as much anymore because fuck it. People deserve to know my art is mine. :U

My artblog address is usually easy to see but still not “in your face:”

I used to struggle with including the address because I thought obvious lettering took away from the picture, so I would try to make it VERY light and hard to see:

Doing this defeats the purpose of including it though because you WANT people to read your source address!!  It’s immediate advertising + healthy piece of mind even when it’s reposted without your knowledge. 

I’ve gotten better about adding the address, gotten bolder with showing it and even started trying to incorporate it more naturally into the image itself, like it’s supposed to be there: 

I STILL make the address too light sometimes!! but it’s tough yknow? I never want it to be the first thing people notice lol.  

Anyway it’s really tempting to post stuff without watermarks at all because there’s this fear that the mark will distract or even detract from the art itself.  Sometimes it DOES if you don’t do it right, and yeah it’s always bothersome to find the right place to put it, BUT TRUST ME IT’S ALWAYS WORTH DOING.  

If you’re worried about watermarks taking away from your art, experiment with different kinds of marks!  Make a personal logo or stamp and mess with opacity, mess with the angle, fonts, try it in different places on the image, etc.  Watermarks don’t HAVE to be big and ugly to do their job!

Watermarks can be graphic and artistic but they should FIRST AND FOREMOST be informative!  You want people to know you by your handle/name, not necessarily by Vague Animal Shape In Bottom Right Corner.

And yall, PLEASE get used to signing your artwork (preferably with some indication of the year/date), as all artists should!  Never be afraid to take ownership of your art!