There is currently a content creator blackout in my fandom, and seeing all those posts about art theft brought back some memories.
(Go and read @hchano‘s brilliant post, by the way. I’d have replied to it but then my reply turned into a novella.)
The art theft stories resonate with me, you have no idea.
You know, if someone was to check my ‘rules’ pages right now, they’d see this:
Fanart: I don’t care about reposts, don’t worry if you spot my drawings somewhere else
Now, it might look like I’m super chill about this. That I’m not 'whining’ like those artists who 'care too much, it’s just drawings’.
The truth is I don’t care because I haven’t posted an artwork I gave a fuck about since 2011. I do not want to bother with that. It’s thankless. It’s an endless source of stress and discouragement. Why would I spend effort and time when I know the end result is that I’ll be - for lack of a better term - pissed on by entitled jackasses and by thieves?
I used to run a flash minigames website. It didn’t have much content, since I had to draw it all myself, and figure out how actionscript worked, and so on. Still, I put ads on that website, and not only did it pay for itself, it brought me a tiny bit of income too! For my own content that I had made myself, just imagine! I planned to make that little site grow and grow until it could support me and drag me out of the hell that is unemployment.
It’d see cute stories on Stumbleupon by parents who said their toddler had loved the games. That made me super happy. It was real nice for a while.
And then I got an email from a girl in Israel telling me she had seen my art sold as coloring books in her area.
That was a blow.
I mean, I’m literally an artist by trade. I have a diploma to prove it and all. I’d have loved to get paid for my art, seeing how I couldn’t fucking find a job using those skills that were apparently good enough for commercial use.
But I kept the site up for a little while, as well as my profiles on art websites, though I barely updated them. I’d ignore the thieves that sold IMVU stuff with my art on it. I’d pay no mind to the brats who sold it on Gaia Online, because it was just virtual coin. I tried to ignore the fact that some of my stuff got popular under someone else’s name.
Just drawings, right?
Anyway, my flash games could be stolen. Actually, in the general sense, it was pretty much the goal. There was my website’s logo on them, a direct link. Having them redistributed meant traffic coming back to my site, and advertising income for me.
Can you see where this is going?
Back then, there was a flash game monetization network, called MochiAds. It was cool. It allowed you to insert ads into your games, and a great many flash games websites would import MochiAds’ feed, which made for a fast and widespread distribution of the games. It was a neat service.
Except someone decompiled my games, replaced my logo by theirs, inserted ads inside them and published them as their own.
Within hours, you could google the new names the thief had given to my games, and get 500.0000 results. Accounting for all of my games, that made for millions of reposts, all of them defaced, linking to the thief’s website, monetized by them.
Of course, MochiMedia responded quickly when I reported the theft, but their disabling the ads on those games didn’t remove them from the thousands of independent websites they were posted on.
I never made another flash game.
As a matter of fact, I no longer draw.
I was never in it just for the fun. I wanted the rewards. I wanted to make art my full-time job. Hell, I went to school for that. I wanted the compensation for my effort and time. I wanted my website to grow from the 'sustains itself’ to 'sustains me’ size.
And then I realized that people could snap their fingers and steal it all. Make me look like I had plagiarized my own work. Bury me in stolen content.
I learned that, on the internet, there was no point giving your heart and soul to something you can’t nail in place.
And, more than anything, I learned to hate drawing.
But, hey! Look at the bright side! Now that I gave up on drawing, nobody will steal my art anymore!
And just because why not, here’s my Emperor’s Soul project all in one post!
For my portfolio I did this Visual Development Project based on Brandon Sanderson’s novella „The Emperor’s Soul“.
In an Asian-inspired fantasy setting, we follow the story of
Shai, a so called „forger“ with the magical ability to change an
object’s appearance and history by applying a „soul stamp“ to it. @torbooks
Anne-Louis Girodet (1767-1824)
“The Burial of Atala” (1808)
“Atala, ou Les Amours de deux sauvages dans le desert” is an early novella by François-René de Chateaubriand, first published on 2 April 1801. The work, inspired by his travels in North America, had an immense impact on early Romanticism, and went through five editions in its first year.
Sanity is a subject I’ve grown increasingly interested in as I’ve gotten older. I used to see it as a black and white matter. Some people are sane, others insane. Easy as that.
This was a cozy idea of mine as a child at least. I kept far away from the black sheep of my family - an ancient great aunt with a lifetime’s wake of miserable holiday antics due to her undiagnosed narcissism - and I got used to what I perceived was textbook sanity. Although I do remember once in middle school miserably wishing I could be as smart as Nietzsche, as I felt too sane to ever be genius. But eventually, after those comfortable years not considering it much more, I left home. I met people comfortable with routines I could never imagine for myself, and with backgrounds equally contrasting. Not only did I question my own quirks, I feared my roots. I had grown accustomed to my Father wearing literally the same outfit every single day (à la Steve Jobs) because “it’s comfortable,” and to a Mother who collected rocks and scrap metals (to build a scarecrow for the backyard of course). But also around that time, humans generally became a lot more interesting to me.
This perhaps isn’t an accurate personal introduction to The Alienist, as it crosses into other ideas and plots - but I kept going back to this subject. Maybe I’m ready for something that addresses the topic without satire (I’m always welcome to suggestions!) for The Alienist is equally hilarious as it is perceptive and ahead of it’s time. I'm definitely ready for more Machado de Assis.
“And to this hour the image of Carmilla returns to memory with ambiguous alternations […] often from a reverie I have started, fancying I heard the light step of Carmilla at the drawing room door.”
It’s pretty surreal how the novella ends with Laura daydreaming of hearing Carmilla at her door, and the webseries begins with Carmilla at her door, almost as if by travelling through the door she had crossed into an alternate universe.
Something that really bothers me, that’s honestly probably my biggest pet peeve when it comes to books and publishing: special editions with exclusive content.
I know they’re meant as “let’s cash in as much money from the fans”, but I feel they’re incredibly disrespectful to the majority of the fan base. Most people don’t have access to these special editions. Most of them can hardly afford to buy the book in the first place, let alone cough up more money for special editions, which don’t only look different (think Lady Midnight special edition, or the countless Harry Potter ones), but also contain exclusive content - like novellas, art or other shenanigans (think Sarah J Maas books). Not only that, but there are books which have several special editions, each with different content.
All fans should have access to the same content. It’s incredibly disheartening to realise that you won’t be able to buy a book in your favourite series that has something unique, because it’s only available in certain regions, or if you do have friends who can get you the book, you’d have to pay a fortune in shipping fees. Frankly, I think it’s unfair. Firstly to the people who can’t afford/don’t have access to the special edition, and secondly to the fans who can afford it, and want to get it, but are forced to pay full price for several editions that contain virtually the same content, with 1% being something new. You shouldn’t have to measure your love for a book or series by the amount of cash you’re willing/able to spend on it.
Add to this box sets of a series being released like a year after the series ended, but hey, it’s a box set so it’s pretty; paperbacks released months after the hardback, which conveniently contain novellas or previously unreleased content, complete cover redesigns years after the series concluded. I can go on, but I’m already bitter enough, so I’ll stop.
an illustrated scene from one of my favorite novellas, The Little Prince. the prince himself is based on the design they used in the recent movie with the same title, the rest is just me trying to establish an illustration style.