|Posted by Amber Firesword on April 26, 2014 at 1:05 AM|
This is a bit more of an improvisation post, and is basically just a little informer or piece of advice for any type of artist, whether aspiring or experienced.
I was informed twice in the same month that my own artwork was plagiarized in two different Easter contests. Now, I wasn’t really angered by this, but I was disappointed to see how people didn’t take the effort to make their own design for their entry. Everybody has creativity, but some people use it better than others, which results in seemingly “better” artists.
First of all, if you only enter a contest just for the prize, and work only toward the prize, even if you’re an experienced artist and could quite possibly win it, it’s not the correct motive and attitude. A contest should be merely something as a point of inspiration. Most of the time, I’m stuck on what I should draw, because there’s just so many possibilities. Contests usually have a specific theme, and this can really fire me up, and the ideas start drawing itself naturally, whether on paper or on a graphic program.
Now, if your excuse of plagiarizing is that “I can’t draw, so I can never win these contests”, you have to try. Everybody has had a starting point – where you’re just trying things out, and it may not look as aesthetically appealing, but as you pick up bits and pieces from your own and other people’s work, you start developing your own technique of drawing things and become a “better” artist. If you’re willing to stoop that low to use somebody else’s artwork and call it as your own, you shouldn’t be entering contests at all. At least credit the other artist if you use their picture (although you probably will not get far with that either, it shows you appreciate the artist’s work).
Now, for those that don’t want their own artwork being used by others, a watermark is extremely helpful. Putting a name of some sort makes it obvious who the artwork truly belongs to. You have to be wary of placing your watermark, because you don’t want it to interfere with your piece, but you don’t want it to be so easily put that somebody can just erase it and still credit it as theirs (it has happened before.). For example, Deviantart has a good watermark that is almost transparent that you can apply when you submit your artwork online.
Also, fansites who ever hold an art contest in the future should use the “Google Search by Image”, because it can track down any similar looking images on the web, which can help confirm any suspicion of plagiarizing.
For all the aspiring artists out there, don’t forget about yourself and your own progress. If you start comparing your own artwork to other, more experienced ones, of course you won’t feel as good as your work. Don’t take huge leaps, and always seek help from online tutorials or help from people around you. Persistence is as much of a needed aspect to artists as creativity is, so don’t give up!
That’s really all for this week. I hope you guys had an amazing April, time for May flowers to bloom!