Many of you who have been following me for a while know that I had ZERO confidence when it came to my card designs. I never thought they were anything that anyone would really like. It never occurred to me to put a watermark on my image. I freely shared them on my Flickr account, blog and Facebook because I thought only my friend’s were going to care. Even if they didn’t care, they would still be encouraging. I was in for a HUGE shock last night.
When I made the image above, I was working on a slow computer. It took about 6 minutes to even get the images into my Corell Draw program. It was slooooowwwwwww. I still didn’t have the knowledge of how to put the words on the luggage. I found the quote and had an idea. Poor Mr. Bernie had to come in and help me make the magic happen. He showed me how to manipulate the images on the luggage. It was a process. That was the first card I was pretty proud of. It didn’t use my usual vintage images of kids or woman. It had a fun message and presented in a fun way. It was one of the first times that I actually thought I was semi good at what I did. It also made me want to figure things out on my own, so Mr. Bernie didn’t have to hold my hand.
Apparently, my image has been getting around the internet without me. My original posting on Flickr has been viewed 14,586 times as of this writing! I had a feeling the picture was getting around ,without me, a few months ago. In June, Jenny’s sister, shared it. She shared it from someone else on Facebook. That picture Julie shared, had been shared 379 times! When I saw it in June I sent a note to the person who Julie shared from. I told her that I was the artist, and asked who had shared it with her. I got nothing back.
Last night I stumbled across my picture on Pintrest. It wasn’t my original share. It had been shared close to 500 times from this person’s pin. Then I went back a couple generations and found it had been shared hundreds of times. I finally figured out to look at the original source. Big shock that I wasn’t the original. Tumblr was listed as the original source. I put the picture into Google images to see where else my picture had been: Pages that include matching images One post has my image in a black background with the words “True” under it and their website as the source. I will be emailing them today. I haven’t had a chance to go through them all, but skimming, only one blogger asked to let someone know if it was their image so she could give credit. One other person credited a friend’s Facebook account.
I was flattered as heck. Yet, a bit annoyed that this image is running around without me. As a new designer, I put a lot of work into it. Yet, I’m nowhere around. As if this wasn’t bad enough, some rocket scientist CHANGED my image. They cut off the top and put it on Instagram. That PISSED me off. Don’t do that. As much as I wanted to send a nasty note, I can’t be sure she was the one who did it. She could have found it from someone else like that. It’s flattering to have my stuff enjoyed and shared. It’s insulting and rude to change my image. Just cutting off the top and adding a filter to it doesn’t make it yours.
In my designs I’m very careful about using design elements that can only be used if one is going to re-sell the image. I don’t use Personal Use items. I give credit where credit is due. Heck, even if I post a vintage ad, I give credit. The person I credit may not be the person who originally posted it, but it was where I found it. I have emailed bloggers to ask to use their pictures. I have emailed designers the same thing. I feel one should give credit where credit is due.
Granted many of these folks can’t give credit back as the image fell down some rabbit hole and keeps popping up. This taught me a lesson that my designs are better than I think and I need to start using some sort of water mark. I have no clue what kind or how I will do that yet, but you can bet I’ll figure it out.