A Grumpy Owl for a Slightly Grumpy Post

I'm still hard at work on canvases for my show.  The official opening is this Friday evening but the bulk of the work went up last week.  Today I'm working on making business cards, finishing up six small pieces, updating the price list, making price tags, and making a sign for the show's title.  Once the opening is over, life will hopefully settle down into the regular sort of crazy busy that I'm used to...at least until I need to start on work for a January show.

On a brief but sort of ranting side note, you'll notice that a copyright notice is plastered all over today's image.  I've been sort of hit & miss with watermarking my images but a rather annoying session on Pinterest this morning cemented the necessity of watermarks in my head.  I love when people stop by this little blog of mine and find something that inspires them but PLEASE! USE A DIRECT LINK TO THIS BLOG AND INCLUDE AN ATTRIBUTION ("Elizabeth Michelle Remy") IN THE DESCRIPTION!!!  I found a ton of pins with no mention of my name anywhere; repins are especially problematic.  I love the inspiration of Pinterest but I do feel we are all responsible for protecting the rights of the artists we admire and pin.  For those of you who do include a direct link and attribution, I thank you from the bottom of my heart!   Your support and recognition of my artistic property is deeply appreciated. 

Unfortunately, theft is a part of being an artist and there are a select few who will steal even if the copyright is staring them in the face.  It happens and it sucks but I am choosing to focus on a positive, proactive approach.  I'm going to audit all of my own pins to make sure I have proper acknowledgement on each one or otherwise remove the image that I cannot link to a direct source.  Whenever possible, I am going to try to comment on pins of my work if credit is missing.  I'm going to watermark all my photos so in the very least, a copyright notice is embedded in work that is pinned improperly.  However, I'm not going to spend a bunch of time of this; I've got better things to do...like make more art!

Author's Edit:  One last comment/clarification:  I believe that 99.999% of people who don't use a direct link and/or attribution to a pin are totally and completely well-meaning in their pinning.  We all live busy lives and Pinterest makes it so easy and fast to develop a bangin' digital bulletin board that I think all this attribution business gets overlooked in the joy of the pinning process.  It happens.  I've done that too.  However, every time someone takes that extra minute to give credit to an artist that inspires, that artist's career and passion is validated and protected.  And that makes the world a better place.  Period.  Please keep visiting and keep pinning things you find here that fan the sparks of artistic longings in your own heart.  That's why I do this.


Cynthia said…
I totally fell in love with your owl. I mean, he's (she's?) just awesome!! There are days when I have the exact same expression on my face!! =D

I truly am sorry about your Pinterest problems. That's just wrong. *insert grumpy owl face here*
Unknown said…
Hi Michelle. Tried to contact you through your link in the sidebar -- not working just so you are aware. Thanks for bringing the pinterest issue to my attention. It was my impression when I signed up that all pins were linked directly back to the original. From your notes today, this is not correct. I have a copyright notice on my art, but no water mark. How do you do that? Can I do it in adobe elements? Thanks. LOVE, love, LOVE your owl! She has so much character ... but then, they all do! Donna
abbie at play said…
hi michelle,
i believe you are talking about my pins on pinterest when you said that you found a ton of pins without an attribution to you in the description. i usually don't indicate the artist's name or the pin's url in the pin's description, because the beauty of pinterest is the pins preserve the original url, and anybody who clicks on a pin is brought back to the original website. in fact that's how i found your blog, by clicking on someone's pin. :)

that eliminates the need for people to include the url on the description of their pin. i'm really so sorry that you were infuriated by this. i put your anna lyn picture on my facebook wall and profile, but i was careful to add the link to it (of your etsy site) in the description of the photo.

there is really no intention to steal any thunder from you. pinterest always leads us back to the original website, that is the beauty of having a pinterest board because it preserves and bookmarks these sites for you.

please do accept my apologies. temporarily i am deleting the pins that have infuriated you. i apologize if this has caused a big disturbance for you. i hope you continue with your art work, because it is incredible. best wishes on your journey. :)
I actually do use a name in my pins but that's because I like to know the name of the artist straight away.

However pins are designed that way so they do link back to the place they were taken from. You have to click on the pinned image to open it and on the top right side there is a "From:" and a link to your site if that's where the image was taken from.

But as I said I like to know in discription who the author is as well. Watermark is a great solution to this problem however it is time consuming for you.

Owl is magnificent btw. :)
Love your grumpy owl! Sorry about your Pinterest problems, but this owl probably does sum up how you are feeling, so quite apt.
Terri Kahrs said…
First - I ADORE Pinterest! My granddaughter turned me onto it. Virtual shopping, color and art. Holy cow!!! Very inspirational.

Second - I totally agree with your comments, Michelle.

Third - Your little owl is adorable! Good luck with your final preparations, and I hope you have a successful show! Hugs, Terri xoxo
Anonymous said…
That is indeed a very grumpy looking owl, LOL!
Anonymous said…
Bizzarely, I saw your Owl and pinned it - with full attribution before I read the content of your post!
I almost always want to follow the images I see on pinterest back to their source - and am pretty good at finding it one way or another - attribution is really important.

Thank you for sharing your fab work!
Michelle Remy said…
Thank you for the heads-up about the link on my sidebar. Blogger was trying to make my email address into a website so all fixed now! In regards, to Pinterest, I have sent you a (very tardy) email reply with further explanation and informative links...
Thanks for your readership!
Michelle Remy said…
When I have a conflict with how someone has used (or misused) my art and images, I contact the person directly and privately so you were not someone I was concerned about. I appreciate that you provided credit for my art that you used as an avatar. In regards, to Pinterest, just remember that it only provides a link back to the site the image was pulled from and if that site was NOT my blog, the Pinterest link will not magically bring you here. People are pinning from sites other than the originating artist and then that is further complicated when pinners don't investigate the artist's name and click through to discover the blog the image was taken from. Anyway, enough of that...moving on now! There's art to be done!

Thanks for your readership!
nancybabb said…
Hi, LOVE LOVE LOVE the owl!
YOU ARE RIGHT to be concerned! Yes, most times the link is included BUT, I found a website...not Pinterest... where the girl had posted one of my drawings with ZERO acknowledgement of where she had gotten it. ZERO links, ZERO anything...she could have done it herself for all you could tell. I stumbled on it because I sometimes see my stuff pinned and I'll look to see what board they put it in, or what they say about it... it was linked back to this other girl's site, not mine! WATERMARK!