It’s a very bad idea to try to steal my art and sell it as your own, and for a few devastating reasons.
- I only share comparatively low resolution images of my work online, which means you have a third-rate version, and I have a hi-rez original to prove authorship.
- There is always going to be a blog post by me about my art that predates your attempt to sell it as your own.
- I keep all my art files in their respective programs, and usually have a few different versions showing progress. A photoshop file, for example, will have multiple layers making up the image, and this is impossible to fake. This absolutely proves I am the author
I think some of my pieces get ripped-off on a fairly regular basis. Now and then I Google search my own work to see where it’s cropping up.
Here’s a screenshot of a bunch of different places where my tribute to Vincent Van Gogh, for example, has appeared:
People try to sell prints of my work. This one is on sale from at least a half dozen different venders on Amazon.
This one’s going for $631.86:
Here’s one from Japan:
This one’s asking $573.71
You get the idea.
And then there are smaller venues than Amazon. Here’s one at AliExpress:
And then there’s this dude trying to sell his first NFT, which happens to be my digital painting except for the part where he cut the ear and moved it. Here he’s trying to sell the NFT on OpenSea for $450.12 in crypto.
What he would most likely try to say is that he changed the image, which he did. The photo-editing is pretty sloppy because he couldn’t do the impasto brushwork I used when I created it, so just painted in red when he made the ear cut off, rather than just cut. Now, I wouldn’t mind at all him doing this and sharing it, especially if he credited me with the painting he’s altering, and if he weren’t trying to sell it as completely his own.
In a thread on reddit he gives the impression that he created the image in its entirety:
When someone says, “This is great, is [it] digital or [a] picture of a painting” he replies, “it is a digital re-creation of the original painting”.
That’s not accurate. It’s an original digital painting by yours truly. I didn’t just add the cut ear, before he cut it off entirely. I made up the whole portrait. Up close in the full resolution version, in looks a little something like this:
What he doesn’t mention is that what people are seeing is an original digital painting by a contemporary digital artist, and his part was just to move the ear, in which case he knows he’s trying to take credit for the whole image. He implies that HE digitally recreated an original Van Gogh painting.
Even if he admits to just making that one change, but still argues about appropriation and shifting the context, this is like sampling a song, but you sample the whole song and just add in a few seconds of your own material. People aren’t reacting to his hatchet job, in which the side of the ear that he cut off is mysteriously not bleeding, while the other side is, but to the overall impression of the image itself.
Now, the only art people take of mine are my versions of famous artist’s work. There really is very small risk of anyone taking my work that is entirely my own. People tend to like what they are told to like, what is popular, and what is “iconic” (which just means whatever is crammed down your throat]. My works that can’t be passed off as by big name artists aren’t of interest to people looking to make a quick buck, which is why I only have a handful of pieces that are at risk of being hijacked. If I suddenly gain some notoriety, then I can worry about these things a bit more.
That cat hasn’t gotten a bid on his “drop ear” hacking of my tribute to Van Gogh. I doubt those people on Amazon are selling many prints either, especially at those prices, and for a third rate, low-rez version.
There is the thing where the way a work becomes “iconic” is just that it’s plastered everywhere. In that case I rather like when I see my art reproduced a lot online.
For the record, I haven’t made a penny directly off of the Van Gogh tribute. To learn more about that painting, check out this blog post with lots of details and background [note that it’s from 2016]: https://artofericwayne.com/2016/12/11/van-gogh-self-portrait-with-cut-ear-background-and-details/
I am glad people like this digital painting. Quite obviously nobody has bothered to ask me to use it, though several people who reproduced it in their blogs and other places did credit me. Of course they weren’t making any more money off of it than I was.
Eventually I may try to sell prints and an NFT, but sales are based on popularity, of which I have .. well … let’s just say I make Vincent look popular when he was alive.
And if you like my art or criticism, please consider chipping in so I can keep working until I drop. Through Patreon, you can give $1 (or more) per month to help keep me going (y’know, so I don’t have to put art on the back-burner while I slog away at a full-time job). See how it works here.
Or go directly to my account.
Or you can make a one time donation to help me keep on making art and blogging (and restore my faith in humanity simultaneously).