Friday, January 1, 2016


There's a watermark debate.
If artists don't watermark their work it can be easily reproduced. 
But some argue that if someone wants to copy the artwork bad enough, they will be able figure out how to remove it.
Another argument is that the watermark can detract from the art itself.

On this lazy first day of the year, as I slowly recover from this cold, I was swiping through Instagrams that I follow when I noticed that one of them put their name across their photos in a small font.
Here are a few more of my photos that I have altered.

I'm thinking of making some prints and mounting them on canvas, like I've done with my illustrations.
Of course the prints won't include my name.
So what's your opinion?
Small font?


~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

I've seen them too, and know how what an issue using another's work without permission can be -- It's that way with photos too. I agree about using a watermark, or something to identify your work as your property. But if it's done without your knowing, are you willing to to what it takes to keep it from happening again? It's only a question that you can answer.

I will just add that a photo of Todd (our Scottie) as a puppy was used for a local ad that I had no idea about. It just happened to be for a Scottie event, so I had no problem with it, and gave them permission after the fact.

Let us know what you decide -- I'll be interested to hear.

Cindi Myers said...

I've never watermarked or put my name on anything except to sign it.
I guess, because I don't see it on a lot of artists work, I just never considered it but since I want to get serious about it and I'm starting to really think about it as a business, it's a question for me.
An artist that I Follow on Facebook, Lulu Pinkturtle, has had her art ripped off over and over again.
She's found a lot of her images on things being mass-produced in China and Mexico and she has a lawyer who takes care of that stuff.
I think it was also Lulu's work that was being copied by another person on a Facebook Art page...or maybe it was Etsy..I just know that she's constantly battling being copied and ripped off.
I'm going to have to think about this a bit longer....
Also, I know that some people, especially with photos, never think about it being copyrighted or an act or stealing. I must admit that when I started blogging in 2009, I didn't know at first that I needed to give credit for where the photo came from! Total ignorance on my part, with no intention of stealing an image. I was just oblivious.
Hmmm, thinking more on this, I realize that someone might move on to something "unmarked" to use, rather than use a one that is.
Thanks for commenting!

Butterfly 8)(8 Bungalow said...

I think you should, but with a fade, and in a discreet spot that still cannot be cropped. Your art is high quality and you should try to sell it. Likewise, I have heard of art and photos being swiped, even my daughter had a photo on her Instagram remarked. She does these miniature photos. Happy New Year! xoxo Su

Cindi Myers said...

Thank you!
Actually I have all of these photos on Instagram and that's one of the ways I wanted to market them. To use Instagram to send them to a link to my Etsy shop!
OK! Yes, I need to find the right watermark for both my altered photos and my illustrations.
Thanks again!

Ellen said...

I'm also debating over this too, hmmm, not sure what the answer is, as I'm also on Etsy now.

tammy j said...

these are wonderful! and fresh.
why would you not leave the mark when you make a print also?
it's YOUR original photograph! and that makes it YOUR OWN work of art.
I never thought of people 'taking off your mark' and putting on their own. good grief. what kind of pitiful mind has to do that?
I like in the lower corner or just not nearest the face ...
it's the face that grabs us! the last two are perfectly placed.
but then... that might not always be possible. I see it could be a quandary for you. but they are so cool!
this is so exciting cindi! a whole new portfolio of work. YAYYYY!

Cindi Myers said...

Hi! After this I will go directly to Etsy and check out your shop! Congrats on opening one!
I know that to be effective, the watermark really needs to go over the image and that would definitely distract from my Art... Yeah, now I'm changing my mind again! Lol!
Thanks for commenting!

Cindi Myers said...

You've made me realize that I'm being confusing.
The marks should actually be bigger and go over part of the art so that no one could copy it and use it.
That's what Su meant by doing it in a fade.
You know when you search the Internet for the right image and some have a light ghost mark over the top? That stops people from printing up copies or using the images without permission.
I thought by putting the small font on my images on Instagram, it would stop anyone from "copying and print".
But I would still sign or initial my work in a corner as usual.
I'm glad you like this but to honest, illustration is my true love. But I wanted to find a way to use my photos with a creative twist.
That's my goal, for my shop to have a variety of art expressed in different ways!
Thank you for your kind words!

tammy j said...

aha! thanks!
i see now what you're all talking about.
how sad that people have to steal.

i'm like you said about your first blogging though...
i was just blithely using photos i loved in my posts without any source or permission.
the captain finally told me "STOP! unless you get permission or give your source!"
i hadn't even THOUGHT about that!!!
and there i was a chief stealer! wow.
now i'm very careful! xo♥
and yes...
love the sound of your etsy shoppe. it's coming together. :)

Cindi Myers said...

I thought I was just sharing, not stealing.
I try really hard to just use my own photos as much as I can but its not always possible to do so.
and yes! I'm excited about the Etsy shop. I have it in my head, now I just need to make it reality!
ps - I think I've fixed the link to Instagram on the blog. You were right! It lead to nowhere! Thank you for letting me know!

Cindi Myers said...

DONT CLICK ON INSTAGRAM YET! The widget is full of ads!!! I'm removing right now!

Cindi Myers said...

LOL! it's fixed now.
No ads popping up saying you won something and to claim a prize.
Jeez, see what I mean! A person has to be so careful on the Internet.

Doreen@househoneys said...

My vote is for watermarking. Your art is very, very cool, and for sure someone will try to steal it, so do what you can to minimize that possibility.

Cindi Myers said...

ok! I will!

CheerfulMonk said...

I think you should watermark so people can't just steal. From the very first I've tried to be careful about getting permission to use pictures, to link to the source and to say they either have a Creative Commons license or are used with permission, the author reserves all rights. Except cases like comics from, which one can subscribe to. There I link to the source under the comic. I figure that is spreading the word for them.

Hartwood Roses said...

I watermark, and I always have ... but you know that already. I also downsize all my blog photos to 640 x 480, or some facsimile thereof, to further degrade their theft value. With a watermark, provenance always stays with the image ... whether or not the person who 'borrows' it asks permission or not. I place the mark in a spot where the image would be compromised if it was cropped out, but I select the % of transparency to avoid interfering too much with image itself ... i.e., brighter photos get brighter watermarks, darker photos have watermarks that are more transparent ... sometimes as low as 10%

Last year, a photo of my greenhouse came across the newsfeed on our daughter's FB account, posted by a homesteading group. She recognized it instantly as mine, and the watermark confirmed it.

Your images are YOURS, and you must do what you can to protect them from theft to retain their commercial value. I did a blog post a few years ago, describing my watermark process.

Vicki said...

Sorry I'm late to the discussion - holidays with family and home renovations means less computer time...

This is a common woe of artists, writers, photographers etc.
Writers and non-visual artists have the least amount of protection from plagiarism, as their work can't be watermarked.

If someone wants to use your visual artwork for their own purpose, they’ll find a way to eliminate watermarks – simple Photoshop skills will do that.
It’s been widely done since PS was invented.
Having said that, a simple watermark is enough to discourage most potential copiers.

Watermarks can be twofold – to protect your work, and promote your work.

I think that, if showcasing/selling your work online, you should have your name with a © symbol in front of it, as well as your website/shop URL below it so that genuine people can go there to look at what else you do and buy if they like what they see.

*Also, when showing samples of your work online, you don’t need it to be high resolution, as it’s just a sample.
Keep it low res.
You will be sending prospective buyers high resolution/quality prints/originals when they purchase – and this should be stated in your shop, along with stating “the obvious” - that your work will come to them without watermarks... just in case some people need to know that :)

If you put high res’ sample images online, then yes, someone could manipulate, enlarge and print them out without loss of clarity.

If you find down the track, that people are stealing/altering your work, then you can take it a step further to protect it by embedding transparent watermarks across a larger part of your images.

But for now stick with the KISS principle.
Don’t over think it – it takes you away from creating.
Just get your work out there :)


Cindi Myers said...

Yes, the more comments I get from everyone, I see that I do need to watermark.
I need to figure out how to do all of this.
So many little details to figure out.
Things like shipping and packaging and ...sigh.

Cindi Myers said...

YES! You do watermark!
But you do it in such a way that I don't really see it anymore.
And I've never downsized any photos.
Guess I need to do that also!
I will definitely go read your blog post!
Thanks so much!

Cindi Myers said...

I'm late too! LOL!
It's been a long day.
I actually didn't have to work today but I was getting a lot of texts from work about things going on there. I won't bore you with details.
I'm finally starting to feel better so I did all the laundry that's been piling up while I was sick and then I just started moving furniture and throwing away stuff...I was on a roll and now I'm exhausted!
But at least I got a chunk done.

Yes, I will watermark as you suggested and I'll also use that as advertising.
Both you and Connie have enlightened me about lowering the resolution.
I just started thinking that since I have my images on Instagram and Pinterest, I thought I needed to do something to them!
I hope you had a good holiday and got to spend lots of time with loved ones!
Good luck with the renovations! I have a long list of things around here but I'm not on a time schedule to get that done like you are. So I'll put that off for later.
Give Jack a hug and kiss from me. I'm still taking care of Buddy at work and he makes me think about your boy. Special old souls.

At Rivercrest Cottage said...

Here's my 2 cents. Give your beautiful work a watermark like you showed or make it a site so that people know how to find you. Once your beautiful art work gets out there, people are going to want to find you to purchase it. Use the watermark to show them how to find you.

Cindi Myers said...

Yes, you are right.
I originally was just worried about someone stealing my work
but now I see it's more important to use it to help them find me!
Thank you!