Plagiarism

I have been meaning to write this piece for quite some time. The subject is a very touchy subject amongst the creativity industry as a whole. Nobody wants to pour their heart, should and creative talent into a piece of work in order for another person to completely plagiarise it. 

Only recently, I was notified one morning on Instagram that a particular user had recently published a piece of my work to their account. That user thought it was cool to add a beard to my character and then add their name/signature to the piece and then take full credit for it. Personally, this really irks me. I think what bothers me most is just how lazy some people are. Yeah in the creative industries Ideas/colour palettes/compositions/styles etc etc are stolen on a daily basis, maybe a nicer world would be borrowed. Thats how we all learn, we look at others work, we get inspired and we take certain aspects of that inspiration and translate it in to our own individual language. In this case, my work wasn’t interpreted, my work was blatantly stolen. I’m very lucky that I have fantastic followers that notified me of this. 

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On discovering my stolen work, I noticed she not only plagiarised my work but also she stole other Illustrators work. Once as the other illustrator got in touch with me to see what was going on, he said this so well. “ Fair enough stealing my work, but I really hope they didn’t get some work from that particular piece of work”. This is so true and worries me that there could be so many more of my pieces of artwork out there.

Though having said all of this, there are certain measure we can go about in order to protect our work. Watermarks, signatures etc! In my opinion, I hate watermarks, they cheapen that work you’ve created. Signatures can be easily removed with Photoshops. I generally try keep my work at a low quality and 72dpi so if anyone does steal it then it can’t be scaled up anymore. Its only a small measure that gives me piece of mind. There more I have thought about this since it happened the more I realise that any creative sharing their work online is a gamble. A gamble that hopefully the positives outweigh the negative. Social media and an on line presence is a crucial aspect of any creatives career. We can build fantastic networks online and its a platform for us to push our work and to get it out there. The negatives are what I have witnessed. On conclusion, I personally think the gamble is worth it. I can say I get more positive feedback and new connections from publishing my work online than I do negativity and plagiarism. Well, that I know of anyway!

Whats your opinion on this? Have you too witnessed something similar. I always love connecting with any like minded people!