maybe i should just become a photographer…

at the risk of boring you to death with yet another instance of image “nicking” i again feel the need to publish this little story on behalf of those of us out there putting up our works online for others to view and perhaps along the way, we might (god forbid) be rewarded financially for our efforts. or at least given a little credit.

yes, there was another “incident” last night. (go back a few posts to read about previous incidents)
a local self proclaimed arts advocate used one of the photos i posted on my blog Elementary Art in a newsletter that was emailed to their mailing list (quite large I would assume) as well as on their website on a page advocating for one of my personal favorite causes-art education (if you go there now, he has redirected the page to something else so as to obfuscate his misdeed-it originally was where the photo he “borrowed” of mine resided ).
while you might imagine this would tickle me to death (gee..i’m flattered…. AGAIN) i was not.
“why?” you might ask. well to start, there was no permission granted nor asked for regarding the use of this image. nor was there any attribution. no link to the Elementary Art blog, no mention of Elementary Art at all! in addition, the image was of two students (minors) and no photographers release had been granted to them for use this image. just so happens i know the parents of these kids and while they have given ME permission to use the image on MY blog they in NO WAY intended it to be taken and used for any other purpose!
when this was brought to the attention of the offending party and a suggestion made that they could donate any $ amount of their choosing to go towards supplies in the classroom this year for Elementary Art as a payment for use of the image to promote their good deeds to the community, they simply apologized and declined. so much for their motto….”creativity ………is ACTION!”
i guess they mean action that OTHERS should take to promote the arts.
yes, i am feeling a little bitter this morning. i think that this community’s art’s organizations have become one giant press release. as one artist so aptly proclaimed, “public art has become public relations”. Go here and listen to what an Artist Himself says about the future of the arts in Long Beach.
it appears as if there may be a new bureau of arts and cultural affairs formed in the City Manager’s office sometime soon. i wonder who could be vying for a place at that public trough?

okay, okay enough bs! perhaps my sour mood is also reflective of the respiratory virus that has been attacking me for the past couple of days. most likely. today i am left with *only* the racking cough and am ready to get back to my Real Work. excuse me while i retreat into the studio for the rest of the week.

before i go….i will add that aside from working on the rest of my current orders, building inventory and planning my workshop for houston Quilt Festival (there might be a couple spots left-can’t guarantee it though) i am taking Susan Sorrell’s Organic Design online class. it’s all about “free-motion hand stitching/embroidery” . my term, not hers. but it reminds me of free motion machine stitching-only done by hand and mind. i need to turn off here and check out a bit to really get into it.
here goes………………….

10 thoughts on “maybe i should just become a photographer…

  1. paulahewitt

    its quite incredible that people do this (esp photos of children !) – are they not aware of plagiarism and copyright (and I find that hard to believe)or do they just not care?


  2. jeanne, herself

    i don’t read this as a “sour mood”, but understandable outrage. plagiarism is stealing – period – and i am sick and tired of it. i’m also sick and tired of blowhards (like the offending party) who talk, talk, talk, talk, talk and do absolutely nothing.


  3. Acey

    I don’t see it as proof of a sour mood, either. I actually view it as quite responsible to the larger circle of creative life. To my thinking, the more details we share concerning our unfortunate/ripped off experiences, the more mindful we all become at the collective level. I think it’s an important form of karma yoga even though I realize that’s a rather extreme view.

    Enjoy your time “away” with needle & thread. That sort of thing is probably one of my most important gotta have’s since I’m a pretty big workaholic otherwise.


  4. shiborigirl Post author

    i’m ok with being in a sour mood every so often. it’s proof that i am awake and paying attention to how i’m feeling. i do appreciate your thoughts-all of them- and the reason i keep exposing this sort of thing is that i DO feel it as a sort of responsibility to the larger circle of creative life out there to talk about it. it would be far easier to just ignore it altogether but stopping and spending the time and energy is a decisive choice i make. i do hope others find it helpful.

    i also think that the more of us that are out there with our eyes open to this sort of thing, the more we can help each other protect our work from these sorts of people.
    i guess some might feel it’s an extreme view, but i certainly don’t.


  5. Antonio Ruiz

    The Creativity Network has apologized for an error and will be posting an acknowledgment this week on the website and in our weekly newsletter. We have and will continue to be a strong advocate for artists and the arts in Long Beach. We continue to promote individual artists, their exhibits and their performances. The Creativity Network also has been one of the major supporters of the updating of the city’s Master Cultural Plan. Finally, after years of waiting, we are set to begin that process. The Arts Council for Long Beach has received funding to update such a plan. I invite the Creative Community to take full part in that process and to address the concerns expressed here as well as propose new strategies and ideas to meet the needs of individual artists in Long Beach.
    Antonio Pedro Ruiz
    Co-Founder, The Creativity Network


  6. shiborigirl Post author

    yes, this is the question isn’t it? why?
    we can only deal with each instance case by case. and learn how we want to respond.

    someone recently asked me why all of a sudden this cluster of occurrences. i think it’s not really all of a sudden. it’s been there. i just am now noticing. my eyes have suddenly been opened and i am seeing it for what it is. in this new awareness i choose my response.

    perhaps something good will come of it.

    perhaps the aforementioned apology will spark some other artist in the community to choose a classroom to visit each week. that would be nice.
    perhaps we will receive some nice vellum paper to paint on this year. or 30 good quality brushes to paint with.
    we just don’t know….but we can hope


  7. Julia

    It’s not much of an apology.

    “The Creativity Network has apologized for an error” ? No acknowledgement of *ownership* for the error. And then another press release. How can they promote individual artists if they can’t even respect an artist’s copyrights?

    pretty pathetic. Antonio Pedro Ruiz, shame on you.


  8. steelparade

    thought i would chime in on this one.

    i agree with you too Julia…..not much of an apology. more of a feeble attempt to look good and then turn around and shout all the great things this “organization” has done for the community.

    from my viewpoint, i see this issue as much as a “Long Beach Thing” as i do a copyrights issue.

    Long Beach is littered with all types of arts-wanna-bes and lame organizations that supposedly supports the arts. in my experience, i have found this to be all talk, lots of posing, and not much real work.

    short of naming names, this is the only city that has events and does not pay any of the artists for their work or time. this is the only city i regularly experience this mindset . there are a group of “music agents” in this town who routinely try to hire bands for civic events, and never pay them for their services.

    before you question my observations, please let me tell you a little of who i am.

    i am a full-time working musician in the SoCal area of almost 20 years………this means, i support myself solely by my art of playing music. although i am not a millionaire, i do well. over the years i have been hired to perform for many civic events in almost every city from Oxnard down to the Mexican border. i was born and raised in Long Beach. i am proud of Long Beach, and i call it my home.

    and yet…

    Long Beach is sort of a running joke in our band. it is the city that has non-artists make the decisions for the artists. it is the city that never seems to have any money for the artists, and has agents that defend the city as opposed to fighting for the artists. when the city does pay, its the lowest of all the surrounding cities.

    when i am hired to perform for another local city……Laguna Beach, Yucaipa, Thousand Oaks, my contact is normally a city representative that has a formal degree in art. this person is usually very knowledgeable, and understands the position of representing the musicians as well as the city. these are normally the people who fight for our budget. these are the people who educate the public, and get all of the artists paid for their time.

    Long Beach is the only city that does not give us this experience. im often intercepted by a city clerk, a part-time employee, and most recently a local “arts-advocate”. to say my experiences have been less than impressive would be very kind. simply put, they really dont seem to be authentic……and thats o.k.

    i laugh and see it for what it is……my lovely city that cant seem to get knowledgeable artists to assist in its expanding development.

    which brings me back to this current issue on hand…

    of course the Creativity Network didnt realize that lifting images off a real artists website and using it for their own emails blasts and website is in violation of copyright laws. of course. how would they know? to those of you reading this blog, many of who are actual real full-time artists, as well as hobbyist and weekend warriors, this awareness seems so basic and obvious.

    of course the apology would not be sincere. of course the apology would quickly turn into a “look at all the great things we are doing, so dont hold me accountable for my ineptitude” statement. i would not expect anything less from the city i am so proud of.

    you know, a simple “im sorry for my ignorance…i am learning” would have been refreshing and fine.

    recently, i volunteered my time at the local community college, where they felt the need to put me on staff after a few semesters as to pay me for my time. i have yet to witness one person……..just once….from any of these wonderful arts advocates from the city to come and offer any assistance to the school. if you think there isnt a need for assistance at the local college, think again.

    to a certain degree, it makes sense. how can someone actually offer assistance, if they are not really studied in the matter? for example, how can an arts advocate teach an aspiring student the finer points on how to read music if the arts advocate does not know how to read music? this is just an example, but it is a real example as i encounter “musicians” who claim to be fighting for music in our schools, when in fact they are just looking for a stage to perform on as to promote their own personal agenda.

    personally, my support of the arts has to be real. in order for that to happen, i have to be real……and i have to reach real people and make a real difference. i dont think this is done by clamoring on stage and joining senseless councils that will do everything except put money and time into whats really needed.

    its all posturing.
    ego stroking.
    and thats o.k.
    i allow it all to happen around me, as long as i am allowed the same freedom to express how i see it…….from my viewpoint as a self-supporting artist/musician.

    thank you for allowing me to share my truth.



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