My artwork and copying..maybe

Tom asked to look at my Pinterest account last night. The website is pretty new to him and he wanted to how it worked and what I had pinned. I was showing him how 281 people had 'repinned' one of my wedding invitations and saying how that was nice because it showed that people must like it. There were a few comments below and I'd seen them before and not thought anything of it.
See the second comment down? Well I had read this like 'this would be perfect for you and craig' but Tom pointed out that to him it looked like 'this is ACTUALLY your and craig's invite'. Leading him to think someone may have copied it and changed the text. Then fourth comment down originally made me think 'Oh she's just seen someone with a similar style' but now I read it like she has actually seen this invite elsewhere.
I've been thinking about this most of the morning as its really worrying me. Coping the invite and changing the text would be easily done. The only way to try and make it harder would be to put a water mark on this image. I am hesitant to do this as I think it spoils the image, and I want to still share my work online as I'm proud of it. 
The other thing that makes the thought of it upsetting is that this was a custom invite for my sister and brother in law's wedding. I do create custom wedding invitations and am working on one at the moment. The process is very personal, my client emails me their ideas and we go back and forth to work on it until I have created something unique and special for their big day. It confuses me as to why someone would want to use someone else's wedding invite as surely its supposed to be special to you? 
That being said its not as if I have actually seen my work being used or copied somewhere else but the potential for someone to do that is there for sure. I know of many artists that I admire that deal with people stealing their work on a regular basis and I guess maybe I was naive to think no one would do that to me?
SO my dilemma is do I watermark all my work to try and prevent these things? It would be a pain if truth be told and in my opinion make my work look a bit ugly.. 
Thoughts on the matter? I would love to know xoox


Lawrie Phipps said...

if you post them in flickr and set the images to "all rights reserved" you should still be able to embed them in your blog, but prevent people from downloading. But I guess people can still steal the style :-( it's the new digital reality I'm afraid...

Jess said...

I'm reading it as " this is the one for you" ?

Chloe (from chloewitters blog) said...

A tricky dilemma. I understand not wanting to watermark. I haven't got round to watermarking any of my images and haven't really found a need to do so (but then it's harder to pass off a photo of someone else's child as your own, I guess!).

Pinterest is a breeding ground for copying ideas. That's what I use it for myself, especially DIY or craft stuff. But it's also a great place to gain more exposure for your products. In your case, as it's your business, I would personally add a watermark. As someone above me already commented, copying the style is unfortunately something that can't be prevented.

What about putting the image on a lager canvas with your logo and some text (like 'come see more of my work on my website...') above it? That way it doesn't interfere with the illustration...but i suppose someone could still crop it if they were really determined to nick your work.

Chloe said...

Woops. A lager canvas sounds interesting, but what I meant to type was 'larger' hehe.

The Dress Tree said...

Have you tried contacting the person who made that comment hun?

She might be able to shed some light as to the context of her comment?

I really hope it doesn't turn out that someone has been stealing your work.

Kim xxx

Helen said...

It's tricky - on the one hand it's a compliment that people are liking your stuff enough to repin it, but when they alter and use it for themselves it's stealing of your intellectual property and it sucks that you're not getting credit/money for your hard work. So I would go with the watermark to make it that little bit harder and to make them think twice.

My brother created some amazing Scrabble wedding invitations for us that he then put up on his design website. They since have popped up on blogs and Pinterest boards, which is great advertising for him (as most people link back to his site), but I've also seen some blatant rip offs of them, which is a shame.

PS I read an article recently about Pinterest and copyright that I thought you might find interesting in light of this - http://ddkportraits.com/2012/02/why-i-tearfully-deleted-my-pinterest-inspiration-boards/

Tigerlilly Quinn said...

Thanks so much for all your help. I really appreciate it. I have contacted the girl and am waiting to hear back.. Hopefully they meant 'this would be great for you' but regardless it was something I was going to have to think about at some point!
I think the solution will be to put them in Flickr and also watermark them..which is a real shame. I dont think I will bother for my photographs but for my artwork I think it will be the way to go.
Thanks also to Helen for the link to article, certainly very interesting.
Lots of love xx

Emmeline Pidgen Illustration said...

I normally just put a little 'Emmeline Pidgen' or 'www.emmelineillustration.com' in the corner using a tone of colour that fits with the illustration - unobtrusive and links it back to you :-)
P.S I saw your snowglobe a while ago in Paperchase and excitedly squealed to my boyfriend that I know who designed it haha xx

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