|Stole image, 3rd step of demo|
The "thief" (yes it's a harsh word) @agassystudio on Instagram was using my image to promote her classes in Russia. The image was taken from my blog 10/15/2012 (3rd step of a demo). I used the Internet to translate her text. She claims it's her travel journal. It's obviously from MY blog post. She said it was from her trip to Armenia. I asked her to take down my artwork. She was assertive in saying it was hers which basically meant I was the liar. Which got me nowhere. She changed her story many times...always putting blame elsewhere and basically making me the bad guy. I posted her Instagram page on Facebook and reported her f or copyright infringement. Because of YOU (my friends) she received so many complaints about stealing my artwork that she finally took the image down. It's not a happy situation...but maybe her followers will know who she is...a thief.
So, for the moment I feel hurt and a little wounded...but it will pass. The person who stole my artwork was selfish and wrong. What hurts the most is my emotional attachment to the piece she so selfishly took. I use artwork as a form of prayer. I painted the image shortly after my son Daniel was diagnosed with cancer (story here). The pomegranate is a symbol of life. It was my prayer to God during that difficult time...you see, the pomegranate is a sign of life in abundance. On a happy note...today my son is in remission. She can't take that joy from me!
Many people have offered advice...put watermarks on my artwork, sign, date and so on. It does little to nothing to protect artwork against people who WANT to steal. The truth is it takes little skill to use a photo program to remove a signature, crop off a signature... I had an entire book scanned, translated to Persian and printed in the Middle East. My U.S. publisher had lots of lawyers but nothing could be done. When things go out into the world (more specifically out of the country) there is little to nothing we can do about it. We have NO control over dishonest people.
I have two choices: Quit sharing -or- Continue to share. I choose to believe in the goodness of others. My life is enriched by the joy of creativity, sharing, inspiration, encouragement...and you. So my answer is I will continue to share.
P.S. I want to thank the person who anonymously notified me that my image was taken.
You're a jewel!