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If you watch this account, you might have noticed that the newest submission was a pay for use item. Never fear. I'm not going totally pay for use on my assets here. I will be offering some for free and some as paid items as a test to see if it actually makes any money. I've been unemployed for two years and I'm trying to make a little honest money rather than turning criminal. I will do my best to keep the prices reasonable, just a dollar or two per pack, around 50 cents per included image or something along those lines. I may charge more for larger image packs. I'll keep doing a mix so there's still something for those like me who can't afford to pay for things.
  • Watching: Blade 2
  • Drinking: Water
I've just been having a very dry year for art and have been struggling with health issues. On top of that, I moved in February of last year and life has been busy and chaotic since then.  I went through Hurricane Sandy and survived. I'm barely hanging on in a healthcare system which seems to have no problem in taking away medicines I need in order to barely function properly. Plus, since I've been unemployed for over a year, it causes problems and I have to work a lot on art shop stuff just trying to squeeze a few measly dollars. So I've lacked energy to spend on coming to DA as much as I had been  when I started my stock account. But I'm going to try and at least start dumping my photos up here for folks to use again. I just take them because they're fun, really. If people can turn them into art, it makes me smile. I need smiles. Just make sure you follow the rules. That's really all I ask.
  • Listening to: Razia by Ashish Pandit
  • Reading: The Twitlight Streets by Gary Russell
  • Eating: baked wheat crackers
  • Drinking: Water

Ugh....

Journal Entry: Tue Aug 7, 2012, 7:47 PM
I seem to have so little energy for getting things done. My health has been so problematic since I moved north. I realized that I have not finished a single piece of art while I've been here. It's a little depressing. I do still have some more photos to add here and I want to get back to rendering bits for people to use. But I can't promise when it will be.  I have shut down my stock group because I simply don't have the energy for it. I will continue to add things here for people to use as I have the time and energy.

Remember, while I may not always post a thank or you're welcome to your page, your support of my stock and resources items is greatly appreciated. You really don't need to thank me for them. I do this to alleviate boredom. :D If you feel you must thank in some way and have points to donate, toss a few in the pot. Once there are enough there to do something with, I will start concocting contests and things for your entertainment. ;)
  • Listening to: Lightspan by The Shamen
  • Reading: A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Watching: A very slow render get processed
  • Drinking: Ice cold water

Stamp Featured!

Journal Entry: Wed Aug 3, 2011, 2:53 AM
This stamp Veggie Chips Stamp by Aazari-Resources got features in the Stamps of DeviantART: Food and Drink! fav.me/d42qi4w

:woohoo: Love it when my oddball stamps get noticed. :D

Remember, while I may not always post a thank or you're welcome to your page, your support of my stock and resources items is greatly appreciated. You really don't need to thank me for them. I do this to alleviate boredom. :D If you feel you must thank in some way and have points to donate, toss a few in the pot. Once there are enough there to do something with, I will start concocting contests and things for your entertainment. ;)
  • Listening to: Lightspan by The Shamen
  • Reading: A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Watching: A very slow render get processed
  • Drinking: Ice cold water

New Stock and Resources Group

Journal Entry: Thu Jul 28, 2011, 9:17 AM
I was getting kind of tired of seeing my submissions to stock groups sit until they expire. SO I started a new stock and resource group. Visit :iconstock-a-holics: ! You only have to be a member or contributor if you want to submit resources. Otherwise you can just watch the group.

If you have suggestions for gallery categories, note the group with them.

Remember, while I may not always post a thank or you're welcome to your page, your support of my stock and resources items is greatly appreciated. You really don't need to thank me for them. I do this to alleviate boredom. :D If you feel you must thank in some way and have points to donate, toss a few in the pot. Once there are enough there to do something with, I will start concocting contests and things for your entertainment. ;)
  • Reading: The Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey
  • Drinking: Ice cold water to cool off!
If I find that these rules are not being obeyed, I will pull the stock down and not make anymore. Be good to me in that regard and I will continue to give you goodies as I have time. Fair deal? Note that to use these items, you will need a Deviant Art account so you can post your usage on the item pages and favorite the items as required.

Edit: 7/2/2011- Rules for Textures & Fill Patterns Added.

Avatars

* Fave it if you use it!
* Do not modify in any way.
* Do not claim as your creation.
* Do not use outside of Deviant Art.
* Do not sell, reproduce or redistribute. Please send people you want to share them with to their page here on Deviant Art.
* Crediting on avatars is appreciated, but not required.

Stock Photos, 2D Stock and 3D Stock

* Fave it if you use it.
* No redistribution, publication or sale of the files included in the packages in this account. If you wish to share them with others, please send them here.

* They may be used as references and to create photomanipulation works and other art. You must do more than recolor, lighten, darken, filter, crop etc. in order to qualify for this rule. Just changing the color, etc. is NOT art.

* The artwork created with these items can be sold. The individual stock items may NOT be sold.

* If you use these items, you MUST link back to both the main page of Aazari-Resources and the item's page in the gallery in your credits. If you display the artwork on other sites, you must still credit and link back.

*  No claiming these resources as your own.

*  You may alter the items as needed for your artwork. However, you are not to redistribute the altered items in any way, shape or form. Altering them does NOT make them yours.

* If you use the items, post a link to your completed art in the item's comments when you post it. That way I can add it to the favorites here. Please do this even if you have posted outside of Deviant Art. I at least want to see what you've done.

Stamps

* Fave it if you use it.
* Do not modify in any way.
* Do not claim as your creation.
* Do not use outside of Deviant Art. You don't have to ask to use them on DA.
* Do not sell, reproduce or redistribute. Please send people you want to share them with to their page here on Deviant Art.
* DO NOT create plz accounts of my stamps! If you wish to have one as a plz, note me and I'll set it up. This is so that all control of my presence here remains with me. Please respect that.

Textures and Fill Patterns

* Fave it if you use it.
* When you use one of my items, inform me of it in the comments for the resource and link to your artwork.
* You can alter these resources in any way for your artwork, but you may NOT distribute the alterations in any way. Altering my image does NOT make it yours.
* Do not claim as your creation.
* Do not sell any merchandise where only my textures or fill patterns are used. The ART created with my patterns and textures CAN be sold without permission. Anything where it's just the pattern, even, altered, is NOT to be sold.
* If you use these items, you MUST link back to both the main page of Aazari-Resources and the item's page in the gallery in your credits. If you display the artwork on other sites, you must still credit and link back.
* Those who create texture/map sets for 3D models using my fills and textures CAN redistribute their texture set, but ONLY if it is a FREE item. They must also post the place where the texture set is available on the resource's comment section.

Other Items

* Follow the rules on the individual item pages.

Easy, simple rules. If you have any other questions, please send me a note on Deviant Art or email me at aazaris_world@sbcglobal.net

Have fun!

Jolie
The Why and How of Protecting You Art

A lot of people hate watermarks. I'm one of them. However, I've come to realize that since I do actually sell my art on merchandise, watermarks are a lesser evil than having my work being stolen and my signature painted out or sliced off . A lot of people think protecting their art is pointless for a number of reasons.

Most Common Reasons Given For Not Protecting Art

1. My art isn't good enough to steal.

You'd be surprised what's stolen on the internet these days. I've seen everything from children's crayon drawings to Boris Vallejo fantasy art stolen and sold illegally. In one case, a parent I know had to issue a cease and desist order to some scummy person who had taken her son's crayon drawings she'd been showing off online and decided to sell them as cards on a print on demand site without permission. So yes, actually, your art just might be good enough to steal.

2. I don't do this professionally, so it doesn't matter.

Ah, you may not now, but you may decide some day that you want to give being a full or part time professional artist a try. Having unmarked and stolen art wandering in the ether can be problematic should you decide to do that. There is also the principal of the thing. It's your work, why let people abuse it and disrespect it and you by stealing it?  

3. It flatters me when people use my art.

So, you're saying you would be flattered if someone broke into your home and took your possessions without asking? It's essentially the same thing when someone takes your art without asking. This is actually the most confusing of the reasons I usually hear as it just isn't good logic.

4. Watermarks make the art look ugly.

Well, I won't disagree with you there, but there are ways to make watermarks not so obstructive and ugly. Protecting your works also means it's less likely you're going to have to take valuable time away from creating art to go deal with art thieves. As the saying goes, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

5. Art should be FREE!

Mmmm. No. Artist is a profession like any other. You wouldn't expect your plumber to give his work away for free, would you?


Top Reasons Why Artists Should Protect Their Work

1. If you sell your work at all it is extremely important that the images you display online be protected. I can tell you for a fact that having your work unmarked and spread by thieves all over the internet can later on cost you licensing contracts. A licensing company will not pay for works which are available for free all over the Internet. This I know for a fact. I've seen it happen to professional artists I know.

2. Unmarked work is often harvested by companies which operate in countries where the copyright laws aren't as strict and the Byrne Convention (international copyright law) doesn't apply. These people will then start mass producing cheap merchandise with your work on it and you will never see a dime for it. I've heard of more than one case where an artist was at a festival or other event and found their images being illegally sold on t-shirts, buttons and other merchandise of extremely dubious origins. Not only that,  if people recognize your work on that shoddy, cheap merchandise, your branding/art becomes associated with garbage merchandise. This can really hurt the reputation of an artist who is selling their own work. As an artist your skill and reputation are your strongest attributes. You should guard them carefully.

3. Often times stolen artwork is mutilated by way of cutting, cropping and animation. Some of what is done is patently ugly and damages the appearance of the artwork. Thus, all your hard work is ruined. Why not just let a little kid attack it with some crayons? It's the same outcome, really.

4. Many times art thieves will put their own names on stolen work. When this happens, you have to work extra hard to prove your ownership when you need to deal with stolen art. In some cases it can slow the process of getting stolen items removed.

5. There have been many people fighting for years to push forward legislation known as the "Orphaned Works Bill". What this legislation seeks to do is make it legal for companies and individuals to claim ownership of creative works when they can't locate the original creator of the work to request permission for use. If your work is out there unmarked and this legislation ever comes to pass, you will be at great risk of losing ownership of your own creations unless you pay outlandish fees to register all of your works in multiple databases. So far we've been lucky and it hasn't been enacted. This may not always be the case as more and more licensing companies back this idea which could serve to make them millions using "free" artwork and designs.

6. If you aren't part of the solution, you are part of the problem. That's pretty clear and to the point. By giving art thieves easy targets, you are encouraging the behavior to continue.

How To Protect Your Art

There are many methods artists can employ to protect their art. I'm going to go over the pros and cons of some of them. At the end, I'll also show some examples of various watermarks and go over the good and bad points of those as well.

1. Signature. ALWAYS sign and date your work before posting it online. It's far too easy for just anyone to slap their name on it using an editing program. I recommend that digital artists apply their signature on a new layer and then reduce transparency so that it blends with the image somewhat. Then the layer can be merged down. Traditional artists can do this as well by scanning their work before it's signed and then applying the signature digitally. I actually used a Sharpie marker to make a nice black version of my signature. I then scanned it, cleaned it up and made it into a tube which I can use to sign my digital work. I have it in different colors as well. Try and sign in an area that will be difficult to crop out. If you can figure out ways to hide your name in patterns in the image or something along those lines, it's even better. I see an alarming number of artists who post their work with nothing on it whatsoever that identifies it as their work.

2. Right click disabling. This is probably the least effective form of protection there is. While right click disabling on your own website will prevent the very novice thieves from stealing, it is totally ineffective against those who are very Internet/browser savvy. There are multiple ways to override this. I'm not going to mention it here because there's no sense in giving ammunition to currently uneducated thieves. Keep in min that this method also disables other features your visitors may use, thus annoying them.

3. Java and other scripting such as slide shows. These will sometimes deter novice and intermediate thieves. But, again, those who are more tech savvy can easily bypass them.

4. Low resolution and image size. With this method you're on the beginning edge of efficiency. I recommend not posting publicly any image above 72 DPI in resolution. Most computer screens don't display at higher than that anyway. I also recommend that posted images never be more than 800 to 1000 pixels on their longest side. What this does is make it impossible to get a good print of your posted image, rendering it useless to those who would steal your work for illegal merchandise. If you wish to show close-ups of your work, you can always do a sort of collage with insets of the details below the full work.

5. Watermarks. Ah, the ever dreaded and often maligned watermark. While no protection method is perfect, this one is the most effective against the average art thief. The average art thief is a lazy sot looking for instant gratification. They simply don't want to waste time having to hand paint off a well made watermark. Watermarking an image makes the risk of theft go down exponentially. The type and placement of the watermark, however, can effect its efficiency in preventing theft. Combined with low-res and small images, it's even more effective. The main trick is to use transparency to make them harder to remove.

By employing one or more of these methods, you won't make your art totally theft proof, but you can at least reduce the risks signifigantly. Even the "professional" thieves working for companies tend to pass on marked art because time is money and they can just as easily find something unmarked that they can use immediately.

Types of Watermarks & Their Efficiency

1. Sigils Without Text- I really don't recommend these. They can look really nice. However, unless someone is very familiar with you and your art, they don't work well for people being able to let you know when your art goes astray should someone be stupid enough to post the work with the mark still on it (and some thieves do that). Most folks who use these tend to place them along the bottom where they are easily cropped off, too. An easily removed watermark is an inefficient one.

2. Sigils With Text- These are fine, especially if you have your website as the text. Again, they are not efficient if you tack them into a lower corner of your work. They are more effective as a transparency covering the middle of the image.

Article 1 by Aazari-Resources

3. Plain, Flat Text- These are only moderate protection. They  are easier to select and paint out in a program. This is another common type that tends to be put along the bottom and is just cropped off by thieves. Making it a transparent layer that covers a good portion of the middle of the image makes it somewhat more effective.

Article 2 by Aazari-Resources

4. Embellished/Decorative Text Transparency- This is my personal favorite. Added as a transparent layer covering the middle of an image, it's fairly irritating to remove. I make mine with Super Blade Pro and Eye Candy in Paint Shop Pro. I like it because it's really easy to do and you can make your watermark up as a PNG layer or Tube that's easily manipulated. It can still be painted out if someone is tenacious enough, but it's fairly easy to read and more trouble to remove than most thieves want to go through in order to steal.

Article 3 by Aazari-Resources

5. Fill Text-Transparency This method is one that I saw on another art site that I thought was pretty inventive. Done the right way it's entirely annoying to get rid of, too. It's not too difficult to accomplish. It's just a new layer where you choose your text image as an image fill and then reduce transparency until it's faint, but still readable. In some cases people's eyes will tune it out so it's not distracting at all.

Article 4 by Aazari-Resources

Overall, the idea with watermarks is to make them legible without being too distracting. Sometimes it will require adding a drop shadow or mild glow effect so they remain visible on some types of images. Visibility will vary based on the color of your mark, the color of the art and the darkness or lightness of both. Test various levels of opacity to see what works best on an individual piece and add other effects as needed to ensure people can still read the information. You may find it best to color your mark differently on some images. It's sometimes a tough balance to find, but it can be done.

Get ready for a flood!

Journal Entry: Thu Jun 2, 2011, 3:20 PM
I went to the Mercer Arboretum today just to get out of the house. Boy did I need that! I took along the Nikon CoolPix I got myself for Yule and took some photos. Some are pretty. Some are.... eh, not so good. But I thought even some of the not so good ones would be okay for use as backgrounds and things for certain images. So I'm going to load all but the truly worst of them. They'll be coming a few at a time as I sort through them. So grab your raft to ride out the flood of plant and pond images. :D Just be warned: I NEVER said I was a professional photographer. :lmao:

Remember, while I may not always post a thank or you're welcome to your page, your support of my stock and resources items is greatly appreciated. You really don't need to thank me for them. I do this to alleviate boredom. :D If you feel you must thank in some way and have points to donate, toss a few in the pot. Once there are enough there to do something with, I will start concocting contests and things for your entertainment. ;)
  • Reading: The Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey
  • Drinking: Ice cold water to cool off!