I am so excited and proud... I just mailed off my first piece of art to be shown in a gallery! The Swarm is going to be in Estel Gallery's Rock, Paper, Scissors show from February 6- March 14. Anybody out there in Nashville, stop by the opening reception on February 7th and have a glass of wine for me!
(excuse the wonky photo above, there's a much better photo of the piece here.)
I've been thinking about this post for awhile now. I had decided against it a few weeks back thinking, "No, I don't want to be negative on my blog," and then today I changed my mind. My aim here isn't to be negative, but to warn my fellow artists and creatives.
I'm usually the last one on the block to learn about such sites, so if you're like me, let me explain what they're about. The aptly-named Polyvore is a fashion-inspired collage site, where its users can upload and use images found on the web to create their own "sets", or digital collages. They pull items from Anthropologie, J.Crew, Barney's, etc., but they can pull items and art from anywhere -including blogs- and they do.
I'd first heard negative grumblings about Polyvore a few weeks ago on an art blog. So I ambled on over to check it out. I typed in my name in the "search items" box, and *bing!* up came one of my collages, followed quickly behind by four or five "sets" that users had made using my work. I was totally shocked.
Here's my original collage:
And here's what Polyvore's users did with it:
Flattered? Yes... kind of... in a creepy way.
Horrified? Yeah, pretty much.
The weirdest part of the experience was reading all of the comments received by the people who had used my work in their set. Polyvore users congratulate and encourage each other just like we do on flickr. "Beautiful colors", said one, "Lovely work", said another.
But at the end of the day I decided to leave it alone, that if these folks were finding creative pleasure in putting together fashion collages with my art in the background, what was the big deal?
Then today, I visited again, and *bing!* up came another piece of my work, followed by the sets that had been made with that piece. The thing that got my goat and prompted me to write this post is that one of the users collaged on top of my work and actually had the gaul to sign her name as the artist!
(My work reworked and signed by someone else)
I was then morbidly curious, so I typed in a few other artists that i know are popular on the internet: Anahata, TheBlackApple, Hadley Hutton, Keri Smith, and Leah of CreativeEveryday, and all of these artists had their artwork on the site, some of them an entire page. Do people even know about this? Are they cool with it?
In its defense, Polyvore has a section of the site where you can register copyright complaints, and they promise to take the offending image down; they claim that having an image on Polyvore is a boon for everyone, that it increases traffic to your site. And maybe it does for some, but my Polyvore images say, "Shelley Lane", which is my flickr user name, not my full name, and there's no link to my shop or my blog.
Anyhow, it's a weird feeling. I haven't decided what to do yet, mostly because I'm not sure that any damage has been done, except to my ego. I love posting my work on flickr and on my blog, I love the opportunities and connections that have come through having my work online in general, and I hate the idea of having to put watermarks all over my work so it doesn't get used.
Does anyone have thoughts on this?
Aaarrrggg. I feel like a crusty old sea captain right now. Where's my beer?
I really detested math in school. I only got as far as Algebra 2 in high school, passing with what my teacher, Mr. Jones, called, "A Courtesy C."
To this day I still have nightmares that I'm back in school and it's the day of the math final and I haven't been to class in months, or I'm drunk, or I can't find my classroom. Ugh.
So i think it's fun (and terrifically ironic) that a piece of art I made last year is going to appear on the cover of the italian reprint of Carl B. Boyer's "Storie della Matematica" (A History of Mathematics)
I've been meaning to post about a piece of work I received in the mail from Amanda Hawkins:
Isn't this just the best?
I've posted about Amanda before: she is an artist and graphic designer living in Arizona, and she has a fantastic etsy shop, to boot. I've admired her work for awhile now, so I am happy to own an original.
Here's some more of her work that I love:
I especially love this last one, I'm crazy about elephants.