Every once in a while I will google search myself. No, I am not a narcissist, but it helps me keep tabs on how I am managing my art and its publicity. Imagine my surprise today when I found out that I could buy a reproduction print of my own art work from a company based out of Russia.
Did anyone ever contact me from this company asking me to use the image of my work? No.
Did anyone ever ask me if I wanted to make cheap reproduction prints of my work? No.
At no point in time did I give anyone permission to use my works for any reproduction or copying purposes. Now, I obviously have given galleries permission to use my art work for promotion purposes when I have done shows, but I have specifically and purposefully avoided contests or shows wherein I would have given away the legal rights to my work to the companies involved.
So now I have a company in Russia, illegally using my work to make cheap, unauthorized copies for profit. Nice. Assholes.
I had considered at one point having reproductions run of a few select pieces. The company I had discussed this with based out of Toronto came highly recommended by a friend in the business and was a high end facility who makes extremely high quality products. The process to make such a product was very involved, use specialized high end scanners of the original work etc etc. I chose against doing this for the moment due to the inherent costs involved with making a beautiful high quality reproduction. Had I wanted to make cheap low end prints, I am sure I could have, however that was not I wanted for myself, my art or my potential customers.
The fact is, when we buy prints at a low cost, inevitably we are getting what we pay for in terms of quality. I can guarantee you that this company did not scan the original work, but rather lifted the photo image of it from either this web page or my Facebook page (or someone else’s if they decided to share something that they liked with their friends). So, the quality of the image is not there when you buy this way. As well, the original artist likely has no clue that there are reproductions of their work being sold off at discounted rates. The artist (even while they may be credited for the original image-and my name is ANN not ANNA thank you oh so much) receives no proceeds from the sales of these cheap reproductions from these companies. Why should some company in Russia (or wherever) reap the profits from my artistic property when they are illegally stealing what came out of my head, created with my hands.
I am not naive enough to believe that people don’t take images off the net for their own purposes. It’s part of the hazards when you post anything. That said,someone pinning my work to Pinterest, a student using it for a project, an artist using it for their own inspiration is one thing, a company stealing it to profit off it, something altogether different.
So, lessons learned. Always search for your own work once you have put it out there, whether it’s images or words. Google yourself, image titles, or phrases to see just where your work has ended up, who is using it and how it is being used. If you are buying works of art or reproductions, always google the original artist to see if the original work is available (and what it looks like to compare-because if you check out the image in high def on their web site it is a joke and I sure as hell would not buy it even for that cheap price because it looks like a cheap photocopy compared to the original piece). When at all possible, see if the artist is offering prints or reproductions of the piece. Chances are, you may pay a few more dollars for it, but the quality of what you will be getting will be highly superior to some cheap run off version. And remember, yes it’s great to get new art, but it’s also important to support the artists who create these phenomenal images, whether it’s buying the original or copies that the artist supports.
As for that web site, please do NOT purchase any of “my art” from Images2Love as I did not give them permission to use my art for any purpose whatsoever. When you compare th”detailed” image they offer to the original painting, the run off is truly crap in comparison. This is artistic theft plain and simple. If you are interested in my Northern Lights Shoreline, contact me directly.