Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Unicorn



Finally a new piece of work to share! Over the last few weeks I've been working on a commission for a local author, Vivien Carmichael, on an illustration of a unicorn to coincide with the upcoming launch of her new book, 'The Grail of the Unicorn Planet'.


I really enjoyed working on this illustration; drawing the unicorn was something I wouldn't normally have tackled in my own personal work, but it was really interesting to break out of my comfort zone a bit. We even went on a mini research trip to look at some local horses so I could get a good feel for the anatomy (and have a quick nose/muzzle pat!)




The book launch is on the 19th May at Le Lion D'or in Hove from 3.30pm, so if you're in the South then head on down there for some readings and book related fun. There'll also be the opportunity to buy some limited edition prints and pocket mirrors featuring my illustration.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Bits and bobs

On a bit of a lighter note than my last post, here's a few little pieces of nice news:


I now have another online portfolio courtesy of the lovely people at That's My Folio... you can go and have a little look at my page here, and do have a browse of all the other fantastic illustrators while you're at it!




Secondly, my 'Weight of Technology' illustrations were featured in Computer Arts magazine's daily online inspiration gallery in March.




Last but not least, I'm part of the 'Spring Ahead' online stalls this month over at Blog And Buy Sale, and there's a little 'Seller Spotlight' interview with me over on their blog :) Thanks guys!

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Copycat

In the unlikely event that you didn't know about it already, there's a very handy new[ish] function on Google's image search where you can search using images rather than words. There's loads of great applications for this tool - perhaps you see a painting or sculpture somewhere with no attribution and you want to discover who the artist was... simply snap a photo of it with your phone, and it's pretty likely that you'll be able to find out. One of the other major handy uses for the function is for artists themselves. It means you can drag any of your images into the search box and see where your image is being used online... if anyone has perhaps featured your work in a blog post or is using it without permission on their own website.


After testing it out by searching a few of my images the other week and finding nothing new or surprising, I came across this:





Photos courtesy of http://tomyumdress.com/ ;)


Well.... colour me surprised. That looks a bit familiar, doesn't it? In fact, you could go as far as to say that it's pretty much identical to my origami crane design from Society6. Now, I'm constantly seeing other illustrators tweeting or blogging about having their designs ripped off and often feel quite annoyed about it: how dare they make money from that person's hard work? Why do they think they can get away with what is essentially stealing? But upon seeing this I can't say that I really felt annoyed or outraged at all. It was just very surreal and I generally felt a bit peculiar about it... slightly miffed, very mildly flattered in the weirdest way possible, and just resigned to the fact that I was helpless to do anything. A bit like coming home to find an acquaintance sitting on your sofa drinking your tea, because they think your house is fantastic. (I was never very good at analogies, but try to stay with me here...)


Unfortunately, there's not really anything we can do about this kind of copyright infringement when the perpetrator isn't UK based. Short of sending a cease and desist notice (which I have done, to no effect), we're pretty much powerless to stop other people from profiting from our work when they're based in a different country. Quite sad, but presumably inevitable in this age of sharing our work on the internet.


What are your thoughts on it all? Have you ever had your work copied? Am I an emotionless husk for feeling so apathetic about it? And if you do fancy a t-shirt with my origami crane design on it, please head over to Society6 to grab one - it might be more expensive than the knock-off, but the quality will be worth it and you'll make an illustrator very happy!