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Protect Your Art Work: Copyright For Digital Artists.

By | Art, Blog | 6 Comments

When you are studying to be a visual artist or a designer no one really takes you aside and tells you about the legal part of the business.  The more exciting part of visual art and design is always the designing and legal talk can bore people to tears. However, despite how boring it might be, the legal side of things is very important. And one of the most important legal issues faces Visual Artists and Designers is copyright infringement and property theft.  I can tell you how many people use image search engines such as Google Images and just save and then repost your hard work somewhere else. I even had this happen to me a few times, and the whole experience is disheartening and frustrating in turns.

However, the good news is with some prevention, a lot of those experiences can be prevented or easily remedied.

Watermarks

watermark photoshopWatermarks are visual signatures that you can draw or paste on top of your artwork. It’s an old age practice that is still one of the most effective ways to protect your art.  I tend to watermark my own images by making a transparent png signature with my name and my website and then manually posting that image on every new artwork.

However, there is an easy way to batch watermark your artwork or designs by making an easy photoshop action.  I I also recommend using the Batch Watermarker software. It’s super easy and the UI is very intuitive.

EXIF/MetaData

FileinfoMetadata and Exchangeable image file format is a tell exactly you what format your image, video, or audio file and also allows you to add information such as date, type of camera or software that was used to create the file, html and the person who created the file.  This often works like an invisible digital watermark, and especially in Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Bridge, you can mark the file as copyrighted and that information will show up in search engine results which will greatly decrease property theft.

Also, that information will show up in Alternate Text in HTML any website. So everyone will automatically know who your property belongs to.  The easiest way to edit your file’s metadata is by editing in your window. In PC you can do this by right clicking and selecting properties then select the details tab then press Apply. In Mac, you double-click the photo to view it, then you click the I button or Command-I and then you can enter your information there. You can find more information about this here.

Another way to edit the metadata is by using PhotoMe software, which you find here.

Alternative Text

Another way to copyright your image is by simply adding your name and your website to your Alternative Text or Alt Text in the HTML. It’s pretty easy and simple. If you want to know more about Alternative Text and why you should use it, you can do so here.

Copyright.com

Now, one of these days you might have to actually go to court and sue for copyright infringement. For U.S. law, your art is automatically protected under the copyright law.  However, there is possible that you might have to go to court and prove that you are indeed the original creator. One of the tools you can use is copyrighted.com. Every time you create a new art piece you can register it on the website and if you are sued you will list of who created it when it was created, and any other information to prove your side of the case.

This, of course, is not as good as your going through the legal process of copyrighting your art, but it’s still a free and easy alternative.

Right Click Protection

Depending on your blogging platform or portfolio platform you can easily add right-click protections to your site, which will disable people from right clicking and save your art to their hard drive. There are ways around it, especially if you crosspost to places such as DeviantArt or on social media because those places usually don’t offer such protections.  I use a self-hosted WordPress site for my portfolio, so it’s easy to add plugins that will protect your art from being saved.

My Favorites plugins are Prevent Content TheftWP Content Copy Protection & No Right Click, and CopyRightPro.

 

 

 

A Man In At A Maze with a Question

The Next Step

By | Art, Blog, Real Life | No Comments

So sorry guys, I totally forgot to set down and do my usual Monday post. I was just so exhausted with the lack of sleep and I just forgot. I didn’t even do any art yesterday (I did the Majikku on Sunday). and  I  guess I just needed a break.  So right now, I’m just concentrating on taking the next step of my career and I totally need to sit down and do some more research.

I think the harder part is that I’m trying to find time to balance everything that I had to do. Like yesterday, I did a YouTube video and honestly,  I have no time to edit it. I’m honestly considering not posting it at all because I rather be behind the camera than in front of it.

I actually going to try to go into the stock images business once I’m successful at the art. There is a real lack of diversity when it comes to stock photos. It’s all white, skinny people and I want to sort of fill that lack. However, I won’t be doing that until I’m successful at the art and I have the time.

I have also been wondering if I should go back to do more covers. I have been doing fanfiction covers, but I have basically stopped doing covers since January I think. As for art prints marketing, I have no idea where, to begin with that. Who, exactly in the market for digital art? Who’s buying it? I have no idea where to even start my research with that.

There is just so much to learn, and not so much time to do everything I need to do. I am also considering going to art school as a way to open doors for in my career, but honestly, I do have 50k to just go to school.  And I have a defaulted student loan, so there is no help there. Then add, the kids and it just looks impossible. I might just have to wait until I have some income to try to go to art school. *sigh*

There are so many options, and I think the right thing is to stay on course. As for blogging. especially here has made it better for me. I like helping people, and I like help other photo manipulators have an easier road than I currently have. To me, it really feels that I have been like I have been stumbling in the dark.

There really hasn’t been a lot of support for artists like me, because maybe it’s such a new medium. Honestly, if I ever start making big money I’m going to invest in maybe a photo manipulator forum of some sort.

Anyway, as for my ‘real life’, the family is gearing up for Easter. I actually got a new haircut to prepare for the occasion and my stepdad has been slaving away getting the front yard in tip-top shape. We are also preparing for upcoming summer and making plans.  We always say we have these millions of plans but we end up broke and at home for the rest of the summer. So I’m praying that it won’t happen to us this year.

Well, I think that’s all for this week guys. I’m off to batten down the hatches because a huge storm has just rolled in. *sigh*. I hope you guys have a wonderful week and stay tuned for my post on Friday.

 

3 Things To Do To Keep Yourself Motivated as an Digital Artist

By | Art, Blog | No Comments

So being an artist is hard, and motivating yourself to do a new piece of art is even harder sometimes. The truth is every artist no matter what medium goes through a slump, but what separates the professionals from the amateurs are the ways we deal that slump. Especially if you are a working artist, and you don’t have the luxury to just throw in the towel and walk away from a project.  So here are three ways to keep yourself motivated!


1.Keep A Notebook

If you not new to my blog, then you guys have probably seen photos of my little red notebook. It’s where I keep notes when I’m learning a new tutorial, or put in fresh ideas that inspire me. I also use a Pinterest account to do this as well. I actually bookmark a lot of stuff that inspires me so I can come back to it later. This is especially will help you when you have artist’s block.

2.  Look At Someone Else’s’ Art

museum

I love working in digital art. I get a thrill from turning photos into pieces of art. However, I have nothing but awe and respect for traditional artists. It’s one of the reasons I do a monthly ‘Traditional Artists Corner’ here on my blog. Traditional Art can be a fount of inspiration for you as a Digital Artist.  I would suggest taking a stroll through your local museum, or checking out some art history books, or even checking through a few online galleries. We all steal a little bit of inspiration from each other as artists and you might find something that will jump-start your creativity!

3. Go Outside

woman walking down a road

Seriously, I’m always attached to my computer. However, this can become more than a little frustrating when you are stuck on something or if you feel a lack of motivation. The best advice is the advice I got from my mother who is a traditional artist. She basically told me to step away from my computer and go outside. It’simple advice, but I can tell you from experience that it works. I usually take a walk, take in some nature, or go outside and read a book in some sunshine and that usually recharges my muses’s battery.


So what keeps you motivated?  Let me know down in the comments!

Hot Mess

By | Blog, Real Life | No Comments

So yet another personal post guys! Seriously, I can’t believe it’s Monday again. Where does the time freaking go? I’m busy, busy, busy doing stuff or my main blog, doing art, and promoting all of my endeavors. Honestly, I wish I had more time in the day. Like I don’t mind the blogging, I don’t mind the art, but the promoting drives me crazy. There are a million articles to read, six social media stuff I have to post to, and I have been slipping with keeping up with my five twitter accounts.

I know I need to be more organzied, but I’m so freaking lazy I can’t even tell you. I just do everything off the cuff, and try to keep lists and pray that everything works. As for my home life, everything is cool, and going on as usual. My parents are gearing up for their 20th wedding anniversary and my mom has admitted that she was shocked that got this far.

And for me, honestly, love is like rock bottom on my list. I honestly don’t see myself falling in love ever again, and honestly,  the thought of spending decades with someone else is a bit scary. I personally just want to start making enough money to feed myself and buy the tiny house of dreams. People think I’m crazy that I have no interest in anybody right now, but again my sexuality is so weird that just summing up myself as queer is the only way I can do describe it.

I’m a homoromantic homoerotic gray-asexual, that shit right there is in two words a MOUTH FULL.  Like I’m sexually attracted to women, but I have no interest in like having real sex with other women or anybody else for that matter. If I fall in love with anyone, it would be probably a woman, but to be honest I don’t want to be with anyone right now or possibly ever.  And how in the fucking hell did I get on the fucking subject of my sexual/romantic life? Who the hell knows people?!!

I sort of long for the good old days when I thought sexuality was basically down to STRAIGHT and GAY. Ignorance is bliss folks. And my parents think: Oh, we don’t want you to die alone, and be a cat lady. Who is going to take care of you in your old age? How about the five kids I quasi-adopted? Or how about my friends, or how about I just take care of myself?

I’m concentrating on my career because for the first time in my life I know what I want to do with the rest of it. I love being an artist, and I love blogging. I want to make a career out of both.  So I’m working to do just that. And if I work hard, I will do that, but it’s a long road to success, especially if you are starting with zero experience in anything other than house making and kid wrangling.

I’ also afraid of success, and that is holding me back, folks. Like I know I should be promoting myself more, but there is a part of me that is afraid that I’m just going to screw up and not meet everyone’s expectations.  But I’m going to put my big girl panties on and be a freaking adult.

Anyway, this blog post is such a mess. I apologize if you managed to make your way through it. I got to get going. I have dishes to clean, and fic to read.  TaTa For Now!

3 Ways To Help Stop Trump’s Muslim Ban

By | Blog, Politics | No Comments

I wasn’t surprised that the Muslim ban happened, I was actually surprised that Trump didn’t write this executive action day one of his presidency.  This right here? Is the start of a Muslim holocaust, and as someone who has basic human decency and of someone is who is a religious minority makes all of this very scary to watch.  I actually got so anxious watching my Facebook feed last night that I had to turn off Facebook altogether. And although a Judge has put a momentary pause to the ban, it can easily be reenacted.dade

The time for action is now, and if you are like me who due to varied issues unable to go the protests that I think are still currently going on several airports in more than few major cities right now, then this is a way for you to help with the effort against this horrendous ban.

1 . Call You Representatives.

Since Trump’s Election,   I have been calling my representatives every week about the many horrendous things that Trump and his administration has inflicted on us.  If you don’t know how to call you representatives here is

House. gov to find your Representatives. 

You can also use this site 5 Calls to call your Representatives. 

And if you need scripts you can use this page on Indivisible Austin’s sites.  

I also found this article really helpful in teaching me the most effective way to call my representatives. 

2. Sign This Petition

Please take some time out to sign this petition on Moveon.org. 

3. Donate to the ACLU

You can do so here. Also, since I am a starving artist and I personally have no money to donate I’m an offering a free custom eBook cover to anyone who donates. Just send a copy of the receipt or a screencap to gigikiersten@gmail.com

 

 

Open Doors and Milestones

By | Blog, Real Life | No Comments

So yeah, I have been just reblogging political posts, but I thought it was high time for me to give you guys an update. I have been working, and by working I mean I have been working on my blog. My blog has gotten a lot more popular and I really have been concentrating on getting an ENGAGED audience and gradually monetizing my blog WTF The Mortal Instruments?!

I had to put Dress Them Up on hiatus, I have a feeling that blog is going to be big one day, but I’m putting all of my efforts into WTFTMI. Honestly, I can’t believe that it’s almost a year since this started that blog and I’m so happy how much this past year blogging as changed me as a person.

I was so afraid of stepping on any toes, I was so afraid to use my voice in the beginning days and now It has been worth every challenge I had to face and there endless ways for this blog to grow over time.

I’m also back to doing Graphic Design, no pure professional designs but I have been doing a lot of  fandom stuff because not only do I love to do it but because it’s a way to get my name out there.  I mean, my first clients were people from Fandom and I really hope that trend runs true. I think I’m going to do more fandom events as well and start networking and getting better at it.

The one thing that my year blogging at WTFTMI and finishing City of Ashes gave me the confidence to get back to writing. I have been writing by Dragon Natural Speaking, but it turns out it’s hard to dictate anything with kids. So I’m back to my old method of writing and using Text to Speech programs to proofread, which is annoying, but I had to do that with Dragon anyway.

I think I’m going to work my way into publishing my own book as well. But right now I’m taking it day by day, and I’m not going to rush it at all.  I’m just going to learn everything I can in the meanwhile.

Personally, I’m still waiting for my sister’s baby to come home. The babies came early and one of the babies, unfortunately, died in the womb. So now, we are waiting for all the red tape and stuff to finish before he comes home. We thought he would be home this week, but we still had some bureaucratic bullshit to deal with.

Also this week, the younger of my Irish Twins had a birthday yesterday and it was a low key thing. Niyah turned two years old yesterday. She was very excited about the cake and the ice cream and I can’t believe that they are both two years old. It’s more than a little alarming that they growing up so damn fast. A part of me wants to keep them little forever and another part of me wants them to hurry up and go to school so I can have eight blissful hours of quiet.

Anyway, I’m off to finish some much-needed projects and I will give you another update soon.

Virtual march makes Women’s March more accessible to people with disabilities

By | Blog, Politics | No Comments

Activism isn’t always accessible — and the Women’s March on Washington is no exception. For people who might not have the physical ability or stamina to join Saturday’s massive public protest, disability activists created the Disability March — an online movement that allows people with disabilities and chronic illnesses to participate virtually in the event.SEE ALSO: How to get involved with the Women’s March on Washington if you’re not in D.C.The Disability March organizers invite people living with disabilities to submit their names, photos and a statement on why they want to “march.” The images and text will be uploaded to the website in time for the Women’s March on Jan. 21, creating a virtual archive of people showing solidarity with the main event in Washington, D.C.”I began to wonder about other ways to be visible, especially for our community, besides marching”Sonya Huber, one of the organizers, was inspired to create the online movement after she realized attending the Women’s March wouldn’t be the best idea for her health. A disability rights activist and professor at Fairfield University in Connecticut, Huber lives with a few autoimmune disorders, including rheumatoid disease and Hashimoto’s disease. She also experiences some mobility problems.”The march, combined with the drive, would have done a number on my immune system at the beginning of a busy semester,” she told Mashable. But Huber knew she wasn’t alone, and she wanted to do something to help broaden access to the march for her community. “I began to wonder about other ways to be visible, especially for our community, besides marching — even though the march will of course include many disabled people,” she said. “Since the disabled community is going to be so impacted by the Republican agenda, it seemed that giving people a platform to tell their individual stories was most appropriate.”

Source: Virtual march makes Women’s March more accessible to people with disabilities

I thought I would share this! I’m not able to march due to a lot of issues (no child care for one) and that I’m agoraphobic. I was willing to brave having a panic attack to go if I could afford it, but since I can’t this is a nice alternative.  Please signal boost if you can!

‘Rise’ For Women’s Equality: A National Minute Of Silence Planned For January 21, 2017

By | Blog, Politics | No Comments

On Saturday, January 21, 2017, there are women’s marches and rallies planned in all 50 states. To inspire and mobilize in a symbolic action on behalf of the rights of women and girls, BETTY band member Alyson Palmer along with Gloria Steinem and others, have created the new initiative 1@1.At 1:00pm Eastern Time and the exact same moment in every time zone in America, 1@1 is asking women and their allies to stand up for equality for one minute of silent solidarity.  In a statement on the 1@1 website they explain:From Hawaii to Maine, Alaska to Florida, and every great state in between, for one shared silent minute, we rise for our mothers, our sisters, our daughters, and ourselves.1@1 is one calm, unifying moment for all who believe in the American dream of tolerance, liberty and justice for all. It is one simple minute to help us realize how similar we all are individually, how powerful we are, connected.Whether able to attend a rally or not, all Americans can join this unifying action on behalf of women, girls and the future of our nation.

Source: ‘Rise’ For Women’s Equality: A National Minute Of Silence Planned For January 21, 2017

I’m taking the pledge to do this moment of silence, because more now than ever people need to stand up for women’s rights.

Texas’s anti-transgender bathroom bill, explained – Vox

By | Blog, Politics, Uncategorized | No Comments

Last year, North Carolina Republicans passed a sweeping anti-LGBTQ law that, among other measures, prohibited transgender people from using the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity in schools and government buildings. The law inspired a furious backlash, leading businesses to boycott the state and contributing to Gov. Pat McCrory’s defeat on Election Day.Despite the backlash, Texas is gearing up to pass its own law prohibiting trans people from using the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity.On Thursday, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick unveiled SB6. The bill, if approved by the legislature, would prohibit trans people from using the bathroom or locker room for their gender identity in schools and other public buildings, with violations enforced through a civil fine of at least $1,000 per offense. It would also let businesses set anti-trans bathroom policies, overriding any local laws that say they can’t.

Source: Texas’s anti-transgender bathroom bill, explained – Vox

Hello, guys! I know it’s been a while since I did my last post. I have been really busy with my real life and with my other work. Especially, since this past week was the first week after the holiday season. So I  was really swamped at work.

However, this is not what this post is supposed to be about. I want to talk briefly about a very important subject of this anti-transgender bill that’s currently going through the Texas legislator. It is obvious that this bill is based on unsubstantiated paranoia and fear and it must not be passed at all costs.

Not only is this further oppressing a segment of the population that is already been seen so much discrimination both legally and socially. This is trying to strip the transgender residents of Texas basic human rights as the US citizens and transgender residents of their very dignity.

I have social anxiety and I was very nervous call my state representatives but I did it anyway because I value the rights of my transgender of my transgender brothers and sisters. And if you are any part of the LGBT+ community or even consider yourself an ally then you should you care about this! So please if you live in Texas, please drop everything now and call your state representatives.

 

And This Is Exactly Why Black Lives Still Fucking Matters

By | Blog, Politics | No Comments

Trigger Warning: Violence against woman, and childern.

A video of a Fort Worth, Texas, police officer antagonizing, assaulting and, ultimately, arresting a black mother who reported an assault on her son is circulating on social media.After the police officer has what appears to be a quiet exchange with the attacker, he strolls over to the mother, identified by family members on social media as Jacqueline Craig, and asks condescendingly, “What’s going on with you?”“My daughter and son came home, saying that this man grabbed him and choked him,” Craig says as her daughter, identified by family on social media as Brea Hymond, records. “I came around here and asked him. I said, ‘Why did you put your hands on my son?’ He said, ‘Oh, he threw some paper and I told him to pick it up.’ He said he defied him and that’s why he did it … you don’t have the right to choke somebody’s son. My son is 7 years old, you don’t have the right to grab him and choke him.”In response to Craig’s distress, the police officer asks in an accusing tone, “Why don’t you teach your son not to litter?”

Source: Woman Reports White Man Choked Her Son; Fort Worth, Texas, Police Assault, Arrest Her Instead

You guys remember when everyone was saying that this was a post-racial world? This shit right here proves that those guys were full of shit. As a black person, police brutality against my fellow black people is nothing new to me. Also, as a black person, the effects of systematic racism is also nothing new.

Yet, as a parent of black children, and as a resident of Texas where this case the particulars took place, especially hit me close to home. Because this could literally happen to me or any other person of color right now. If you are a black person, this could be you on the ground being tasered brutally arrested, this could be your child being choked by someone.

As citizens of this country, people are always telling us that we should trust the police and trust our authority figures to protect us. But, is if this is how the police treat us then how in good conscience is we supposed to trust these people to protect as when we ask them for help?!

And why people are trying to excuses this by using the excuse that Jacqueline Craig had traffic violations. It’s very obvious from the video that the officer did not arrest her for traffic violations, he arrested Craig because she didn’t stay in “her place” and pissed him off.

Also, how does traffic violations in any way excuse him not only arresting Craig but her fifteen-year-old daughter as well? Screw the officer been taking off-duty, this guy committed a criminal offense and he should be sitting in jail right now.

And this is incident right here on top of the many incidents that are continuing to be taped and recorded all over the country is the reason why we still must march in the streets. And why we still must advocate for a complete overhaul of our over-militarized police departments.

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