Features 8-30-10

This week I am going with a theme of the dreamworld and the subconscious mind. We often dream to vent out our fears and stresses from our waking lives. I was looking for images that were dreamy, spiritual, and surreal; and also ones dealing with our deepest fears. Writing, especially poetry, is often dreamy and full of subconscious imagery. I tried to pick writing that dealt with two of our biggest themes in dreams, death and love. Some of the writing just sounded like a dream feels.
I will start with the image that inspired the theme:
Power of dream
Power of a Dream by LisaMM

I Give You My Flower by Linaji

I am giving you my flower,
Because I feel your seed explode
The cosmos gets lonely on Saturday.

My flower has a shameless smell that may
conjure you a dream
This dream will give you strength

Where you are I have been
The soil was rich with nitrates and oxides
But come certain times of the year
That soil turns to dust

You are left to fend for yourself
And the barren garden burns your
Eyes and nose

So come over here and let me hold your
Hand, let me just understand
And give you my flower.

Linaji 2010

Dolphin Dreaming by Angel Gold

The Crescent Moon by JetMannHenry

You will lay;
on the crescent moon.

Leave yourself behind.


I will play
in the memory of..


in the memory of…


in the memory of….



We will stay,
masked in the shadows
dancing on mood dust
running on crevises
sleeping alone
on the surface of..
the crescent moon. ©

Seum by vampvamp

Unfolded Down-Under by Lenny Carpet Cleaner

spring is the rising of the leaves
the thinning out of Steves

jack and jill lying on a roll
fit for the uranium pit

licking up the frost off the clit of now
the hills are alive with the likes of you

beyond the outsiders, momentary gods
trip the liff of thought, vanity’s fete

of course you can stay
august is really the month of may

holy spirit! blasphemed the puritan
tan 61 degrees is just a PhD

oh, it’s a long way to the prawn shop
if you beget to sell Johann’s Seoul

dude looks like a lady
but(t) the lady is a tramp
tom thumb waits, I just can’t

a tragicomedy reversed
the cacophony of
well meant rehearsals, a-ha!

“time for elevenses?”
the buck stops here.

steel breast
Steel Breast Light Arms by Rosa Cobos

When Nothing Is A Good Thing by Sandy Sutton

They tell me that
having nothing is
good for the soul
being nothing is different
the art of having nothing is
it makes you realise
who you are
when you may
count yourself
as possessions
and a figure on paper
that is an accrued
total of your fiscal wealth
the art of having nothing is
an accrued total
of you
of your
of your good deeds
and your bad
it is the thing
you will carry
with you when
the end is near
when in your fear
you realise
that it’s your
vision of yourself
that matters
in the end
not your possessions
not your money
not even the love you see
in the eyes of your children
or even their children
for that matter

it is the art of you
the art of life
the paintings you create
within yourself
the sculpture
you have created
out of you
for you and only
the image
you have of
is the only you
that matters

It Is You

Judgement by Martin Muir

It Stalks All of Us by Berns

But to die in the joy of knowing that I pursued my dream to the end or just the beautiful beginning by Blanchot

How poor a creature he must be who in his last moment cries out,
“But if only, I had followed my heart, eschewing the cold logic of my head and the creeping ice of the compartmental crypt so soon to be?”

I refuse that being.
I refuse his cowardice and the stale scent of the pillow at his side.

Rather, I celebrate my dream: realized!
I steadfastly refuse all issue of doubt:
“Do you have any idea what you are in for?”

Fools to have even asked: for my answer can only be a celebration of the equivocal. Nonetheless an unprecedented celebration it damn will be.
“Yes, I am ‘in for’ a love sublime: a love, which most will approach only in the perfection of nature’s allowance of the summer peach’s nectar.”
“No, for I am also in for an adventure the likes of which would make a proud woman of Scheherazade herself.”

Will I make it through the thousand and one nights?
“Seek thy oracle not in this stone abode.”
Will I live every night I have to the fullest?
“You’re goddamn right!”

While the life of the mind may well appear—as it so often did to me—the apogee of human achievement; it is only through the chambers of the heart that transcendence sings its siren’s song.

Long live the heart!
Mysteries, joys, pains, and all; glorify the hymn of love and of lovers!

© 08/25/09

Goddess of Light by Scott Black

Credits – more trouble than they’re worth?

Well, in my opinion they’re worth every bit of trouble. It shows respect to other artists and to the hard work they put in, and it’s a nice thank you and show of appreciation that someone went to quite some effort to provide a source that you can use, often for free. Not a lot to ask then, a little credit?

However, it IS trouble, unless you prepare before posting your work.

Most artists who create photo manipulations use some of their own stock and some that others kindly provided – be it textures or models – but all should be credited. This can be easy if you are organised. Being organised is easy if you know how.

Here are some of my tips. I’ve divided them into three steps:

Preparation, Working Stage, and Posting


  • Create folders on your PC/Mac:- One for textures- One for stock- One for custom brushes
  • When you download an image from the net, download it or copy it into one or the other of the two folders, depending on the image.
  • If you download more than one image from a particular source, e.g. a stock account on DeviantArt, create a sub folder for that account, e.g. Black Rose Stock DA or Blue Rose Flickr etc.
  • If there is an option to favourite the image, e.g. in DeviantArt, do so. It will automatically be added to your account into your favourites and make it easier to find it later. Otherwise, bookmark it – you can create bookmark folders the same way as you create folders on your PC/MAC.
  • Be careful when you download a single image. Sometimes the source of the image will not part of the file name. Make sure you add it yourself by changing the file name to the image name plus the source.
  • If you download form an unusual source, add a text file to the folder on your PC where you note the source.

    Sample Layer Palette

    Sample Layer Palette

Working Stage

When adding textures or stock to your image make sure you type in the name and source for each one in the layers palette. That way you won’t get confused later if you used a lot of stock and textures (see image on the right-handside).

I even name my own stock/textures so I know they’re mine and so I don’t later worry where I got them from. This is especially important if you edit the textures you download as I do – I often change the colour, change levels, blur them or mix two together which then makes it difficult to see which image I’ve used.

Posting Stage

  1. Open the image so you can see the layer palette (as above).
  2. Now that you’ve favourited and bookmarked your sources and named them in your image, adding credits to any posting will be easy.
  3. Next, find each of the sources you used in your image and open it in a separate tab in your browse
  4. Once they’re all open (that includes any custom brushes I’ve used) you can get working. If you use MyFreeCopyright, type a title and add the category and browse for the image, if you’re not using MyFreeCopyright, leave this step out and just open the site you want to upload the image to and click in the description box.
  5. I always start with the model if I used one and then list the rest by category – stock, textures, and then brushes. Click on the tab for the first source you used, copy the link.
  6. Go back to the site you’re uploading your image to and paste the link in the description box in a format something like this ‘model, name of the image, name of the source’:link.
  7. Continue doing this for all of your sources until you have a list that looks something like the list at the bottom.
  8. Now you can copy and paste this to any other site you want to upload your image to and edit the formatting as required.
  9. Post your image with credits. 🙂
  10. The final step is to let the artists know you’ve used their sources and give them a link so they can look at your fabulous art. I use Firefox and the add-on Clippings for this. Clippings will allow you to save snippets of text that you can retrieve at a click and paste into any text box on the net. Great time saver. 🙂 I saved some text that says something along the lines of “Thank you for the use of your stock, I’ve used it here: “.

    It may seem like a lot of work and lots of steps, but once you get organised it’s much easier and quicker than having to hunt around for hours to try and find that elusive image and its owner and you have the good feeling that you’ve done the right thing… and if that wasn’t enough, your credits will encourage others to credit and also will get lots of traffic back to your image. 🙂 Hope this helps…


Model, Craft11 by faestock:http://faestock.deviantart.com/art/Craft11-117473738

Alison Ashwell for storm clouds and cracked mud:http://alisonashwell.blogspot.com/

Turn back time, Texture 4, Princess of Shadows:http://princess-of-shadows.deviantart.com/art/turn-back-time-texture-pack-126698813

Hardcore Grunge, Texture 4, Princess of Shadows:http://princess-of-shadows.deviantart.com/ (Collection removed from DeviantArt)

Feather Brush by Silinias:http://silinias.deviantart.com/art/Feather-Brushes-PS-01-33664894

Cloud Brushes HiRes Nr.1 of 5 by leboef:http://leboef.deviantart.com/art/Cloud-Brushes-HiRes-Nr-1-of-5-50804718

Copyright for Artists and Writers – pitfalls, current developments, and solutions

Copyright to our own work is not just a matter of vanity but a right to artists and writers all over the world. Recently it has been under great pressure from various sides:

There is the Orphan Works Bill in the US which is continually rearing its ugly head. Read more here and here.

Then there is Clause 43 of the Digital Economy Bill in the UK which is very hot right now as it will be decided on April 6 2010 (not much time!!!) – if you’re in the UK, check out these links to do something about it as there is still time to protest about Clause 43 of the digital economy bill, which deals with orphan works.

A comment

Protest Site

Find your MP

Both bills deal with orphan works and are lobbied by big companies like Google. The idea is that where it is difficult or impossible to find the owner of a copyrighted image you are allowed to use the image as long as you undertook reasonable steps to find the owner. The phrasing for both the Orphan Works Bill and Clause 43 of the Digital Economy Bill is suitably vague to allow for misuse. This can cause all sorts of problems, from illustrators who sold an image with an exclusive license that isn’t exclusive any longer if it is used by someone else who claims it was an orphan work, to your image being used in a context you would not approve of, but also as far as the rights of the original owner of the image go when trying to put a stop to the unauthorised use of an image. Under current law the owner of the image will receive damages and legal costs, under the new law they will only receive remuneration for the ‘current value’ of the image.

All this doesn’t include the problems that already occur with copyright theft where you suddenly find your images on a site like Zazzle or other such sites that print on demand. Do you want to see your image on a mug, a t-shirt or a pair of shoes without your knowledge or permission or your poem published on a forum under someone else’s name?

This brings us to the next problem, what can you do if you find your copyright infringed? If it’s a print on demand site or a forum you can contact the administrator and ask for the image/writing to be taken down. However, requests like this are often ignored as the administrator has no real incentive to protect your image/writing, especially without proof. So we need to give them proof. It is difficult and costly to obtain copyright from the Copyright Office (be it in the UKEurope, Australia, or the US) so that’s often a no-go for poor artists (and writers). What then can we do?

Here are a few tips:

  • Add your name to each image (somewhere in the corner) and to every piece of writing.
  • Use MyFreeCopyright for both images and writing.
  • Show the details of the MCN number obtained with MyFreeCopyright next to the image/writing or in the description.
  • On sites like Redbubble and DeviantArt opt for the watermark – yes, it’s not pretty BUT it protects you from lazy thieves.
  • When you post your images or writing anywhere else, add your own watermark – for images create a transparent text layer over the top of the image with your copyright details – for writing add the copyright information at the bottom or post your writing as an image where the copyright is an integral part of the writing – here’s a template to use as a background for your writing – free.
  • Don’t post anything without copyright information or where it is difficult or impossible to immediately realise who the owner of the work is.

And then there is the other side of the coin, as an artist, you should always respect the copyright of other artists. This means, for example, if you use stock images, textures etc in a photo manipulation, always add a credit to the artist and image/texture you used. The same is true if you use an image as a reference. When you copyright your image on MyFreeCopyright, make sure you give credit for all your sources on there as well.

For writers the same applies, although writers are less likely to use other people’s work, they still need to protect themselves and as long as sites like Redbubble and DeviantArt don’t provide the means to protect the writings posted sufficiently, we will need to do what we can.

It is important that you keep a record if you use MyFreeCopyright – if you use Thunderbird, use one of the backup programs (e.g. Mozbackup) that you can download for free and make regular backups of your e-mail.

Above all, don’t ever forget that the copyright to your creation is YOUR right. Fight for it and fight to keep this right. It’s important. Apart from the fact that someone else might cash in on your hard work they might also use it for something which you wouldn’t approve of…..