Noticing where Credit is Due

It was not until this summer when I started take my design work to a professional level by putting my portfolio online did I realize the many of rules and issues that are encountered with what is “copying” someone’s work. To create a design piece of one’s own, just like making a recipe, people always look to other work for inspiration. If I wanted to design a background for a poster I was creating, I would simply go on Google and find a number of backgrounds with I felt fit my piece. Then I would download or copy a number of the ones that I liked, (this process is called creating a swipe), and choose a background from this narrowed-down “swipe” of mine. Now, the issue that many young artists encounter is re-creating or altering the background so that it is your own. I cannot use any of the backgrounds I chose without altering it in Photoshop or Illustrator by changing the color, for example. I have come to realize that as an artist, I want the work that I make to be mine, and as easy as it is to just copy and paste a background into my work, I would not be able to truly say, “This artwork is mine.” This is why whenever I go to download a font on the internet, I always see a note underneath saying, “Please credit so-and-so for their work,” or it will say, ” for personal use only,” meaning that I can use their font if I am not sharing my work with public. The trust is in the hands of the individual that uses the font. Moreover, now probably due to the number of copyright issues, you have to pay to use someone font, and many fonts or over $35!

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