When Copyright Infringement Makes Artists Feel Like Shit

I like to think about myself as a strong person. I am aware that this is toxic masculinity. Men don’t cry. Men don’t need emotional support. Men take care of themselves and don’t need somebody else to fix their problems for them. Men are emotionally self-sufficient, and their happiness doesn’t cling upon social approval. It’s funny that despite having been raised as a woman I still ended up internalizing the worst aspects of toxic masculinity while growing up. Then again, maybe those aren’t the worst parts of toxic masculinity—at least I don’t wear tactical body armor, nor do I own any guns, and I don’t do anything misogynistic. It could have been worse.

Yet despite being rationally aware that toxic masculinity is stupid, I still feel that I don’t want to perceive myself as a pussy. A “pussy,” what a stupid word, straight from the repertoire of misogynistic jerks. Why the hell was femininity associated with weakness? Oh yeah, because we live in a sexist society. Still, I don’t want to see myself as weak. I’m not particularly worried that another human being might perceive me as weak. My self-esteem and self-perception doesn’t depend upon how other people see me. Instead, this is about how I see myself, and when talking about “weakness” in this context, I mean emotional strength.

Here’s the problem—my current emotional state is something I associate with weakness. I allowed the actions of another person to get to me. I allowed another person to hurt me. Dealing with copyright infringement is always unpleasant, it’s an uncomfortable chore artists have to do. On a regular basis, we have to waste our time sending DMCA takedown notices to various websites. Unfortunately, this time the art thief actually got to me, they managed to make me feel sad beyond my usual annoyance about having to waste my time. My last blog post was about a particularly nasty art thief who used my images without permission for their logotype.

When I finally got Facebook moderators to delete her posts in which she had used my art without permission, the art thief turned the tables on me by publishing a post in which she pretended to be the victim. She complained about the evil person who was amusing themselves by harassing her for no good reason. Her loyal followers wrote plenty of comments expressing sympathy and wishing her luck and perseverance in getting her deleted images back online in her Facebook page. Oh right, and her kid also went to harass me on my Facebook page. I also have a suspicion that somebody tried to hack my Facebook page. I got some e-mails about an attempt to reset my Facebook password. [Read more…]

Art Theft Stinks: Blam’s Coon Are Stinky Art Thieves who Disrespect Copyrights

Blam's Coon

Update: It’s over. Probably. See the explanation at the end of this blog post.

Please, help me out. I am currently dealing with an especially vile art thief who is using my art for their logotype without my permission. I politely asked them to stop using my art. They refused. They were rude and insulting towards me, and our e-mail conversation ended with them adding my e-mail address to their spam filters.

Normally, a public shaming campaign is something I reserve for the last resort. I prefer to first send a polite e-mail. If an art thief refuses to stop using my art, then I send DMCA takedown notices to various websites where they have posted stolen images. Unfortunately, this time I am dealing with a person who adamantly wants to fight for their imaginary right to abuse artists. Moreover, I don’t have the patience to send dozens of DMCA takedown requests for every single image they have uploaded online (this particular art thief has been immensely proliferate, uploading dozens of stolen images on Facebook and in their personal website).

Thus I am organizing a public shaming campaign. Even thieves care about their reputation and social approval. A bit of social pressure should help even the most stubborn thief understand that their actions are illegal and won’t be tolerated by the society. Copyright infringement is a serious problem that is harming content creators, and we as a society should not tolerate it. [Read more…]

How Pale Silverpoint and Metalpoint Drawings Really Are?

A silverpoint drawing by Leonardo da Vinci.

A silverpoint drawing by Leonardo da Vinci.

Looking at online images of silverpoint or metalpoint drawings, you will probably notice that many of them look very light and pale. Is this the norm? Why are they so light? And most importantly—how comes that only some metalpoint drawings look so pale while others appear much darker? Different computer monitors display images differently, thus you cannot be certain whether some artwork appears on your monitor the way it was intended to look like by the artist who scanned/photographed their work. Moreover, with image editing software like Photoshop, it is possible to alter how light or dark some digital image looks like. So how do these drawing actually look like in real life? [Read more…]

Metalpoint Drawing: Horse Head

Here is my latest artwork. This is something I have been working on lately. This is a metalpoint drawing featuring a horse head. Image size is 30 x 22 cm. This image is drawn with 24 karat gold, palladium, and aluminum on a specially prepared surface.

A metalpoint drawing is made by dragging a piece of metal (usually a wire) across a surface prepared with an abrasive ground. As the metal is drawn along the surface, tiny particles of metal are left behind, creating a mark.

Original drawing is available for sale. The price is €600. Contact me if you are interested in purchasing it. Shipping is possible to anywhere in the world.

Metalpoint drawing of a horse head.

A metalpoint drawing featuring a horse head.

[Read more…]

How to Restore and Repair Old Wooden Windows

Wooden window restoration is something I am very familiar with. I have antique wooden windows in my home. Well, they are sort of old and differ from how windows are made nowadays, so I guess I can use the word “antique.” The house where I live was built in 1939. I do not know how old the windows are. It is possible that they are from later than the house itself, but they definitely are at least several decades old. More importantly, they are really pretty. I moved to my current home seven years ago. Back then the windows were covered with countless layers of flaky, dirty, old paint. Now they are restored and saturated with linseed oil.

Window

My bedroom window. It’s made from pine wood and covered with linseed oil. The plant on the windowsill is Nepenthes x ventrata.

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Symbolic Photography

This is a self-portrait I made two months ago, back then I published it with the title “Bold and Proud.”

Avester

For some people merely staying alive requires being bold. When you don’t fit into any of the boxes that the society has been trying to enforce for centuries, when your mere existence is an eyesore for conservative people who believe in traditional gender roles, you have to be bold just to survive. When all the “rules” the society tries to enforce clash with your personal lifestyle choices, all that’s left to be is to stay bold and proud. [Read more…]

Snowy White Christmas Fluffy

Where I live, right now the weather is rainy, temperature hovers at about +4°C. We had some snow back in November, but now all of it has long melted. This year, there will be no snowy white Christmas for me. This means, it’s time to dig up some photos from my old archives. These images are taken two years ago (in March, actually).

Pomeranian Dog

[Read more…]