What was your inspiration about becoming a creator? What do you enjoy most about the creative process?
I guess I was one of those kids who could not put down my pencil, or brush, or whatever creative outlet I pursued that day. I loved creating everything from music, to sketches and floral arrangements. And I absolutely loved to share the process with everybody standing still long enough to listen.
But then at some point I grew up and got a grownup job and, for a long time, I forgot about painting.
Until I became very stressed. Like so many others.
And then I remembered the dusty box of supplies tucked away under my sofa.
This was the start. I found out how much I still loved diving into the process and just giving myself that mental break. Since then, I always turn to art when I need an extra energy boost or just to get home to my body and senses.
Can you take us through the creative process? How long does it take? Does everything you produce make money?
I can’t seem to stick to one process. So, I often switch between several. I do quick sketches in pencil or line and wash. These take from 5 to 30-minutes and I love that it gives me a short break. If I have more time, I always work on a loose floral watercolor piece. At the moment my paintings are BIG and bold and take hours and hours, so it’s nice to be able to walk to and from them. Sometimes it can take a few weeks to finish a piece.
And NO! I create a ton of stuff that never gets sold. Some pieces are given as gifts and some I hang on my walls. But most just end up in a drawer as a learning experience.
When did you first become aware of copyright and why?
I actually became aware of copyright because I wanted to use photos to paint from. So, I did a lot of research to make sure I only use references that are free and legal to use. I didn’t want to steal photographers’ works by mistake. Later I noticed that my work could actually be stolen as well (and yes that came as quite the surprise).
Have you experienced copyright infringement and, if so, how has it affected you personally and financially?
A few times I have been notified by my followers on Instagram that someone stole my art and that came as a big shock to me. I think the first time was an account that tried selling my Instagram posts as art prints along with a lot of other artists’ works. I wrote about this in my Instagram story and asked people to go check it out and see if they recognized some of artists so they could be notified. And then I got everybody to report the account so it got shut down.
But these experiences are very unsettling. Art comes from the soul, so to see someone trying to sell your soul as a cheap art print is horrifying. Thankfully, the Instagram community is so good at helping each other in this fight.
What is the best advice that you would give other creators in your field about copyright and how to protect themselves?
My advice is to not let infringement scare you. I totally know that it can seem scary and it’s tempting to just keep your art to yourself. But by sharing it, you become part of a community that looks out for you. We are all in the same boat and sharing is so rewarding that it’s a shame to let infringers stop you. And if it happens, then there is almost always something you can do. Afterall, if you register your works for copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office.
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