All posts in opinion

Infringement or Appropriation?

Posted by / February 10, 2009 / Categories: illustration, links, news, opinion, politics, teaching / 0 Comments

Recently there has been much discussion with my peers regarding copyright infringement, when is it OK to “reference” another artist work. Where do you draw the line on copying reference too closely? Should you get permission? Should you give credits? Once the work is created (copied) can you sell it, sell reproduction rights to anyone, can you even register the copyright of a slightly changed image? Well that’s a lot to discuss and I currently don’t have the time to go into detail with all of it but I wanted to make some points and share some links about it here.

Shepard Fairey of Obey Giant and the famous Obama Poster is getting some criticism about infringing on other artist rights.

Learn more about it here from a critique by Mark Vallen.

I can’t say that everything that Fairey has done has been fair use. But I believe most of the political stuff is perfectly legit.

From the words of Julie Mueller Brown: “He “appropriates” work from older styles and changes it to fit his agenda, he is anti-capitalistic and makes reference to early socialism posters. Its perfectly legit!

Mike Lowery says “I say he’s legit. The whole point is that he work references old propaganda in a way that strips it of its message and content. It’s the same as Liechtenstein’s comic paintings or Warhol’s diagram paintings, no?”

Rick Lovell sees this as a great opportunity to learn about what right and wrong. I whole heartily agree!
“There is clearly a great deal of debate among artists, art historians and attorneys about appropriation and it’s implications. This entry on Wikipedia (not the most scholarly source) is the tip of the iceberg, but it shines a light on an age-old dilemma about what art is, and what is art.”

Steven Heller of the Daily Heller comments about this showing other interesting appropriations of art in his 02-11-09 post.


Now here is a case where copying is done on the sly and is wrong.
Comic Book illustrator David Mack has traced his way to fame.

Todd Goldman has many infringements to his name.

There is another infringement issue I would like to mention but it’s still too fresh since it happened today and hits home. Ask me about it.

So the next time you use reference think again about if it’s appropriate or not.

Here are some resources to consider to learn more.

What is Copyright Protection?

Stanford Copyright and Fair Use

10 Big Myths About Copyright Explained


New Personal Work

Posted by / May 24, 2008 / Categories: opinion, personal work, recent work, teaching / 1 Comment
This is a continuation of a demo I did for my Electronic Illustration class. It started as a using shapes in Photoshop tutorial and ended up more like a photo montage. This is not what I normally do but I like the way it turned out. The concept was to expand on the Coexist bumper sticker and movement into a more fleshed out image. The larger version to me reveals a texture of a colorful oil painting and on top is water like symbols. To loosely represent that oil and water don’t mix. The water drop represents one person’s willingness to spread the coexist philosophy making a ripple effect in the oil water mix. Deep and not illustrative in the normal sense. But I bet I could get away with it talking about it in an art gallery. People love this deep stuff. 

What do you think? Do more or keep doing the commercial illustration?


Posted by / January 26, 2008 / Categories: commentary, news, opinion / 2 Comments

This is an outrage! I bet Saddam Hussein was kicking himself for not having thought of this in time. If anyone reading this has any other info or proof to prove or disprove this please let me know. I only want the truth.

Why Do Women Live Longer?

Posted by / January 12, 2008 / Categories: commentary, opinion / 0 Comments

But seriously folks! We all know that women live longer than men. Since the dawn of “man”, women have outlived their friends and family no matter what race, where they live in the world, and how rich or poor they are. I was curious today to find a scientific reason why this occurs due to a discussion I was having with my wife, her mom, and grandmother. We had some basic disagreements and I was not going to win being outnumbered 3 to 1. So here is what I found.

from Maxim Magazine
“Although guys are stronger and faster than women, women outlive men in most countries, in some cases by more than 10 years. In the US, life expectancy for men and women at birth is about 72 years and 79 years, respectively. Why? For starters, men work dangerous jobs, fight wars, and go to prison – activities not conducive to long lives – far more often than women. We also experience a greater risk of heart disease after age 40, whereas women aren’t really at risk until they reach menopause. (Testosterone not only increases cholesterol levels but also causes recklessness that leads both to violence and to impress-your-friends miter-saw accidents.) Still other researchers attribute the difference to stress. “Socially speaking, they are just better coping mechanisms for girls,” says Peg Jordan, president of Health & Lifestyle, Inc., in Oakland, CA.

from the Economist
That question can be answered at two levels. An evolutionary biologist would tell you that it is because women get evolutionary bonus points from living long enough to help bring up the grandchildren. Men, by contrast, wear themselves out competing for the right to procreate in the first place. That is probably true, but not much help to the medical profession.…

Here is a link to an article on WebMD. I’m sure there are many other quotes out there. Make a comment with them here if you like.

So it’s not necessarily that women are that much better, it’s that most men are just stupid and let testosterone take over. I try to live my life outside most of the stereotypes of men discussed in the above quotes, so maybe, just maybe I will beat the odds. I’m married and only want to impress her, I don’t work at a dangerous job, fight, or do violent or dangerous things (beside driving around), never have been in prison, I don’t do stupid things to impress my friends or family (at least I don’t think so). I’m adopted so I don’t know my biological family medical history. I guess I do stress more than most, but maybe not as much as my wife. Only time will tell for me, but as time has already told, women will always out live men.