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Tip for reducing art theft

Sun Mar 8, 2015, 5:49 PM
Thought I'd mention this somewhere ;O; too lazy to draw something though, so a quick journal tip it is.

There's been quite a few times recently I've seen the work of artists I like being stolen, and I want to let you guys know so the same doesn't occur as often to you ;^; every time I see it, I feel bad as the artist just hasn't realised to do it... Which brings me onto the tip.

I've found that in order to prevent most art theft, it's all about the signature.
Placing the signature to the side of your work isn't going to do it. And yet this seems to be where the problem arises from most, excluding when there's no signature at all.

I recently had to go back to a very old journal doll to add a signature to it, which ruined the opacity of the art and gave it a white background, but I couldn't really care less by this point TT^TT Why did I do this? Well, because this was the one thing that kept popping up ALL THE TIME because people were stealing it. Pretty much all my other stuff was fine, but this one kept turning up again and again, "it's been stolen here!" "it's been used without credit here!". So in a way, I can count this as a sort of experiment. This, along with people not overlapping the signature to their work, compared to what I do with my signature normally, has led me to this conclusion.

If you want to prevent as much art theft as possible:
1 - Write your signature OVERLAPPING the drawing. Usually I leave it half on, half off on my drawings with transparent backgrounds.
2 - LOWER THE OPACITY! I tend to lower it to about 20%.

This makes it much harder for people to edit out the signature, and even if they are able to they would be discouraged to as it would be a lot more work than simply erasing a signature from the side of the drawing.

This also means it's especially important to overlap it with the main part of the drawing. If you notice on my comic strips where I sign each panel, sometimes the signature moves to a strange part of the panel instead of the corner. If you look closely you'll realise that this is because I'm making sure to overlap it with the character in the picture, instead of leaving it in an empty useless corner. If you don't overlap it with the main focus, people can easily crop out the signature, for example taking away part of the background it was overlapped on and no-one would be the wiser.

Another thing, if your work happens to be stolen even with the signature, it is most likely because the person didn't notice the transparent signature, in which case you can easily point it out to them and others.

One last thing, this won't prevent tracing. I currently don't actually know much about preventing tracing as it somehow hasn't happened to me yet. But it should hopefully prevent most theft.
Keep drawing and don't be discouraged by thieves ;v; I love you guys <3

  • Listening to: Fox Stevenson
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:iconmythkin:
mythkin Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2015   Digital Artist
so would you say it's better to put a more hidden signature with a lowered opacity, as opposed to a big annoying one slapped on the edge of the drawing like this, or do you just do that so as not to distract from the actual artwork?
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:iconthisaccountisdead462:
ThisAccountIsDead462 Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah ;v; that way your signature's still there and visible, but the image itself can be viewed without being distracted I guess TTvTT hehe
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:iconmythkin:
mythkin Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2015   Digital Artist
alright, thank you!! 
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:iconincyray:
Incyray Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
aye, i put this in sneaky superlow opacity right over say the shoulder or a a leg where you it's to low to inhibbit viewing but i na good location where you just can't crop off that one part it overlaps over without botching the picture.
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:iconserrara:
Serrara Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Holy shit you use signatures? :iconwtfboomplz:
Reply
:iconthisaccountisdead462:
ThisAccountIsDead462 Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
They're a little tricky to spot, but I never upload a drawing without one >v< it just takes a bit of searching, hehe
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:iconserrara:
Serrara Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Wow XD
What are you doing, Sophia?
Reply
:iconfuzzy-dreams:
Fuzzy-Dreams Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh my gosh, I didn't even know you used signatures, you hide them so well ;;
Reply
:iconthisaccountisdead462:
ThisAccountIsDead462 Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Hehe, yeah TTvTT I don't want to take away from the picture so they tend to be a little tricky to spot
Reply
:iconperxenate:
Perxenate Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Very helpful! I had my art stolen for the first time last week and I've started doing signatures now, but I like to incorporate them into the image by putting them on something in the picture, like a book cover or a gravestone or something :,)
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:iconmooni-art8:
mooni-art8 Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2015  Student Artist
Omg thanx!!! I will make sure to do that!!!!
Reply
:iconflashpelt1:
Flashpelt1 Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2015  Student General Artist
I took licky Icon commissions a while back, would put my signature in a different place on each frame. But people dont seem to care anymore, I've had almost all my old meme Icon's stolen and reposted to several accounts on different websites as well as dA ;n; one person even copied my username on their account and said they were me.

in new pictures I hide the signature in the drawing in some sorta weird way so that you really really have to look for it.
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:iconlordmoonbiscuit:
LordMoonBiscuit Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2015  Student Digital Artist
i will actually set my sig on a new layer and mess with the layer type. usually i put it on "screen" or "lumi & shade" and put it on the body or neck of the character i'm drawing. it also helps lowing the opacity. putting sigs in a spot with a lot of colors or shades etc in it makes it really hard to get rid of
Reply
:icondeepdarkhana:
DeepDarkHana Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2015  Student General Artist
I always sign the shoes if they're visible, or put my sig in some fairly inconspicuous place inside the drawing~
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:iconcoldioc:
coldioc Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2015  Student General Artist
I don't overlap my signature, but I draw it really close to the character in the picture. Like,  say I was drawing it next to the arm, I would make the signature curve in the same way the arm does and it's pretty close to it. Just a few pixels away.

Do you think that's fine . .? 

lif e - SPEED PAINT ADDED Like in the top middle/rightish side there's my signature really close but not actually on it . . yea
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:iconthisaccountisdead462:
ThisAccountIsDead462 Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Personally I wouldn't do it ;_; it can still be edited out very easily if it isn't touching (one person I looked at very recently who has had her art stolen a lot puts her signature very close to the art but not touching). I've made free lineart where the signature curves and touches the lines and people have still edited it out. It was only because you can't exactly add signatures to free lineart though TTvTT without it getting in the way. I tell people to credit me instead for that stuff, and have gotten lucky so far, though often people get their hands on it and say they don't know who the original maker of the lines is :/ which is pretty annoying. Ever heard of google image sourcing?
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:iconcoldioc:
coldioc Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2015  Student General Artist
Ahh yea ..  I suppose they could
hh maybe I should make the signature more on the work then? I wouldn't want anything to get stolen

I had someone steal my work a long time ago and they left my signature there really obviously even though some of them could have been edited out easily and I'm just like "dude my signature is right there" and they're "that's my signature what are you even talking about"
//slaps them
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:iconpolarade:
Polarade Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
One time I saw someone erase the artist signature, and just type over it in a different font.
I mean look at this- 
ilikecookiez123.deviantart.com…
Original-
therougecat.deviantart.com/art…
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:iconcoldioc:
coldioc Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2015  Student General Artist
omg this chat was furom a whileee ago x'D lol anyways
yea i understand that but i don't type my signatures and i write them really close so
i mean yea they COULD get erased but it would be a lot harder
and pm impossible on drawings that have backgrounds lol
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:iconpolarade:
Polarade Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I don't type my signature either.
But I always forget to put it there unless it is a really big piece.
Like I would put it on this-
sparklingabsol.deviantart.com/… (My signature is bad)
But not on this-
sparklingabsol.deviantart.com/…

Backgrounds... Lol
Reply
:iconcoldioc:
coldioc Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2015  Student General Artist
aa i always put it on mine
it's a habit
occasionally i furget but xD usually i don't
Reply
:iconthisaccountisdead462:
ThisAccountIsDead462 Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Pffft TTvTT That's never happened to me, but it sounds hilarious omg... Like could they even be trying to ask for more trouble??????
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:iconcoldioc:
coldioc Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2015  Student General Artist
It was honestly pretty funny that they thought they could get away with that XD
They said that "their art" was dated as posted more recently than mine because apparently I hacked into deviantART and changed the dates.
iM WONDERING WHO THEY THOUGHT THEY COULD POSSIBLY FOOL WITH THIS  . . //dies laughing
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:iconthisaccountisdead462:
ThisAccountIsDead462 Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
It's like... backwards trolling. That's what it is. They are trolling themselves TTvTT what an idiot...
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:iconcoldioc:
coldioc Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2015  Student General Artist
Exactly |3
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:iconayinai:
Ayinai Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's sad that people need to do things like these for preventing theft ._. I already have to start doing this, I've got my pixels stolen a couple of times though =/
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:iconthisaccountisdead462:
ThisAccountIsDead462 Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah, it's unavoidable TTATT I'm lucky I started doing this from very early on, I didn't even know that it would result in very easy theft... I guess my intuition just led me to do that, and it grew on me ;v;
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:iconayinai:
Ayinai Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It never grew on me, I'm innocent enough to think that my art will stay safe T_T and it didn't obviously ._.'
Reply
:iconastr0fish:
Astr0fish Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you, Taiinty, that was a great lesson *sits on the ground*
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:icons--l--n--a--l--u:
S--l--N--A--L--U Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
even though I'm not a very good artist I still have a watermark I put over my best works :'D
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:iconthisaccountisdead462:
ThisAccountIsDead462 Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I would put it on every one if I were you TTvTT I know it seems like a hassle but it becomes second nature eventually, I can't even let a traditional piece for school work go without leaving a signature somewhere. It's all the better once it's been a while and none of your uploaded pieces have been stolen ;v; cos even if it doesn't look good it will come back to haunt you somehow TTvTT;;;
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