Monday, May 25, 2015

An Artist's Dilemma

It's a long-standing dilemma for heraldic artists: Do they put pictures of their work on the internet because doing so can help to drive sales of their works, or do they not post pictures of their work on the internet because others may download those images and use them without authorization or crediting the author of the work?

Many artists do indeed go ahead and post pictures of their work on-line, because it does assist them in making sales and earning a living from their art.  But it is not uncommon that sometimes those images are found to appear on other websites or other places, without the authorization of the creator and very often with even crediting them.

A recent case in point is that of sculptor Patrick Damiaens, whose website showcasing his wonderful work is linked from this blog in the "Heraldic Artists' Websites" section down the left-hand column.  (If you haven't visited his site yet, please do so.  He's a very talented sculptor.)  A picture of a unique carving that he had made for one of his clients and posted on his website appears to have been used as the model for the design on a candle being sold in a chain of stores in Europe.  So you can decide for yourself whether or not his work was plagiarized, here's a photo comparing the design found on the candle to Mr. Damiaens' original carving:

There's a lot more to this story, of course, but rather than repeat it all here, I recommend that you go to the May 14, 2015 post entitled "Did ZARA HOME commit plagiarism?" on his blog and read the whole thing for yourself.  That post, and additional photographs, can be found at

As I said, it's a dilemma for artists of all sorts, not just heraldic artists.  Do you post pictures of your work on the internet, knowing that it's probably the very best way to boost sales of your work, but also knowing that those pictures may be used by others in unauthorized ways and for which you may not even be given proper credit?

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