If you’ve browsed around this site for any length of time, it’s pretty likely that you’ve come across a warning that looks like this:
Please respect the artist and do not use this image for any purposes (forum avatar, signature, Web graphics, banners, any personal use or commercial gain).
Do not trace, copy, or alter in any way. Do not remove signatures or watermarks.
Do not save and/or upload elsewhere (Photobucket, Flickr, Tumblr, etc.).
It’s a pretty serious warning. I mean, it’s in red text, and bold, and it has those exclamation points. That’s all kinds of serious.
It means I don’t want to see my art (and more importantly, edits of my art) all over the freakin’ Internet. If you didn’t quite catch the gist of that from the warning, you are far beyond hope, and we are all very sorry for you.
BUT HEY, I’m not a mean person. So let’s talk about the (very very very very very) few little exceptions to the red-text warning.
Exception the First: If you are the person who commissioned/donated for the artwork, hey, you paid for it, and I’m pretty darn thankful for you (seriously), and you can use the artwork for whatever non-commercial purpose you like. So, yes, you can use the artwork as your avatar on a forum, crop it down to a banner size and slap some text over it to go in your signature, or use it as a header or something on your personal Web site or blog. In fact, I’d love to see what you do with it! Feel absotively posilutely free to link me to your sites and blogs. c: Also, if you plan on using it for any of those purposes from the get-go, you can let me know that when you commission it, and I’ll be happy to work with any size constraints or other specific requests you might have!
Now, let’s further clarify commercial purposes. If you’re using this as a logo for a company, redistributing in any way, slapping it on a product of yours, charging others for the use of the image, using it for an image in a game you’re making – those are no-no’s. Don’t do that. If you want to commission me specifically for game art, please state so at the beginning of our correspondence and I would probably be happy to collaborate with you. But don’t surprise me with it after the fact. That’s not nice. :c
Other not-nice things, regardless of whether you paid for the image or not: Drastic edits, such as opening in Photoshop and changing hair color or drawing over the image; Removing signatures/watermarks (I try to put my signature in a not-too-obtrusive spot, and I can send non-watermarked versions of artwork to commissioners who request it); will think of others later probably.
Exception the Second: Promotional purposes! In other words, Sharing of the Love. If you yourself run a blog or some other comparable medium and want to review or otherwise just link to my site (even just a li’l post like, “Hey, check out this chick’s site!”), you can use a couple of my images for preview purposes, and I’ll even be super nice and say that you can crop them if you need to in order to properly fit your content. Same as above, though – no drastic edits. By the way, if you’re posting about me, I’d love to read what you have to say, so hook me up!
Exception the Third Kinda: Tumblr. The warning specifically lists Tumblr as a place not to upload my art to. However, you probably noticed that I myself have a Tumblr, and directly under most images is a link to its relevant Tumblr post. You may reblog it from there. I only object to reposting the image as a new post, because there’s no guarantee that source links will be included, WHICH IS BAD, DON’T REMOVE SOURCE LINKS, JEEZE.
Exception the Etcetera: If you think your situation is unique, or you’re just not sure, I encourage and welcome you to contact me in some way and we can probably settle on something. c:
THANK YOU SO MUCH for reading all of this. I feel really strongly about unfair online distribution, which is why this guide had to be put together. Everybody play nice and we can all be friends, okay? c: