Hmm.  I'm feeling a bit off lately.


I think I've been doing too much again.  I'm all at odds with myself because I feel stressed out but I'm not sure why I should.

I have orders to make...plenty of them.  This is good because orders = money, but I'm daunted by how many there are and that causes me to procrastinate.  So, I'm creating without joy right now, in fits and spurts when I can force myself to do it.

I'm definitely escaping on my bike too much...just putting on my i-pod and taking off.  Sometimes that's good because Char comes with me, which is sweet.  Sometimes I'm all alone and I don't realize how fast or far I'm going until I pull up in a daze with a cramp.  That's not excercise.  That's running away.

I mean, it's silly to feel this way.  Working is good...I'd be lost without it.  And of course everyone knows I love to ride my bike.  I'm just feeling a bit unbalanced and stretched thin lately, like a watery pancake mix.  Like I might break. 

Also, I'm sabotaging myself.  I'm playing video games instead of reading a book.  I'm thinking about getting old, quite a bit.  This is really starting to bug me, the getting old thing.  I look in the mirror and my face doesn't match my spirit, and I can be vain bothers me.  More than that, it frightens me.   It's not like you wake up one day and, surprise; you're seventy.  It happens slowly, and lately I'm seeing the new lines my face will fall into as I age and I'm seeing my own mom.   The clues are there and they scare me.  I'm not ready for old age, the same way I'm never ready for winter in November each year.  

Is this a midlife crisis I wonder?  It's not as fun as I'd heard.  I thought it'd mean I'd go to Europe alone, or have a fling, or install a hot tub or buy a motorcycle.  Instead I just feel anxious and stretched thin.  Hmm.


But enough whining.  I need some practical advice.  For any of you out there with DevArt accounts; how many comments do you reply to?  All of them?  Just the first page?  I have a monster of a backlog of comments and I always try to at least say "thanks" but the sheer amount is so massive that it'd take hours to do at this point. 

Also, another DA question...I'm getting a LOT of "Ooo I want to make that" comments.  Which of course is copyright infringement.  Like, to the point where kids are contacting me, asking for my PATTERNS so they can TRY TO MAKE A MASK.  Now, I don't own the idea of maskmaking, heck no.  But I sure as hell do own my mask designs.  Should I continue to ignore these comments (which is what I've been doing so far) or do I come down on these kids like the wrath of god?  Surely they must be kids.  Adults wouldn't dare suggest something like that to an artist...would they?  I suspect I'd be accused of being a bitch if I explain copyright law to a 13 year old kid who really likes my dragon, so I'm reluctant to be honest with anyone there.   

From: [identity profile]

I...think there's some middle ground between ignoring those questions and Wrath O' God. :O Preeetty sure no one is intending to steal your work and run away laughing; people just think they're really really neat and want to try a new handicraft based on what they've seen and liked, and don't understand that you make your living based on not giving it away.

I don't have a DA account, but I believe protocol would be to make a note on the entry itself thanking everyone for their comments and a polite "For everyone asking about mask patterns, they're copyrighted, so I can't give them out" and maybe a link to resources on how to make their own or find some more generic ones. It may be paranoia speaking, but anything more detailed - even "It'd be like a baker giving away her recipes" - would probably just provide an opening for argument.

As for the backlog, does making a schedule help for you? (Sometimes, I find it helpful; sometimes, I find it just gives me something to say "FUCK YOU, YOU DON'T OWN ME" to and flick off and run away from, laughing maniacally.)

From: [identity profile]

I'm paranoid 'cause I've seen so much plagiarism on DA...I have many friends right here in LJ who've experienced it. I thought I'd be safe, considering my medium is such an obscure one. But ever since I posted a link to my tutorials the questions are becoming more & more demanding and disturbing.

I mean, isn't a step-by-step tutorial with pictures good enough? I even described exactly how I make my paper patterns in it. *sigh* I'm worried because I know I'll go ballistic if I see a flat-out exact copy of my Stormwolf or something...

I'm chipping away at the backlog. It seems the only solution.

From: [identity profile]

I think they think that since you're willing to give a tutorial, you probably aren't protective. The tutorial probably makes the problem worse. The old 'give them an inch, they take a mile' situation.

The suggestion below was good, though, the one that was along the lines of 'I don't mind explaining the general idea of how masks are made and I've made a tutorial to encourage those interested in doing so, but if you used my handmade patterns or tried to create a duplicate of my masks, that would be copyright infringement and I don't encourage that. I would like to encourage people to create their own art, not copy mine.'

The one below was much briefer, which makes it better, but I'm so lazy that I don't want to go find it and copy and paste it...

From: [identity profile]

Wow. Shoulda known. :/ In that case, screw/ignore 'em.


From: (Anonymous)

Well, I have made the same experiences like you merimask. If people saw my projects, than they often ask me "How can I make this too?" or "I want to make this one too". Because of the copyrights I can only tell them how to create games, animations or 3D models easily, but with the advice to use their own design / concepts. But mainly many "idiots" can only copy from each other and then call themself artists or designers.



*the mask hasn't arrived yet.....thats so sad*

From: [identity profile]

Well, I already wrote and linked a two-part tutorial in my DA gallery, showing exactly how I build a mask. With pictures. I don't mind sharing my methods, but I resent the presumption that I should share the designs as well. That's not sharing, that's career suicide.

The mask went out on the 15th...Europe is very slow. Things I send to the UK take 10 business days, always, so I'm thinking Germany won't be different. Give it another week; I've never lost a mask in transit overseas so yours would be the first, if it happened.

From: (Anonymous)


I got it today. The mask fits perfectly, but for the next time the nose part could be a bit longer.
Thank you very much for this "unique" (each work is a bit of that) art. I will recommend you to my friends and interested people here.

greetings from germany


From: [identity profile]

For part A of your post: The only advice I can really offer is that awareness of what you're doing, whether it's riding a bike, making a mask or feeling stressed out, is the first step to turning that activity into something fruitful for you. It's good to be aware of what you're feeling because personal accountability is important.

For you, I feel like if you're getting on your bike, then you need to make a conscious effort to pay attention to what you're passing, where you're going, setting your limitations before you start out, and with maskmaking the same way. You have to do it, to fulfill your orders, of course, but set yourself a goal.

I'm a list writer. If I have a list, nothing is too daunting because I know, when the list is done, so is the tedium. I have to remember to write in my breaks though :)

For the second part, on DA, I think it's acceptable to make a journal entry at the top of your page and leave it there for awhile as a thank you for all the comments because you can't possibly get to all of them at once! But since you appreciate them, you can do it that way?

And if kids are asking for your patterns, you could tell them just what you told us above - draft a response you can copy and paste, put a version of it up in your DA or on your site or whatever, and then use it to reply to requests.

"Because my masks are my intellectual property, attempting to recreate what I've done would be copyright infringement and I don't want to encourage that. If you want to make masks, please do, but you'll need to make your own pattern..."

Etc, etc.


I hope you get through the rough spot soon, dear. You're really an amazing, impressive, talented woman. I definitely admire you and your creativity and your self-awareness. If you need an ear, I'm always around LJ.

From: [identity profile]

I agree a lot with this. My own situation may be sufficiently different (photography), and still with similarities. I'm always happy to demonstrate how to make a photograph, then turn people loose to do their own work. And with photographs, it's been pointed out that even if someone attempts to duplicate something exactly, there are going to be subtle differences...

You've already put onto your DA a 'tutorial' on how to make a mask; I'd say point them toward that, and include a short, polite description of copyright and why they need to work up their own patterns and ideas. They can indeed take ideas from your work, yet need to add their own embellishments.

There is a 'Manifesto' I need to track down, and put into my own LJ or DA. I know I've got it on file and yet right now I'm blanking on the fellows name. However, one of his comments is to actively try to duplicate work you like from someone else. He says right out, you'll not be able to because you aren't that person, but the attempt will teach you a great deal about what you're trying to do.

From: [identity profile]

Lists are probably a good idea. Setting limits isn't one of my strong points though. When you are in business for yourself and your success or failure depends solely on your effort, you tend to go overboard all the time because it's the only thing that gets results.

I'm thinking a journal entry at the top of my DA page is a really good idea. I can gently address the plagiarism issue, redirect everyone (again) to my tutorials, and maybe that'll just have to be Good Enough. ^_^

From: [identity profile]

That would piss me off royally. (People actually asking you for patterns!) Have they no sense? I'd just tell them that I don't use a pre-formed pattern, that I make my own patterns/designs. If that doesn't clue them in to the fact that they're asking to have your hard work for free, and persisted in asking for YOUR patterns, I'd be really flat with them. (But you know I'm much happier doing so than you are, likely.) They'd be told that this is what I make a living at and that if I gave my designs away I'd be bankrupting myself...I WOULD use the analogy Aoi mentioned, of the baker with her recipes. (What kind of bakery gives out the recipes to everything they sell? If they did, very few people would bother to BUY any more! Or a magician and his tricks. If he tells everyone how he's doing the magic, it's not magic any more, and his act will die out completely.) I don't think that opens things for argument at all, because that simply isn't arguable by any but the worst idiots, and the worst idiots can safely be dealt with harshly...or completely ignored. (Who the heck would bother to argue with a total idiot anyway? It's pointless.)

I keep telling you you need to try the 'being reasonable' method. It's WAY more effective than the 'go all out' really, really is. I developed muscle faster (and lost more weight) by being reasonable than I ever did by pushing as hard as I could. There is a point at which pushing is not gutsy or brave or determined or wonderful in any way, it's just stupid because it's so ineffective...wasteful (of energy) and damaging (of you/your life in general). Everyone crosses the line sometimes (unless they never push themselves at all, of course, which is worse) but to do it regularly...well, it's a pretty bad policy.

I know whereof I speak. Or something like that. I'm not a naturally reasonable person. The trick is to find the balance between 'I'm challenging myself' and 'I'm punishing myself'. Challenging feels invigorating and makes you healthier...but going too far feels exhausting and actually drags your health DOWN.

Back to Avatar. I'm not doing very well at talking to people these days, it keeps going all wrong and makes me want to go for days without speaking at all, online and irl. I might need to up my BC a bit, or something.

From: [identity profile]

I like the theory of being reasonable. I do try to apply it when I can, but when it comes to business-related situations I just can't without feeling lazy. Which makes me anxious. Like, I'm chipping away at my orders because that's reasonable (I can't possibly finish them all in a few days) but that also makes me feel like I have stuff hanging over my head, which adds to my anxiety.

Being in business for yourself requires you to overdo it all the time. People who overdo it get rewarded with success. So there's a lot of positive reinforcement to push yourself too hard. This is probably why so many people develop ulcers and have breakdowns... :-/

I usually do okay at finding that balance between "Challenging" and Punishing"...just, not lately.

& yes, the thing at DA with the requests for patterns is actually really pissing me off. I'm like "Holy cow, kids. I made a freaking tutorial with pictures, listed my methods, listed my supplies and even found online sources for those supplies, & that STILL isn't enough?" Maybe I did too much...offered too much information. The other professional artisans on DA sure don't share their methods or materials. There's a doll artist there (I faved some of her work...she's amazing) who makes these incredible dolls. They start at $1400, for a naked doll. The clothed ones must be upwards of $10,000. I don't even know what they are MADE of. It's not important what they are made of. DA is just for sharing beautiful things, and for me it's enough that they are beautiful.

From: [identity profile]

For reasonable, I was talking about exercise. Going out when you have a stomach bug sounded rather harmful, to me (for example).

I only want a low level of sales (or success, if you want to put it that way) with my business, so I very rarely push myself at all in that arena. March and April were as busy as I wanted, really. May has been quiet but that's the way it always goes, after a busy month or two. (People seem to go into freaks at the change of season and so beginning, all new stuff...or something like that.) Having people want my stuff all the time and needing to make things for regular requests would stress me right into bed so I don't want that to happen at all.

From: [identity profile] (from

Explain to them. I run a site for teenage writers, and they're quite capable of understanding copyright laws. We come down on them HARD if they break that, whether they break it in writing, art, or anything else. Most of them take it fine and say 'oh ok, I'm sorry, I didn't know', and I point them in the direction of some info on copyright law, and ask them how they'd feel if someone stole their work. Sometimes they go nuts. The worst I've had was some kid who thought it was hilarious, and after I banned him, he posted my novel on another site with just the name of the main character changed. After that I tracked him down on every writing site he was a member of and warned the admins. Unfortunately most didn't care (he's now a moderator at one of the sites!). So, that's my long-winded way of saying you should try to prevent it before it happens. Personally I'd go the way of putting some standard spiel in the description of each deviation that effectively says 'thanks for admiring, but no, you can't make one'.

As for being old and answering lots of comments, I don't have those problems, so I have no advice.

From: [identity profile]

Being in business for myself, scares me to have loose cannons running around out there. I bend over backwards trying to be helpful because word of mouth in my business is EVERYthing. To gave disgruntled kids out there saying I'm mean and I won't share my to I prevent that from happening? I either share and the kidlings are happy (and suddenly there are a thousand crappy knock-offs of my designs out there, flooding the market & leading people to think I'm overpriced) or I don't and I get assassinated online, possibly. I mean, examples of vengeful people who troll online are everywhere, right? I'd hate to become another statistic. It's a fine line to walk.

From: [identity profile]

Sounds like me lately. I procrastinate a ton, but I wish I had that many orders too :(

I mostly only answer the longer comments or those who ask questions. Maybe you can write a post in your blog or a FAQ and point them to it when someone asks whether they can use something.

From: [identity profile]

Ooohh...I really like that format for "frequently asked questions". That may be something I'll borrow from you. ^_^

That's probably the best answer; sitting down & writing a long explanatory DA journal entry that covers everything. I thought my tutorials did that, but apparently not.

From: [identity profile]

Haha, people don't even read descriptions there or bother to look at FAQS before answering questions. But at least you can just link them to it instead of answering it 20 times.
kelkyag: notched triangle signature mark in light blue on yellow (Default)

From: [personal profile] kelkyag

You may want to point out that you're a professional artist who sells her work. I think a fair fraction of the folks on DeviantArt aren't, or only do so incidentally, and asking someone who made one of something for themself how to make one's own is much more socially acceptable. I'll second the suggestions to reply with a pointer to your tutorial, that your designs are copyrighted (perhaps also with a pointer to information on copyright law), possibly a few words of encouragement on making their own design, and possibly that you have licenced your designs in the past (and I don't know what you'd want to say about that or if you'd consider doing it again). That's a lot, though, and winds up being a form letter.

I know too well about procrastinating in the face of too large a pile of things to do. Is it possible to carve out some guilt-free time for yourself in there somewhere?

From: [identity profile]

I think I'm going to use Meredith's approach (see the comment above you) and make an explanatory entry covering as many of these issues as I can, in a sort of Q & A format. That seems gentle and appropriate. There are a LOT of kids on DA who aspire to be professional artists. Heck...I wish there had been a DA for me when I was a kid; I would have LOVED it. However, if I don't speak up and make them aware that plagiarism is wrong & unacceptable & NOT really "art", then they'll just keep doing it. And then I've done no favors for all the other artists who get their work swiped know?

As for the anxiety'll pass. It always does. :-/
kelkyag: notched triangle signature mark in light blue on yellow (Default)

From: [personal profile] kelkyag

She's got a nice solid FAQ. Good plan!

I love all the art sites online. It's really easy to get lost looking at all the fabulous things, though, and not get around to working on anything of my own. (Doubly so knowing I'm unlikely to ever invest the time necessary to be really good.)

Figuring out where the lines are with art is hard. There's a lot of space for 'inspired by' or learning by trying to copy that may or may not be legitimate, and different artists have different limits on what they find acceptable for people to do with their art. Am I trespassing on meadowpoint's design with some of the pieces I've been toying with in ceramics?

And then someone grabs a pieces and mutates it into a meme...

Anxieties will pass, but it'd be nice to be able to fend them off before they arrive. I hope things feel more manageable for you soon.

From: [identity profile]

I don't think you're trespassing at all. I mean, tree-branches as mug handles have been done before...EVERYthing has been done before. It's the execution and details that set you apart.

Wolf masks made of leather are everywhere...even spiky wolf masks. This girl just started making these on Etsy:
...but I have no problem at all with her designs, because really, she's doing everything in her own style.

If I saw my carving details and patterns being copied exactly, though...I'd surely go ballistic.

From: [identity profile]

I really hear you about your discontent and stress. I feel many of the same things -- ovewhelmed by my art/job and avoiding it, longing to escape into physical activity, watching myself grow old, and the rest. I don't feel them all the time, but when they come? Wow, it sucks. One thing that gets me out of these funks to finishing a project. Not sure if it's the same for you, because it takes me weeks or years to finish a project, so it doesn't happen as often as for you. I do get interested in doing other stuff and then forget to be distressed.

Would you consider doing a new pattern you could send to them? It could be a variant of a popular mask, or something unique.

"My work is copyright and so cannot legally be reproduced in any fashion, but if you're interested in creating a mask of your own, here's a pattern I have designed just for new mask-makers. By using this pattern, you agree that this mask is for your own use or to give as a gift; and you agree not to sell the mask, or to give it to anyone else with the intention that they sell it."

Unless you're Disney, or have a lot of patience to hunt down infringement and a brother-in-law who's a lawyer, copyright is really difficult to protect. There are .pdfs of my books out there that neither I nor my publisher have anything to do with. It is illegal, unethical, and inconsiderate to the creator.

From: [identity profile]

I figured you'd understand. We are "of an age", so I know you wrestle with these issues too. I'm a realist, so the inevitability of approaching old age scares the heck out of me. Especially since I feel like my life is just starting to be more like I always wanted it to be. It seems cruel that I spent my entire youth making bad decisions and struggling, and now that I might actually be getting a handle on things, there goes my youth!

I am constantly finishing projects, all the time...I'm working like a crazy person. I don't get a very big payoff anymore, when I finish a project. Oftentimes it goes up in here & that's the only place I get to show it off. I used to do actual shows, and I used to get feedback from my Dad (which meant so much to me), but now it's just another picture in LJ or DA of just another mask, and ho hum. It doesn't satisfy my exhibitionist artist's soul.

The DD in DevArt made me happy but I got so many odd requests (like I said) for handouts of my designs that it just ended up pissing me off.

Probably I'm being too sensitive. A Q&A-style manifesto will probably be the right answer. I just have to sit down & DO it.

From: [identity profile]

Exactly! I didn't regret what I was doing all that time, but now I think to myself, what would be life have been like if I had started climbing sooner, gone to Norway, kept making art? The gettng older things scares me even more because I am single. It's been over a year since I dated, and the older I get the harder it's going to get. Well, it feels that way, anyway.

I can understand that, about showing the masks online not doing it anymore, though I love seeing them. Would have some giant impressive wall-piece be nice? You could work on it as a reward for the smaller stuff, and when you're done, you could show it off.

Bythe way, I don't know if you have thought about showing your stuff at WorldCon in Montreal, and I don't know when the decide what's in the art show, but you might! Certainly it's unique and you would get a lot of positive attention there. Plus, I would get to meet you. :)

From: [identity profile]

Ohhh, if Worldcon was in the US I would totally show up with my art...the incentive to meet you there would be just enough to push me over the edge & do it. ^_^

Unfortunately, getting my stuff into Canada is super-expensive. You have to pay PST and GST at the border, up front, and if you don't sell the items they eventually reimbuse in six months. O_o It's not a good system. Otherwise I'd be up in Toronto all the time with my work.

Let's consider it in the future though, 'cause if we could show up at the same convention how cool would THAT be? I'd totally treat you to tapas & sangria... ;-)

From: [identity profile]

I work for a Disney subsidiary, so I'm really familiar with the problem. The number of people out there who believe that they have a right to steal just because they "want" it is horrifying. The teens and 20 somethings are the worst, because the web generations believe that anything they see they can have. They KNOW it's stealing, and just don't care.

We could employ dozens of people to do nothing but go after infringements on YouTube alone.

Copyright is murky and hard.

From: [identity profile]

As my last few LJ entries can attest to, I've been feeling a wee bit of stress myself lately! So, I feel your pain. :\

I have a bad tendency to procrastinate, too, when I'm feeling overwhelmed. My to do list is the only thing that keeps me on track. I have to see everything there in black and white, with the deadlines. Then I just start checking them off, one by one. It doesn't mean there's any less work, but at least I can calm down enough to get it done.

The biking is great for you...but not if you're overdoing it all the time or using it as a method of escape. I don't think you should quit ('cause then you'd just feel miserable in another way), but limit yourself. Maybe get a watch with an alarm so you can alert yourself when X amount of time has passed. It's up to you to find the right balance, but maybe that would help keep you in check a bit.

I don't think there's anything wrong with playing video games instead of reading! Mix it up a bit. As long as the games aren't taking away from something else (family time, work, etc.), just have fun!

Mid-life crisis...probably. Unfortunately, time marches on whether we like it or not. I see it in myself, too. I've already got my mother's/grandmother's hands! I don't know what to say about trying to alleviate your fears...I guess I'd just ask why you're so frightened? Well, ask yourself that, I don't need to know! lol What is it about aging that distresses you? Then you can try to confront it. My mother jumped out of a plane for her 50th birthday...though not everyone is quite so extreme. ;)

DA comments - I finally gave up after a while, and I don't get nearly the response that you do. I think it's okay to respond to specific comments (those who leave detailed comments or ask questions, etc.) and just do a generic journal entry or something thanking everyone else.

As for the pattern issue. Argh. This is one thing I detest about DA. There's such a huge number of plagiarists that you can't tell the folks who just want to learn something new to those who want to rip you off. And as this is your livelihood, you have to err on the side of caution.

I would do two things. First, point them toward your tutorial. That gives an excellent overview of how you make your masks and for anyone who is really interested in giving it a try, it provides plenty of information to get started. Second, I would put up a notice somewhere (in each deviation description, in a journal header, wherever) that explains that you are a professional artist and your patterns are copyrighted (or is it's been ages since I read up on it). It won't prevent them from imitating you if they really want to, but it's a bit of an explanation and a CYA.

I don't understand why they would need your patterns anyway. You can get the gist of it, just from looking at them (and definitely from the tutorial), so unless you are intending to replicate the mask (which would be infringement), you don't need it.

It's probably kids asking this stuff (as they tend to be the ones who think it's fine to just copy from other people), but I would redirect them by saying, check out my tutorial to find out how I make my masks, but use your own creativity to come up with your very own pattern, something unique to you. So it's s rebuff, but a positive one. It'd probably be more effective than just quoting copyright law to them, y'know?

From: [identity profile]

We are sisters in stress. :-/ I have to say, you have more on your plate than I do. My stress is all internal, have big things happening for you. And I'm sorry...I know I should be more supportive. My comments on my f-list are suffering too, 'cause really, not much time anymore for online stuff that's not directly related to my business. *hug* Anyway, I am here for you if you need to talk, & I'm keeping up with the news.

The age thing has me in a funk because it can't be altered, can't be reasoned with, is inevitable. I'm a bit control-freaky, possibly. I have a long history of saying "well if THAT doesn't work then I'll just do THIS", because I'm a fixer. But there's no way to reverse time, you know? And it's finally starting to take a toll. And I don't like it, especially when it shows in my face.

I think a specific DA journal entry aimed at answering all the questions at once is the best idea, really. An overload of info (even though I thought I already did that in my tutorials, TWO of them...but whatever) that will cover every possible question I might get regarding my craft and my art. I don't mind sharing my craft, but it's career-suicide to share my designs. Something along those lines. I'll work it all out when I'm less pissy about the subject (I just hope I get to "less pissy" soon 'cause I've been so funky lately).

From: [identity profile]

Copyright. Trademark is different (I'm buddies with our trademark paralegal at work.)

From: [identity profile]

There's an amazing jeweler that I know who doesn't sell online for exactly these reasons. They figure that as soon as their designs are posted online, they'll be stolen. They can't afford that, since it's their business, so you can only buy from them in person.

I think it's a risk you have to decide to take if you're going to put stuff on those forums.

From: [identity profile]

I've always felt confident that my style was unique enough that I could safely showcase it pretty much anywhere. You know that; you've sat with me at many an event & heard me tell hundreds of people exactly how I make these things. Plus, I've spent so many years perfecting my wacky technique...even I don't always do it right, so I've never been threatened by the possibility of someone coming along & stealing my ideas.

But sharing that tutorial...that was maybe not such a bright idea. :-/

From: [identity profile]

I wish I could offer advice on the getting-older thing, but I'm 23 so I can't really relate. >_>;;

As for the work load and running away, I can sympathize. Sometimes it helps me to just break down and start working. If it comes easily, then great! If it's still hard, I'l switch to something and then come back. For me, the hesitation and avoidance (creating guilt) is usually worse than the actual act I'm trying to avoid.

And for DA? I try to respond to everyone, but I get only one comment in a blue moon. I would say ignore the "Cool!" or "OMG I <3 This!" comments that are generic with no substance. But if they actually write out a detailed comment, or ask a question, then it might be better to respond to them.

I absolutely LOVED the tutorial you did! I was always curious about your techniques, but I never wanted "your pattern". The way you do masks is beautiful and unique, and I'd rather your art be an inspiration to me, instead of being a copy-machine. I would just explain that it is your art, your work, and your way of making a living. If you're not patronizing or ugly, they should take it well. Maybe even encourage them to try their own designs and ideas, and add a note that copying someone's design is stealing.

It astonishes me how many people think that copying things out of books and the internet isn't "stealing". *rolls eyes*

From: [identity profile]

I think I'm just going to carefully write out a FAQ and post it right at the top of my DA site. Hopefully it'll cut down on the silly/insulting questions. At the very least, it'll be me going on the record about my position on people using my designs.

But yeah...I'm not going to write a thing until my head is in a happier place, 'cause who knows what I'll say in this mood I'm in?

From: [identity profile]

Honestly, when I make a comment on deviantart, I don't expect the artist to respond. I figure they're too busy making art--it takes me two moments to make a comment, but you two hours to answer *all* the comments. For the comments I recieve, I've adopted Ursula Vernon's policy: I'll answer it if it's a question. If they ask a question then they're really hoping to hear from you; if they're just giving a compliment, getting a "Thanks" doesn't really make a difference in their day.

I get asked about patterns a lot too and it's frustrating. Firstly because I've only explained a billion times that needle felting isn't the kind of craft that *has* patterns, and secondly because I made up all my creatures myself. People ask for tutorials on my dragons, but if I make a felting tutorial I think I'm going to have to make it *not* a dragon...because I'm perfectly happy to help people learn my techniques, but only so they can make up their OWN designs. Not so they can make identical dragons. Which I think is what they're hoping to do. *sigh* Your tutorial was great, and it was really smart of you to use one of your more unusual designs instead of a mega-popular one--if you'd used a stormwolf, I'm sure there'd be tons of copies out there by now. I'd just be polite and explain you're happy to help them learn to work leather but not to replicate. It's for their own good, ultimately.

From: [identity profile]

That's exactly why I chose to document the root maze noticed that? ^_^ I was thinking it was SUCH a complicated mask that no one could possibly copy it. Heck, I had a hard time making it, myself.

Your dragons are awfully cute. We should talk about a barter sometime. :-)