Saturday, February 16, 2013

way past the stars

Yesterday, for the first time, in a long time, I finally sat down and drew (is that a word?). I mean really really drew (why does it not sound or look like a word?). Or, I lost myself in a drawing, that's what I'm trying to say. I let the drawing direct my pen and just went for it. I went nuts all over the page. I love it when that happens and it's been too long since it did. I wanted to draw how it feels to be hyper creative. To the point where sleep escapes you.

So, here's a bit of a milestone for me (I seem to have been hitting these milestones left, right and centre recently);  this is my 700th blog post! SEVEN chuffing HUNDRED?!! How did that happen? I'm flabbergasted (now, there's a word I love and do not get the opportunity to use often enough).

I'd like to ask for a little advice, folks. Since inheriting this new laptop, and all it's programmes, I am trying to learn Photoshop. For a long time (for about 700 posts) I've been concerned that the size of the images I've been posting are MASSIVE. They've been stolen and printed on all sorts of products. I have, for the first time, here, posted an image that (I hope) is not printable and pinchable (now that can't be a word). Does that spoil your viewing experience? Is this the only way to protect my work? What do you think about it? Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.

And, thanks for all the visits and comments over the last seven hundred posts. Did I mention that this is my seven hundredth post?

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Blogger Katherine Thomas said...

I'm so glad you drew. That's most definitely a word in MY vocabulary! And I love this drawing! Wow! I can see the passion you had for your craft in every part of it. I want to learn photoshop too, but for illustration reasons. How do you know if somebody is using your artwork without permission? I have my stuff on about 6 different sites, and don't check them very often... but I never see my artwork popping up any place else. I guess I'm not the one to give advice, but I'd love to receive some too!

12:44 PM  
Blogger dinahmow said...

Andrea, I don't know anything about photoshop. But I do know that people could lift your drawings and enlarge them. Not the same as hi-res, but if thieves are only after cheap knock-offs ... There is a way to put a watermark on your work and you probably have the programme for that. I'm sure someone else can help there!
Anyway, it's lovely to see you back in the saddle.700.Way to go!

12:59 PM  
Blogger sketching fool said...

Tough call about image size. This one looks ok in the blog, but is not sharp enough to read the text or really appreciate your incredible attention to detail (at least viewing on an iPad). I guess you could watermark your images before posting, but of course that would impact the presentation. Never been a big fan of watermarks.
Been following and enjoying your work for awhile, btw. Thanks.

12:59 PM  
Blogger andrea joseph's sketchblog said...

Katherine, the thing is that you never know unless somebody tells you. Because people who know my work have pointed it out I've found my drawings on tote bags, mugs and posters. They are mainly in eastern Europe and Russia and there's not really anyway of stopping them do it. I do contact them but get no reply, so unless I make my images small enough so they can't be used.

Photoshop is going to take some time!!


1:02 PM  
Blogger andrea joseph's sketchblog said...

Thanks, guys.

Yep, that's my worry that they are not as sharp, I do want people to read all the notes. It's a difficult one. I'm not a fan of watermarks either. But, maybe that is the way forward. Hmmmmm. Thanks for the input. I appreciate it.


1:17 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Andrea, People can still lift this drawing . From my browser I was able to increase the size and find both a "save" and "print" command easily (I didn't do either of course). You should be able to put a watermark on your work in PhotoShop, which would be visible on the drawing in a browser, and would make any image a bit less desirable. You can't put it on a mug with a watermark and expect folks to buy it.

I've seen a number of discussions on various art pages on the web that focus on how to protect one's art work. This problem of stealing artwork concerns artists everywhere. I have never read a good solution to the problem, either. Watermarking is the only way I've heard of (besides dragging someone to court) as a good solution.

As usual, the drawing is lovely. It's a shame that people don't respect artists enough to keep their hands off!

1:24 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Oh dear. Wrote up a longish comment and when I got to this point, it was gone. Well, it was too long anyway.

This problem of stealing artwork on the web is one I've seen on a gazillion art fora -- and no one seems to have a good solution other than watermarking. You should be able to watermark your work with Photoshop very easily.

From a browser it is possible to both enlarge your drawing and save/print it -- it's the nature of the beast. People who have no morals will steal anything, and copyright laws don't faze them. Although watermarking will 'show' it will stop your images from being used commercially.

Keep up the good work. Photoshop is a lot of fun -- I've used it for a long time to clean up old photos and process new ones. Avail yourself of Adobe's help, and search for tutorials, of which there are a gazillion. One really terrific site is She's been working with software and doing tutorials literally for years. And adobe's help is very good as well.

1:31 PM  
Blogger Stephen Gardner said...

Congratulations, you are an inspiration, just got "An Illustrated Journey" I very much enjoyed reading your section.

1:47 PM  
Anonymous connie said...

Andrea, I love, love , love your art. I could not read your "thoughts" in this drawing though - too small. Maybe you could enlarge just parts of the drawings in separate pictures?

2:37 PM  
Blogger june at noon said...

I don't know if this will be helpful, but you probably know a really good printable piece is going to be at least 300dpi. 72dpi is considered sufficient for screen viewing. So I've always made my image 72dpi (but retained the dimensions I want) when I plan to post it online. That doesn't mean it's no longer printable, but it certainly won't print nicely, thus making it less desirable for stealing.

3:22 PM  
Blogger mo said...

well, half the fun of looking at your drawings is inspecting every little detail and every nook and cranny. so i'd vote for the watermark, even though i don't particularly like those. but i see that as less intrusive on your drawings than not being able to view the fabulous details of your drawings. just my two cents worth ;)

3:57 PM  
Blogger Lorna said...

Try resizing to 800 px on the long side ... big enough to enjoy.

4:28 PM  
Blogger anopensketchbook said...

Andrea! This is gooorgeous. Really. So happy you were able to make time to really draw...would you send some of that over my way?

I'm so sorry to hear about your drawings being used without your permission. I wish I had some advice, but I struggle with this same issue too. I detest watermarks, but is this what its going to have to come to?

I look forward to checking back in here and seeing what others suggest.

4:39 PM  
Blogger Steve Reddy said...

This beautiful drawing is the one that brought me, for the first time, to your site, and it WAS disappointing to not be able to read the text, especially as I could relate so well to the concept.
I use Photoshop quite a bit. If you go to image size, you can save your work at 72, or even 100 dpi and it will look great on screen, but will be too low res to make a decent print. Depending on the size of your original text, that might need to be adjusted for readability. Is this drawing saved at an even smaller res than that? My drawings are about 8.5 x 12 inches, so maybe that's a bit bigger than yours, I can't know.
Anyway, love what I can see of your drawing!

4:41 PM  
Blogger Polly Birchall said...

Lovely feeling when you take a stroke for a walk and you hardly remember the journey. Sorry to hear about the use of your images. You are not the first person to mention this on your blog. I don't know how you could stop it altogether. I use Pixresizer and make my largest dimension 300 and it is ok on the blog but if you try and enlarge it is is too small. I am not worried about my work being copie as it isnt professional standard so no-one would want it. I guess the small c thingey for watermarks is another possible solution with your name at the side Hope you find a solution.

5:33 PM  
Blogger pedalpower said...

I miss being able to read what you've written on this drawing, and being able to see all the wonderful detail you put into these. I'm like you...I'm not crazy about watermarks especially when they run right through the middle of the image. I've toyed with the idea of watermarking mine across the bottom, but then folks can just crop it out with some images.

5:56 PM  
Blogger JoyCorcoran said...

Since your work is actively being stolen, please start using watermarks. At least that will make it more difficult for thieves. I think it's very generous of you to share all your images and you gotta do what you can to protect yourself. If we want to see your work in all it's detail and glory, we can visit your etsy shop and buy it. Meanwhile, we're all grateful for your robust imagination and wonderful drawings. Keep it up, Miss 700 Posts!

5:59 PM  
Blogger Julie Clay Illustration said...

Hi Andrea, well done on all you have achieved recently, the book, and the theatre art and mentions in that mag in London, I keep reading about your adventures!! Brilliant.
I'm only just learning on photoshop, and i'm not sure how you get your drawn image onto the computer? but, if you scan, it needs to be low res, like 75dpi, not sure if you can go lower, and then in photoshop you flatten the image (in the bit where you create a new layer I think), then save as a jpeg. This makes it smaller to send as an email. Hope this makes sense, our friend Lynne could probably help with the photoshop?? Good luck, I can easily imagine images getting stolen, I often think should I put images on my blog? It's a shame. X :)

9:08 PM  
Blogger andrea joseph's sketchblog said...

Thanks so much guys, this is all very useful info.

This is saved at 72dpi. You can still print it? Wow. I don't know. It seems that watermark is the way to go? I really don't like them but I suppose you have to weigh up that against getting your work stolen.

Or, maybe, I should just get over it and continue to post as I normally would? It's a tough call but your input really helps. thanks.

I'm going to play around some more with Photoshop - try out some of he things you've suggested. I suppose it's not until I become more proficient with Photoshop that I find a better solution.

I want you all to read the notes and view my drawings in the best light. That's my priority.


10:09 AM  
Blogger Dan Kent said...

Congratulations! Both on the 700th post and on the zenlike drawing experience. The image is fine, except I cannot read the text (sigh).

12:20 AM  
Blogger Genine Carvalheira said...

WOW Andrea 700 posts!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!

1:00 PM  
Blogger JaneA said...

Not sure if someone has already mentioned this. I think the way forward is watermarking. I usually post low-res images of my drawings on my blog, but if there is an interesting detail I want people to see, I add other images that are only the details.

For example, you could post the low-res image of this drawing with a watermark. Then, in the high res version in photoshop, you can zoom in, use the "rectangular marquee" tool to select detailed areas and crop ("Image" and then "Crop") to save details. You can then post them individually so people can read them.

That way people can still see high-res versions of the juicy bits, but it's much less likely anyone will steal them, as they're just bits and pieces of the whole picture.

Hope this helps!

2:10 PM  
Blogger NatyMaui said...

I love your work! your illustrations are very beautiful! you can visit this page:
there are a lot of shrot tutorials, some of them talk about resize image and how to save and present a work.

2:39 PM  
Blogger Miraculous Mosquito said...

Hi Andrea, I love your drawings and would hate to see them on some cheap tote bag. I would definately watermark them...there are ways to do it very subtley and it can look professional. Your real fans will understand why you have to put a watermark on. I found this very clear video for you that might help: . Persevere with Photoshop, it is totally worth learning. Also, I agree with one of the comments can make closeups of the writing in your drawings so people can read it.

12:29 AM  
Blogger Leila Marchi said...

Watermark, my dear. I believe photoshop may have an "add a watermark" command that would make it simple to protect your work. I do love seeing the huge images, but I don't want people stealing your work!

4:27 PM  
Blogger Mooneybeams said...

I'm really sorry you've had drawings stolen from you - that's horrible :(

I've pinned some of your drawings to Pinterest, but they link straight back to your blog and say in the comment that it is your drawing.

If you would prefer that I delete them, I will happily do this.

Only comment about the image size is that when you click on it, it doesn't get big enough to read, which makes me sad. I enjoy your random comments on your drawings!

9:04 AM  
Blogger Mooneybeams said...

Just wanted to add, the pins look like this:

I will of course remove it if you would prefer - it was never my intention to steal, and I hope you don't view it that way.

9:07 AM  
Blogger andrea joseph's sketchblog said...

Thank you everyone, for such an amazing response.

Kim, no, no, problem. That's not what I mean by stealing! Please fell free to share my work. I'm grateful, in fact. Nope, it's when it appears on some cheap product, that I get no control over and no credit for, but is being used for somebody else to make a profit. That's what really hurts. And on the Pinterest subject, now there's something else I need to learn. Easy? Worthwhile? Or, just another place to post?

Thanks again. I am going to give watermarking a go on one of my brand new drawings, to see if I can live with it. I'm still not sue that I can. Cheers!

11:37 AM  
Blogger Kayshine said...

I'm a self-taught photoshop user. Honestly, there is a lot within the program. I took my time and experimented and had fun.
As for copyright....yes you can add watermarks and I've done this but it's not an absolute. Additionally,it's strongly suggested by experts,Scott Kelby, never to upload the highest quality nor original size to the web.

1:26 PM  
Blogger andrea joseph's sketchblog said...

Kayshine, thanks a lot. Your message is encouraging. Sometimes (always) when I open up Photosop I'm totally overwhelmed. It's going to take some time. Cheers.

12:12 PM  

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