Friday, March 7, 2014

Understand the Terms of Use Before Subscribing

I like to think we're all smart enough to know that when we're in need of  illustrations, photos, animations, etc., it's best to avoid ones that promise free use.  These all came from somewhere and belong, not to the search engine that brought them to our attention, but to other people.

If, however, you are someone who feels that using these isn't a problem, have you noticed the fine print along the bottom that states the image you're looking at might be subject to copyright?  Using them for free is theft, plain and simple. It's really only common sense to recognize that if you didn't create it, it's not yours to use without express permission from the artist or without paying for it.

The best option then, of course, is to make sure you purchase the right to use the images from a reliable online source, such as, Acclaim Images and AnimationFactory. 
However, in order to purchase you will  need to check a box indicating you have agreed to the terms of use. Now while these can undoubtedly be sleep-inducing, full of legalese and occasionally confusing jargon,  it's in your best interest to spend some time trying to, if not fully understand them, then to at least see what conflicts you might face. Otherwise you are as  likely to  find yourself in copyright violation as you might with one you snatched for free.

The rules are different for every use. Regulations vary on the type of product you are creating with the image. Also, permissions will be unique to each site. For example, some might allow the images to be used commercially without editing, while another site's terms will state that they can only be used commercially if changes are made to them. Then there are that restrictions might be the norm rather than the exception. For example most sites strictly forbid use for print-on-demand and electronic distribution.

Should you go against the terms and get caught you are liable for damages that can be quite high.  These companies will not be appeased by your argument that you attributed the image to them. Such action does not negate copyright infringement. 

The bottom line is, if time is money, then it's well spent on reading and understanding the terms.  if you're not sure, contact the company and ask before proceeding with a purchase. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Find Fantasy in These Clipart Collections

In less than two weeks we head into Saint Patrick's Day, an Irish holiday that calls to mind lively images of leprechauns and shamrocks.

But today, rather than get too much of a head start on the magic of March 17, I've decided to broaden my search for clipart collections to feature everything fantastical, from gnomes and elves to witches and dragons.

My hair might be greying, the eyesight weakening, but there's still a little girl inside me who delights in fairytales.  I can hardly wait until my tiny granddaughter is ready to curl up with me and fall into the enchanting world of wizards and princesses.

While the stories alone are engaging it's the images that captivate young readers first, that weave the spell and draw you in to what the words are saying. These lovely illustrations tell the tale: Fairytale Illustrations

ClickArt Online Fairytale Illustrations Fairytale Illustrations

TOONClipart Fairytale Cartoons Fairytale Illustrations

Acclaim Images Fairytale Illustrations

ClipartGuide Fairytale Illustrations

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

How to Create Flourishes and Swirls

When it comes to completing a project, to enhancing your artwork or design, everyone looks to swirls and elements.

In a recent blog I directed you to several websites that offer some wonderful collections of these particular images. However, if you are truly creative, if your idea of a personal project is that it's only worthy when it's your work start to finish, perhaps you'd prefer the challenge of making these ornamental extras yourself.

Personally, I've often felt there was an artistic vein running through me that has been left untapped. Designing these types of embellishments might be just the inspiration I need to get things flowing.

Of course,  I have no idea what I'm doing, so scoping out some expert advice seems the logical starting point.  In just a few minutes online I was able to find a number of terrific tutorials to start me on my creative quest.  From making straightforward curves to more complex flourishes full of colour,  these instructions explain the tools that work best and the steps to take when using them. Taking it further, of course, is up to us.

eHow Make Swirls in Photoshop

Top Photoshop/Illustrator Brushes for Creating Strokes and Swirls

Create a Colourful Swirl in Photoshop 3 Brush Pack for Photoshop or GIMP Swirl Mania for Photoshop and Illustrator

Free Photoshop Brushes for Swirls and Flourishes

Draw Vector Flourishes in Photoshop

How to Create Custom Flourish Brushes in Photoshop

Monday, March 3, 2014

Looking for a Little Lamb

Ah, March... the time to think of green and new beginnings. It's the month of St. Patrick's Day, Spring and some years, though not this one, Easter.

I would have to say that March 2014,  at least in this corner of the world, arrived like a lion. More with an irritatingly persistent snarl perhaps than with a fierce roar, but a lion nonetheless.

For those of us eager to see the tail end of winter, this is a good thing. According to folklore, superstition or the old wives we hear spoken of from time to time,  a nasty start to March is the harbinger of a mild end. In like a lion, out like a lamb.

Checking the two-week forecast, the coming weeks aren't promising much of a break from the bitter cold we've experienced this winter, so it's with hopeful heart that I wait for the two following weeks.  In anticipation I pray for a gentler finish for the month than the way it began.  You could say, that like a famous Mary, I'm surely looking for a little lamb, the featured focus of these adorable collections of clipart, cartoons and animations: Illustrations of Lambs

Acclaim Images Lamb Clipart Lamb Illustrations

ClickArt Online Lamb Illustrations

TOONClipart Lamb Cartoons

AnimationFactory Lamb Animations