just a teensy weensy bit annoyed

As many of you know, I launched my commission-based business about two years ago on flickr. I was very inspired by many photographers and painters who showed their work there. There was an immediate response, and in a few months, I began to develop a waiting list of clients interested in my paintings. It was an amazing time.

In 2008, I noticed a steady decline of general activity on flickr. Perhaps we’re all just getting busier. Blame it on whatever you wish. I think people were (and are) growing weary of flickr. I can now add myself to that group. I suppose a healthy dose of ignorance has carried me through thus far, but how long can I edit, watermark, post…only to find my original work proudly displayed on someone’s myspace profile? The client I created it for deserves better. And so do I.

I am dedicating my work back to myself in 2009. I love what I do so very much and my clients make it fulfilling and enjoyable, not flickr. So if I don’t post something there, you can always find the latest here. I can freely promote myself here and that’s no longer an option with flickr. 

Please don’t take this as an insult to anyone on flickr. I treasure the community there, just not the hacks. My plan for this space from now on is to share fun things, freebies, and shop announcements (sans the promotional links). I will use it to stay in touch with the lovely friends I’ve made there. I’m quite unsure of what 2009 has in store for me and my business, but I am going to work harder than ever before. New opportunities will present themselves.

Alright, enough of that! Here are some photos from our Christmas break in Nebraska…

erika 1

erikalearning to make a famous family recipe – Kringler cookies

gmasshowing off our new cold weather gear at grandma’s Christmas Eve party

denver-civic-centerWhen we came back to Denver, we saw the Civic Center downtown, beautifully decorated.

denver-civic-center-2Check out Brandon’s new light-up hat! : )

girl-in-shoes-watermarkI made this illustration a couple of days ago.

little-rockstara similarly cute version for boys : )

yo-yosThen, over the weekend, I grew addicted to making these yo yos. I’ll be sewing them on jewelry and hair accessories soon.

That’s all for now. Thank you for listening to my little vent.

Love,

erika j

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8 thoughts on “just a teensy weensy bit annoyed

  1. Erika I am so sorry that your incredible work is being taken advantage of. It is such a shame – if it wasn’t for flickr I would have NO idea who you were – and your happy illustrations wouldn’t be making me smile. 🙂 I will keep checking your blog often though new stuff – and I LOVE the new illustrations and the new yo-yos – you are SO talented! 🙂 Oh and we just found out we’re having a girl – so I’m hoping that sometime this year (since our family will be pretty much “completed”) I can FINALLY ask you to do a commission for me! 🙂 YAY! 🙂

  2. Erika-
    Ah sweetie. It is not Flickr, it is the nature of the web, hot-linking and self promotion. If you market yourself aggressively and promote your work in a multitude of places the kids are going to find your cool work and use it as avatars, background patterns etc. by hot-linking. It use to drive me crazy to check my web-logs only to find some teeny-bopper with a myspace page often full of curse words etc. and my artwork. In the beginning I tried to contact and educate these folks about copyrights and eventually the time involved there became absurd.
    You can not stop promoting yourself. You also need to save your outrage for the day that one of your fans e-mails you to inform you that someone is reproducing and selling your artwork on Ebay. Yep that day may come as well, and when it does you deal with it and report the abuse to ebay, or you get a lawyer.
    Toughen up and keep creating.Your work is so great. Keep promoting yourself and know that success on-line comes with compromises in this digital age. Protect yourself and your work as much as you possibly can, but move forward and do not be afraid of the bumps in the road.

    Oh and to your larger point … I do understand about stepping away from Flickr due to lack of time and contacts that become less active etc. I bounce back and forth there myself from posting a lot to months of total inactivity.

    Sorry for the rather wordy pep-talk. I know that you are not a kid and probably do not need me telling you to “toughen up”. I just really love your work and want to see you to continue to succeed.

    minnesotamom said it best … here’s to a new year of creativity!

  3. oh man. i’m so sorry, erika. you must feel like you’ve been punched in the gut. seriously. some people are such losers, it drives me absolutely CRAZY. I hate it.

    but man, do you look adorable making those yummy cookies! YUM. And I’m loving Brandon’s new light-up hat! Was he wearing his backpack, too?

    can’t wait to see you soon. What are you up to? let’s grab some coffee and stroll through an art gallery, want to? fun.

  4. I am so sorry to hear about your work Ika. Such Losers out there. On a happy note I sure do LOVE this picture of you and Brand. What a handsome little bro I have. You two make the cutest couple.

  5. Erika,
    As you know, I’m a HUGE fan of yours and I am soooo sorry that someone has done this to you. It makes me so sad every time I hear of this… and it’s happening a LOT lately.

    BUT I am so glad that I found this and that I can come and see your gorgeous work here.
    Take care,
    Jillian

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