So something happened on r/WritingPrompts about a month ago, probably a bit more time than that.
Apparently it’s now an issue that I post my artwork to their subreddit for Image Prompts. Specifically they have a rule against self-promotion, but mine has bananas of problems. Why, you may ask?
Well, they don’t like that my image has a watermark of a URL, and that URL leads to my website that has a “Shop” area.
They’ve told me that I can post the artwork without a watermark, or post a watermark that doesn’t have any identifying information to really find me online, or directly link to social media. The second mod that laid down the final ruling seemed a bit more understanding, but left it as that.
I strongly disagree with this decision for a number of reasons. Namely because a mod decided to abuse their power because of an idiotic notion, but more importantly because I was doing this for 3 years without an issue.
First; Having your URL or a social media handle on an image to show your ownership is not self-promotion. I respectfully disagree, a ton of artists disagree. I’ll argue with you till the cows come home, will do as long as I live. That is “not too much”. The point of a watermark is to show who it belongs to. If the person can’t identify who it belongs to, it’s sort of pointless, is it?
I urge you to take a look at a ton of artists around. Only the popular ones often put their signature there. And if it’s not on their page, you have no idea who it is unless you try to start doing a whole detective spiel. Imagine if that artist wasn’t popular. It’d make it pretty hard to see who it belonged to.
And to the team in general, me posting artwork with my typical watermark =/= self-promoting myself and trying to sell something. As I told them in my last, ignored message. I honestly got the vibe that a hackle was raised, and some veiled double standard was imposed so they wouldn’t see me post.
But you know what? Congratulations, you’re a laughing stock. That’s the light part of it. 50+ people in Discord jokingly delete and joke-ban people for “posting anything with a watermark, you’re self-promoting.” They make fake spiels about how 9Gag and Tenor are monetized sites, and how they shouldn’t be allowed.
This website is my home on the web. It’s where I can post everything that belongs to me, all centralized with an address to dial home so people know where it came from. I always will point here with places like my social media, to pull away from depending on 3rd party platforms to host me.
Yes, there is a shop and a tip button. Yes, it holds me work portfolio for business services. No, I’m not posting my image for you go to my site to buy something. I’m sorry that you think that posting my artwork watermarked with a URL or social media is self-promotion.
The only good thing? It’s a Pyrrhic victory. I can still contribute writing responses like I usually do. The 2nd mod also said I can post my “real name” as the watermark, but nothing else. At least I’m not banished from the page or whatnot.
I will abide by their rules. I don’t expect them to change their stance. As someone stated, “that’s your island, your rules.” That’s fine. Honestly, I would’ve been a lot less bothered if the second response was given to me, and not that opinionated, “social media watermarks are self-promotion.” But here we are now, aren’t we?
I’m posting to clear my head and get rid of toxic feelings. I’m not going to lie, it made me quite upset. It rattled in my head for weeks. Not so much that I wasn’t allowed to post my artwork; rather, that someone ill-informed has such a skewed opinion that my username and social media shouldn’t be on my art. It was very similar to the local people where I live, who do things such as believing that solar panels are detrimental, or that dumping a box one mile away from your doorstep on your property counts as “delivered”.
That same, exact pulses of anger from being injustly treated. That’s what bothered me.
This is not to cause a stink, this is not to be an activist to make them change. This is me dumping words to the public space so I can stop carrying negative feelings about an experience that happened. It is also a marker that can be read and searched, so that people can be aware and take their own opinions. I always view these types of entries as if I’m at a press conference; be concise, get to the point and be professional about it. If there’s emotions, be plain and share them very dry, report-like as if they were evidence. If not, try to show the logic behind it.
That’s exactly how I look at this; just reporting something that happened to me, and how I feel.
Thanks for the read, have a great week.