Several years ago my work was being “stolen” (ripped off, infringed upon, misappropriated, orphaned, and then sold by others) with such frequency that I nearly stopped making anything new. Then I had the “brilliant” idea of incorporating my name into the work. The image above is an early example. Can’t miss that name! But why is it there? Because I considered it an organic watermark, so fundamental to the composition that it would destroy the work if removed. I’d solved the problem!
The faces I made that way were immediate failures. “Why’s your name there? Take it out and maybe I’ll buy it!” – that was what I heard from one potential customer. “Get famous, then I’ll want to look at your name.” – another comment.
My name didn’t do well as a copyright identifier, either. “Where’s the copyright symbol? Either it’s a copyright mark or it isn’t. This way’s just stupid.” Yes, OK. Got it.
I still struggle with copyright issues but I’ve given up on this particular idea. Someday I may try to rework the images but until then they act as salient reminders of how very ridiculous some ideas can be when implemented by the wrong people. I couldn’t pull it off. The work was – simply – not strong enough.
Live and learn? Every day. :)