RE:Fanart Crediting (War?)

Oh wow, has this topic finally made it into the anime blogging world (is this even the name of the community…)? About time, I guess.

I’ve been seeing this problem since way back when (lolol Livejournal) about people using fanart in their icons and crediting 4chan as the source and making people credit the iconist for the icons instead, which is really similar to what is happening right now. The credit issue never bothered me ever because I just never used fanart ever. Now, however, I use them in my posts, but for some reason I can never see illustrations as fanart, and I always always see them as actual art instead, which leads to me crediting properly 99% of the time. (The 1% when I don’t credit is because the artist is mentioned in the next line and/or the picture is directly relevant to the content.)

My face when you credit 4ch. (Illust: huke)

My face when you credit 4ch. (Illust: huke)

Okay, enough background and stuff-nobody-cares-about. Here’s my take, in handy, not-so-short point form.

  • I do believe that credit is due to the parties involved in said product’s creation. (ie. The composer, the artist (!!!), the singer, etc) This is because:

a) More people can know who made it, where it came from, thus increasing appreciation because they will acknowledge that someone spent their time to make it.

b) More people will be exposed to the artist’s work and maybe become a fan of their works. (Also, one would be able to seem more knowledgable/cultured by being able to name just exactly who created it. +10 Hardcore points, man!)

c) Being a fan = getting more enjoyment out of later works produced by artist.

d) More fans gives the artist more confidence to continue and provide more quality stuff (provided that the fans are not mindless and stupid), giving fans even more enjoyment.

e) Keep in mind that these “fanartists” are sharing their work FOR FREE to everyone despite using a LOT of effort into producing them.

*The above reasons (esp. a-b) are basically why I started this blog to introduce artists and make it known that they are the source of the images you see and enjoy.

  • If you don’t know the source, DON’T USE IT. If you really want to use it, save it and find out who drew it later, or you can use TinEye to do a match (still in beta, but for most images, it works.)

  • Another alternative is to use official images only so you don’t even have to credit. You can just go “Oh…This is from that Haroohee animu.” or whatever. That’s what I did for icons/avatars back in the day.

  • Why are people blaming artists for not putting their names on it? I mean, it is part of the problem, but a lot of them a) don’t want to shove it in everyone’s face that they drew it, b) assume that you know where you got it from and has enough integrity to not trace/plagarize/do despicable things to it, and c) for most images with colour in every pixel on the canvas, putting a name on is out of place, and signing it won’t work too well either since people who don’t know the artist don’t know their signature! (See the one in the image below.)

Everyone's face when you credit the artist. (Illust: Soejima Shigenori)

  • Also, maybe people should explore more complete image sources which lists the artist so one knows who to credit in the first place. 4chan might have pretty images (surrounded by junk), but if you want REALLY pretty images, why not browse through Shuushuu, which 80% of the time tags the creator correctly, or even GASP Pixiv, where the artist themselves post their pictures so you can just copypasta their name into your post and bam, all credit, no wank.

  • In addition, everyone knows in the back of their head that a picture isn’t generated, and that REAL HUMAN BEINGS spent their time to make it, so is it so incredibly hard to take some minutes of your time to credit them? That time is nothing compared to the countless hours put into 60% of fully coloured illustrations. It is really hard to fully comprehend the crazy effort found in art if you haven’t drawn anything yourself, so maybe you should give it a try and see how good you are compared to them, and how much effort you would probably have to spend to even become CLOSE to what those artists are putting out.

  • Lastly, it would’ve been much, much easier if the standard for everyone was to credit image sources, so that it would be a habit for people and not “extra work” for people like it is now. I personally have made a habit out of it and credit everything. okay I am just OCD, tbh

Phew, that was way longer and probably more incoherent than I expected (and really preachy/ranty), but I posted this anyways because I spent a lot of time on it yow. Time to disappear for 4 days in a row.