To be honest, I joined this internship way too late during this semester; I honestly regret not taking the opportunity when it was given because I was being way too picky with my choices. But from the moment I stepped foot into the organization, I felt like I belonged there. Everyone is just so wonderful and respectful; the atmosphere is so peaceful it just makes me want to come back all the time. Since it’s such a fun and unforgettable experience, I learned something about myself. I am a very timid person. I don’t like to associate with people unless they are close friends or relatives. My professor always told us to not be shy when it comes to these kinds of opportunities that will come our way; I listened. I spoke with other fellow volunteers and learned about their history. I asked questions and even participated in presentations where women leaders from different areas would visit and express how they feel about their environment and community. I even met my supervisor’s lovely parents. What I am trying to say is that I truly stepped out of my comfort zone which is something I normally do when it comes to illustration, not real life. I also learned that people love conversations and are also very interesting to encounter. In my journey of being an artist, I hope to meet many more people who can cause an impact on my life and benefit me to become the best artist I can be.
I remember one meeting the company organized for one of our guest speakers who’s from Chicago. She brought a Chicago based newspaper to explain how the community is suffering. I knew that Chicago was one of the most dangerous cities in the country; I never knew it was also one of the poorest cities. There’s a town filled with the homeless; most of the rent, as well as bills, were too expensive to pay for. The main reason is that since the minimum wage is not as close as ours in New York City, people tend to miss their bill payments. When the businesses take notes of this they won’t give you a payment plan or grant citizens an extended amount of time to pay the bill. Instead, they’ll raise the bill more and it won’t stop until it gets paid off. I was so shocked yet concerned about how people in Chicago live because that could be one of the main factors where shootouts/murders are so frequent there. After the meeting, I gave the guest speaker my email so she can educate myself more about life in Chicago.
a) When I transferred to City Tech, I do remember using images in my Communication Design course in assigned projects without pointing out where I got them from. I didn’t think it was important to lay out where I searched the images I used in photoshop or illustrator. But as time past, I realized that giving credit is not only respectful but a responsibility. There are so many photographers and artists in this world who’s work always gets stolen for merchandise purposes. It’s not fair to claim other’s accomplishments or creativity as yours alone; you should honor that fact that the person who creates the work gave you an idea that you can also use for your own benefit but it’s important to give credit where credit is due.
b) Shepard Fairey deserved probation; based on the AIGA Ethical Guidelines, stealing someone’s work gives you the same consequence as committing a crime. If I saw my work being used a gaining more popularity after it has been altered, I would be very disappointed and take action to claim it as theft and plagiarism. But here’s the correct way of giving credit where credit is due: Artists on the app, Instagram, nowadays like to use a hashtag called “draw this in your style challenge” where a famous artist in the art community illustrates something they want artists to draw but in their own style. So basically the artists themselves are giving other artists the opportunity to use their illustration and alter it however they want; they must explain what they did to change the illustration into their art style while tagging the artist on the post. That is the right way to give credit. But of course, there are others who won’t tag the artist who illustrated and claim it as their own and expect to receive a big following or a lot of appreciation. That is when the artist themselves will take action and demand their artwork to be taken down. It’s even okay to use illustration as guidance to finding one’s art style also. A lot of artists use their inspirations or people who inspire them to draw as references as well. But in Shepard Fairey’s case, he did everything he could to make sure the “Hope” poster was unrecognizable. His poster benefited Barack Obama’s presidential journey all over the country. So while it was helpful it still was illegal.
As an illustrator, myself, I think that people should at least be generous and just point out where they’re work was inspired from and take it from there.
While was working at Women’s Press Collective, copyrighting never crossed my mind. The photographs used for the magazines were always credited and I don’t use stock imagery of any kind on the internet mainly because most of them are pricey and just a challenge to work with. However, I use imagery for myself when it comes to illustrations that I plan; using photographs from my camera for my artwork as references when I need an idea or don’t know how to draw what I have in mind.
B) As far as the non-disclosure agreement goes, I didn’t sign any unfortunately during my internship at Women’s Press Collective. The organization is a nonprofit company that wants to speak the truth to our communities that we reside in. The projects I’ve done are educational and motivational for others to witness what women do on a daily basis and how we should support them.
When it came to graphics, the company itself doesn’t have a logo/icon; I will keep the words of the AIGA Ethical Guidelines in my mind if I want to use a brand logo on future projects or if I want to protect myself from copyright infringement.