Oh, wait, nobody does. So why do they exist? Because there are people out there who have no problem taking other peoples art and posting it as their own.
Nobody HAS to post to dA. Painters and cartoonists and photographers and sculptors, we all post because we WANT to share these works with you. For free.
Meaningless. Deviant Art isn't like YouTube where we get paid for how many times our pictures are viewed. It isn't a subscription service like Patreon. (It's called patronage or donations, but come on, your paying for something from month to month because you want to look at it. That's a subscription). It's a place where people share their art because they want to. I want to share my art with other people because I feel like they enjoy seeing my art. And I'm guessing that people are taking my art and posting it on other sites as their own work because they like my art A LOT. So here's the thing. If you like my art that much, and by that extension, me. Why would you want to hurt me like this?
Do you have any idea how many gorgeous days I've spent inside, learning how to draw, that I will never get back? The vacations I didn't go on, the friendless hours spent alone? How LITTLE money I make. I have spent THOUSANDS of hours learning how to draw a calf muscle from memory so that when someone asks me to draw someone standing in such a way, or I want to draw a pose for a panel in a comic book, I can do so without having to go and find a picture reference. References are great. They really are. But try drawing a comic book and finding a reference for every pose that you need. It would take FOREVER to draw an entire comic. All that work for what? So you can take my art and repost it?
I LOVE getting great comments from all you guys out there. It makes me feel like I'm not wasting my life. But you can't pay your bills with love.
Now, if you want, I could move to an entirely commission based work flow where only I and the person who have paid for it will see the full image. Or I can post super cropped pictures here and make you pay me on some other site to see the full thing. I DON'T want to do that. But I can. I can also stop posting all together and get a real job and make lots more money and never have to get an email or note or letter telling me that someone is stealing my art. But that's not a real solution. People are fired suddenly all the time, or you find out someone you love has been cheating on you.
There are MUCH worse things out there than what art thieves are doing. In fact, it's about as bottom of the barrel tragic as I am bottom of the barrel of the entertainment industry. But maybe it's because of that, because my art is SO unimportant and yet I cling to it so TIGHTLY, that I feel so personal about all this.
I've got close to ten thousand watchers and almost 700,00 page views. But on average, it's only the same twenty to thirty people who comment, (of which I read ALL of them), and each drawing gets an average of about 500-1000 faves.
But that's who I do all this for. About a thousand people, out of 7,000,000,000. That's enough for me. That's enough for me because sometimes, I know, it's hard to make any sort of a connection with even one person.
So am I going to punish everyone with having to look at a big ugly watermark because one person is being hurtful? No. Am I only going to publish cropped pictures and move into a pay-to-play world? No. But how do I stop you from hurting me? I could report these thefts to the mods of that site. So what? You can just open a new blog under a different name and go right on reposting my work, and it becomes this cat and mouse game of me chasing you, and you running from me, and nothing ever gets made ever again, and it's only over when one of us gets tired and quits. Or, you stop taking my art and you start taking from another artist. How does that help anyone? It doesn't. All I can tell you is that you are making me, the guy who spent so much of his life devoted to THIS, wonder if it's worth it.