Getting to Know Smeared Ink and Our Images
It has recently come to our attention that there have been some questions regarding where our stamp images come from, and we'd like to share with you what our processes are when we create or choose our images.
There are three types of images that you will find in our shop. The first category contains images that have been hand drawn and copyrighted by us. Terra and Tori have both been drawing since a young age, and love sharing their unique creations with you in the form of stamp images. We also enjoy photography, and convert some of our personal photographic images to be used as stamps. Some great examples of these types of images can be found in our Li'l Grumpies, Quothe The Raven, Holy City, and Urban Decay sets, among others.
The second category contains images that we have licensed from other artists. These images are licensed to Smeared Ink by the artist to be produced as either rubber or digital images for our customer use. We have a great variety of licensed images that include such sets as Candy is Dandy, Build A Graveyard, Calaveras, and Morbidly Adorable Tarot.
The third category includes our sets that contain public domain images, such as A Little Bit Batty, Sea Skeleton, Von Bayros, and French Fairies. What exactly does public domain mean? Well, the term “public domain” refers to creative materials that are not protected by intellectual property laws such as copyright, trademark, or patent laws. The public owns these works, not an individual author or artist. Anyone can use a public domain work without obtaining permission, but no one can ever own it. You will find many public domain works being used in rubber stamp businesses, from the small businesses to the larger companies and designers such as Tim Holtz.
How is it fair to sell public domain works if they are available for anyone to use? Well, that is a very good question. Most original works in the public domain are very old, and therefore need work done to them to make them appropriate for use as a rubber or digital stamp. When we present images and sets that contain public domain work, we do not claim the original image, however we do claim the manpower that it took to locate and get those images ready for our customers' use.
Now you may ask yourself if you can find these images somewhere else, and possibly for cheaper? It is possible. There have been some instances where stamp companies, or other companies, offer similar or the same image. This is especially common with vintage images or images that fit specifically into a certain genre. We price our images based on the work that we put into them, and it is up to our customers to decide if they would like to purchase from us or not.
What about collections? Some public domain images have been made available in compilations, such as the Dover collections, and these collections are copyrighted. An important point to understand about public domain material is that, while each work belongs to the public, collections of public domain works may be protected by copyright. Such is the case for several of our sets that contain images not from one source, but from a variety of public domain sources that we have compiled into a collection.
Now you know where our images come from. We will continue to strive to bring you images that you would love to use in your art, and images that inspire us as well whether they are drawn by us, licensed from other artists, or public domain works. If you have ideas on things you would like to see from us, please feel free to contact us.
Terra & Tori @ Smeared Ink