Beginning in 2004, I started a website which eventually became Help4Trauma.org ([link]).
My motivation for starting this site was to put information out there for:
- individuals whom had survived trauma/abuse and
- who didn't know where to turn for help.
Through personal and volunteer experience I knew that there was a lot of violence in our world, but not much for those affected by it.
I knew that those affected too often:
- felt alone (although that could not be further from the truth)
- felt too ashamed or scared to ask for help in person
- didn't have access to quality treatment for trauma-related disorders
- didn't have insurance that covered the kind of treatment they needed
- didn't have insurance and couldn't afford hundreds to thousands out-of-pocket
- deserved better!
So I taught myself HTML, sought permission to distribute what information was under copyright before posting it, and went to work.
I am not an artist in that I cannot paint or draw. My talent is in words. So while I could provide my new site with words, I eventually realized that I also needed permission to throw in some quality artwork as well.
I riffled through epilogue.net and sent out emails.
Since 2004 the things you can do with webdesign have been enhanced dramatically - especially through the latest development of CSS 3.0. I, being the proper geek I am, became excited this past summer, and started rebuilding Help4Trauma.org via new coding capabilities.
I also decided to get new artwork. This time, instead of Epilogue.net, I went with DeviantART. I sent out the same sort of emails I did previously (when I previously riffled through Epilogue.net) to dozens of artists, in order to obtain the proper permissions ahead of time. I simultaneously became captivated by what graphic artists are able to do with photo-manipulations. I decided to try it out myself! Thus this account came to be.
While working on my own shitty photo-manipulations I soon realized that giving proper credit to stock suppliers is a big deal. It has legal ramifications and such.
I started to wonder...some of the individuals who previously gave me permission to use their artwork did so while, I assumed, also having permission from their stock providers to use that work outside of DA (to provide permission to me in using it at Help4Trauma.org).
But then the doubt came....
- What if they didn't have permission to give me permission?
- What if a strock provider - through image recognition technology (yes they have that) - found their stock used without permission on my site?
- What if I got some mean email with words like "sue", "illegal", and "copyright infringement" in it??!
- Holy hell!
The more I have gotten to know GIMP over the past 4-5 months, the more I have increased my ability to produce halfway-almost-not-shitty photo-manipulations of my own. It's been rather addictive!
So then, why not just make the Help4Trauma.org art myself?
So over the past week I've sent emails out to stock providers, in order to get their permission for using their stock at Help4Trauma.org (if they had such stipulations to ask first - some do, some don't).
Yesterday, in response to an email I sent to one stock provider, he informed me that I already was using his stock - via an artist I assumed I could trust!
This kind individual said it was okay if I kept it on my site. However, I will soon be taking it down, as he has recently become commercial-only. Eventually I'll use his stock as soon as I can afford it (he is pretty bad ass and the prices rock). But, needless to say, not only was this embarrassing, but it also proved that I wasn't just being paranoid in the first place!
Now that I have graduated with my bachelors in social work, I have a little over four months until I start graduate school. I want to use that time to devout to finishing Help4Trauma.org - both the photo-manipulations needed, and the CSS! I'll be posting each new deviation here with an explanation of the page it is constructed for and such.
Thank God the photos I use are small, or my lack of experience would be harder to disguise.
Wish me luck!
~ Jocelyn Patrick
PS: Even for stock providers who have things that say, "It's okay to use this off DA, you don't have to ask," I'm still giving them a heads up. You can never be too careful.