Sunday, June 23, 2013

Respect Your Derby Creatives

Every day in derby, I see some amazing art and photography donated to leagues by various photographers, designers and illustrators.  I'm lucky that I get to work with some incredible artists, such as Punk Blocker, A Boy Named Tsunami, Joshua R. Craig, Bucket, and Eva Lye; it's a real thrill to have people want my art on their posters, and I'm glad to donate the hours and hours of time to do them, without a fee.  Usually, I only ask for credit, a couple of copies of the poster or shirt, and maybe ticket to get into the bout if it's local.  Considering that my freelance fee is usually fifty dollars an hour, it's a pretty good deal, and one service I'm happy to donate.

Art from one of the very first posters I ever did.
Unfortunately, some leagues don't have this kind of access to various photographers and artists, and have to rely on poster design by league members.  There is nothing wrong with that at all; I love to see the personality of each league being reflected in the posters and marketing materials I find.  Sometimes I even like to Google for "roller derby posters" and find some pretty amazing stuff.  The bad part of that is when I find some of MY art being used without my permission or credit.

When I notice that a league is using my artwork without permission, it's usually because one of my friends has found it on Facebook somewhere.  I'm so thankful that I have people who look out for me and my artwork, by the way.  Thank you for having my back (Thunder and Camo, just to name a few!)  Usually I can contact the league who is posting my artwork and let them know I would prefer credit for any of my art.  Most of the time the leagues in question do the right thing, and they apologize.  "I didn't realize this was your work; we're terribly sorry and will credit you."  If they link to my blog, even better!  For the most part I don't get too angry (if it's not a repeat offender), because I understand that people don't always understand how much time and effort goes into doing artwork, taking photos, or laying out a poster.  Even though most of the artists that donate their art don't want to send a "take down" order to derby leagues, it would be better for all involved if people didn't randomly "borrow" someone's art in the first place.
I did this one for fun. Don't steal it.  Ok?

Just because you found an image online, doesn't mean it's free and clear to be used.  Most roller derby art or photography is created for and by people involved with roller derby.  It doesn't just appear on the internet by magic!   It was most likely created or photographed for a specific reason, and that reason wasn't for your poster or league.  Now, if you contact the artist and ask permission to use the image, they probably will be ok with it.  I usually am pretty free with my art being used by derby leagues; but if you decided to just steal something from my site, I'm going to be a little more irate, and if you don't correct it, I'm going to be less than agreeable.  Remember, I volunteer my artwork as do other artists, and it sucks when you take advantage of a volunteer in derby.  Don't be that league who steals artwork, and yes, if you don't ask permission, you're stealing.  And don't doubt for one minute that I won't be watching to see if you're using someone else's art without permission either.  Artists have a bond, yo, almost as strong as derby girls!  Having issues with someone taking your artwork?  Try this site.


  1. I love the pink girl punching the blue one. That happened to me tonight at practice.
    **warm fuzzies**

  2. Hear hear! As a long time derby photographer I completely agree.

  3. If you find an image they would like to use, but aren't sure how to find out the creator: All you have to do is copy and paste the location of an image into Google Image Search, and a link 'search by image' will come up. Click it. The original source is usually the most linked, and will come up in the first page of results. Boom. You can go ask for permission. *NBC the more you know rainbow*

    1. Nice! I actually heard the music when you said that.

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