Tuesday, August 16, 2011

[Question] ...I'm going a bit crazy with this one?

A question from someone, and a question from me.
Have you ever done a cap or explored a theme where you thought, "I'm going a bit crazy with this one"?; and If given the opportunity; would you regret not coming back to change something in that cap?

This is a question from Alectra.  I don't believe I've ever really explored themes with a cap.  At least not with a specific cap.  Now I do explore my own inner thoughts with the whole process of being 'Caitlyn'.  So first I'll go over the cap question.  No, I don't believe I've ever gone crazy with a theme in a cap.  When I write, I follow the story that my mind sets out on.   The process of writing has edits or changes built in.

I know some cap artists explore themes... I imagine they start with and idea, and try to stay focused on that idea.   But that isn't my process.  As such, I don't every really regret not editing a cap after it is posted.   For me the cap represents that moment in time... its part of how I was feeling THEN.  To edit it, takes away from that 'moment in time' feeling.  Now I know that particular feeling is all inside me.  A reader can't possibly know what I was going through, even if I explain it.  Nor could they know how it would be different if I wrote it the day before, or the day after.  But capping is as much for ME as it is for my subject.

So in short, when it comes to caps the answer to both of these questions is no.  I do not feel crazy exploring themes, nor do I regret NOT coming back to change something.

But my overall process to being 'Caitlyn'... that's a whole different bag.  I DO feel like I am going a bit crazy exploring this side of me. There seems to be three mental states for me... there is the every day normal me.  'Me' is male, a student going back to school, over a decade after graduating with a college degree, playing games, watching movies, dealing with familial issues... Me.

Then there is 'Caitlyn Me'.  She doesn't know everything about her (and yes, I'm writing from the 'Me' perspective at the moment), so almost everything she does is exploring.  She caps, role plays, and talks with friends via IM.  She has only recently gone into the 3D world by dressing 'Me' in panties.  While that experiences was fun, joyful, and exciting, it was also crazy, confusing, and a little unnerving.

The third state is where the 'crazy' really comes in.  When 'Me' is sitting at my computer worrying about school or playing a game, and one of my 'Caitlyn' friends pops up and starts talking to her.  It can be something as innocent as 'Hey, whatcha up to?' or something as overt as 'Hey sexy, find any cocks to suck?'.  Both are equally jarring, as I feel like they are talking to someone who isn't 'Me'.  If I can, I turn 'Caitlyn' on so that she can respond, but often I just speak to them myself.  

And regret?  Oh yea.. there is plenty of regrets.  Regret that I take so much time from 'My' life to give to 'Caitlyn'.  Time that I could be studying, visiting with friends, or spending time with 'My' family.  But I also have regrets that I don't explore Caitlyn further.  Maybe 'Me' isn't a complete person, and I really need to explore Caitlyn a little more.  Maybe I would be a happier person if I could find the perfect marriage between 'Me' and 'Caitlyn'.  And both Caitlyn and I struggle with those thoughts.

I hope that both answers you question Alectra, and gives you a little more insight into me (us?).

But while I have everyone attention (all four of the people that actually read these 'Question' posts), I wanted to talk a bit about art theft.

When I logged into the computer last night I had messages from friends letting me know that someone was posting one of my caps on their Deviant Art page.  You can see it here. With a little exploring I see that this person has posted several caps from other artists including sp2000.  Now I've had people post my work on their site before.  But every time it was with credit.   They would at least mention my name, and most linked back to this blog.  I really don't mind that, and in fact it makes me feel really good.  Someone liked one of my caps enough that they want to show it off to their friends.   My heart melts.

But this person on Deviant art offered no credit.  And it burned in my belly when is has 'Copyright 2011' and their name.  I know this is a default thing for Deviant Art, but with the person making no attempt to say that this is my work, it looks like they are claiming it as their own.

So anger was my first reaction.  How DARE someone claim my work as theirs.  If someone just happens to wander by their page and not read the comments (Thank you Mistress Simone and venatus for pointing out that this is my work, and pointing back to my blog), they will associate this work with this 'artist'.

So I wandered around Deviant Art, looking for a way to 'report' this image as stolen.  The closest I could find is reporting it as a copyright issue.  But that gets sticky.  I can't really claim a copyright on the cap.  I 'borrowed' the image behind it.  I have spent a lot of time as a working photographer, and I know the legal ramifications of claiming copyright.  I've had to defend my images before from people and even newspapers. And legally, I can't do that here.

But it still burns me.  The only thing I can think to do, is add a watermark to my caps.  And I am so torn on doing that.  There are plenty of artists that have watermarks in their caps, but my big issue with adding a watermark is that it is adding a design element.  I already work my caps in a way to take up the empty space, so I would either have to 'work in' space for the watermark, or add it in 'under' the cap.  Neither sits right with me.  I like the cap to dictate what is in or what is left out.  I don't want to start each cap with an element that MUST be there.

As I can't make up my mind, I thought about putting a poll up on the main page asking if I should add a watermark.   But as everyone would see that, and not understand my reasons and hesitations for doing so, I though better of it.  Instead I'll just ask here in this post.  I know most people don't read these, and even fewer respond.  The people that take the time to read these non cap posts, and respond are the exact people whose opinion I respect the most.

So... should I add a watermark to my caps?


  1. Thank you for responding so fast Cait. And yes I do know you (both!) a bit better than before ^-^
    Personally I never gave much insight into Alectra as she has become a part of me at least online, but I know though she was already inside of me. Like a whole person with her own pet peeve and desires...

    For the other, I would say why not? then again. Your work has imprinted - This is a Caitlyn's work you know! - So I don't see it as a necessary thing. Then again, I follow you and your delightful process and for that I cannot be partial to it. Still I think someone would gladly catch an attempt of thievery if that ever happen again. I've been thinking on doing a watermark too, just in case, but, for now I just put my name on it...

    I don't even now how to make a cool watermark "giggle" and I'm sure thats take a lot of process and becomes a nuisance after awhile, for both, the reader and the writer.

    Incidentally Kara's work was posted in that account too. Amy's pond was the cap this subject stolen if you care to know.

    P.S: Since my next post is going to be the 100th I have something for you as well others who have supported me so far. I know you don't like gifts, but you will have to swallow it all Cait. Nice and clean! "giggle"

  2. my suggestion to you on this is to perhaps watermark your blog's address into the boarder somehow. I've thought about doing something similar or alter my own watermark with my blog address in it.

    You have the design chops to make this work for you so I have every faith you can make it happen. It's in your best interests so that you at least get the proper credit for it. People are also less likely to take credit for a caption with a watermark than one that doesn't have one. (however, it didn't seem to stop the person who used yours - several of the caps on their page have water mark/logos on them that belong to established caption artists)

  3. I'm sure that you could make a watermark that was clean enough not to screw with your captions, but yeah, its a pain in the ass, and why I haven't done any of mine.

    If you do like Simone says though, you (or others) could at least report the person as having posted captions with a watermark you don't think they own the copyright to. That way, they might be able to email you and find out if you gave permission.

    We've talked about having multiple personas before. Since Dee is pretty much me as a chick, it doesn't usually impact me too much when I'm online, specifically since I don't get nearly as "sexually charged" as you can when you are Caitlyn.

  4. I can understand your frustration with the "stolen" work. It's annoying really pretty cheap for a person to do that. It's even more annoying and cheap for a person to do that on DA. It is one thing to put other people's stuff on a blog; many blogs act as collection points for captions by many artists. It is something else entirely to put "stolen" work on a DA page where the assumption is that the work is a creation of yours. That's pretty low down.

    I can see your quandary though with reporting. It isn't really your work originally so that makes it much shakier ground to start from. It feels like you should be able to do something about it though.

    One thing to consider though is that you are not really out anything. That's why I put the word "stolen" in quotes above. I dislike the theft terminology when used with digital things. There can be an infinite number of copies of a Caitlyn cap spread all over the world and the original is still there on your hard drive. So in that sense nothing was taken from you.

    I'm not saying that you don't have reason to be mad at this lazy jerk. I am saying though that really you aren't out anything, and that it isn't worth your time and energy to be angry about this. Maybe that's just my ego talking though; I'm a bit ashamed to admit it, but I'm a little annoyed that some of my work wasn't "stolen" as well. What am I, chopped liver? ;) *giggle*

    As far as the watermark goes, I played around with that for a while when I started capping. After a while I found it to be annoying to add in and annoying when I went back and looked at my caps. It always felt like it was detracting from the story or the image. Like my credit was more important than either of those things. That's why I stopped adding it.

    Also, it is a really difficult thing to do to add a mark and not have it be distracting. If you put it on the edge, then it is simple enough for someone to crop it out of the image. If you put it in the middle, then it has to be really subtle to not be in the way. I'm sure you could handle it very well, but is it worth the effort? I'd say probably not.