I Can Still Roar!
Alfie had just stood up and dusted himself down, when out the corner of his eye he saw a pillow begin to move.
It zig-zagged away for about half a metre before Fox put his foot in its path to stop it..
"Rooaarrr!" squeaked a little voice.
"Pardon", said Fox,
"I said Rooaarr!"
"A talking pillow!", exclaimed Alfie!
"Don't be silly", I said, "Pillows can't talk, never mind roar!"
I turned over the pillow, and there, blinking up at us was the tiniest little T-rex you ever did see!
"T-rex! Oh buddy, what did the 'Image Thieves' do to you? You look so...so"
"Tiny!" squeaked T-rex. "They shrinkified me!"
"Oh no", said Alfie.
T-rex shrilled, "Not only that, but they piximillated me..i'm..blurrificated!" his head lowered, "What shall I ever do? You know me, I love to work out to be big and strong! Isn't it me that always says 'Good News It's Leg Day!'?"
"Don't worry T-rex", I said. "We'll find a way of getting you back to full size, I promise!"
Fox piped up, "You can snuggle down in my bobble hat on our journey home!"
Alfie added, "You know T-rex, it doesn't matter what size you are, it's how big your heart is that counts!"
What T-rex meant by 'shrinkified', 'piximillated', and 'blurrificated' is that, yet again, the 'Image Thieves' had stolen one little 72pixel per inch picture from my Zazzle store, so when they tried to enlarge his image to full size for selling on Amazon, then the image would go all blurry..there would not be enough information in the file! Of course the customer would only see a small image on the Amazon site, so they wouldn't know the image would turn out so poorly when made.
If you'd like to see T-rex in all his majestic glory, then click on the buttons below - and when you get to the page he's on..give him a little roar to show him your support!
Thanks for joining us on our little adventure..hopefully only a couple more friends to rescue before we can return home to put our feet up and drink hot chocolate!
None of us had noticed the 'Image Thieves' tentacles wrapping around the branch.
Fox had just previously tip-toed towards the nest in which Alfie had been held captive.
"I'll get you out Alfie", he said calmly, "I've a good sense of bal.."
The branch shook ferociously. Fox finished his sentence as we all went tumbling downwards towards the gound.
We had landed on a huge pile of pillows!
At first we were thankful of the soft landing, and then I started noticing the designs - they were all mine! My 'T-rex loves Tickles', my 'World's Best Teacher', even the one with little Fox on his rollerskates!
We were grateful of the soft landing, but why, you may ask, were there so many pillows lying there in the Amazon place?
Well, if truth be told, it's because many times, customers had ordered, paid for, and waited expectantly for their pillows to arrive...not noticing that they were shipping from China. Weeks would pass, but a lot of the time the pillows still would not come.
Those poor customers parting with money, but getting nothing in return to show for it.
Sometimes the pillows would eventually arrive, but again the fabric would look nothing like in the picture the 'Image Thieves' had stolen. No vibrancy of the original file, and again, with them only getting a 72 pixels per inch picture from the internet instead of 300 pixels - well the pillows were a huge disappointment.
Of course they could return those pillows - but...to China? How much would that cost in shipping fees?
No, no, no...I couldn't let those pillows remain in the clutches of those Image Thieves' operating on Amazon. I would endeavour to get them all taken off the site.
If you'd like to buy a plumpy, comfy, plush, vibrantly coloured cushion, then please order through the store links on my little shop page. That way I'll be able to afford to keep designing, and the 'Image Thieves' will just have to sit scratching their heads with their tentacles and wonder how we, together, have confounded them!
Thank you for journeying with us on our adventure so far.
See you in the next episode!
Little Alfie Shocked To The Core!
It had been two hours since i had managed to break the chain that was holding Fox to the boulder.
From the shoreline we had spotted a forest of trees. Maybe some more of our little friends would be sheltering within. We had to take the chance. Onwards we journeyed, not knowing what we would find!
I could see some spaces in the undergrowth where artists images had been, and were then removed. It gave me hope that all my little pals could be freed from the clutches of the 'Image Thieves' operating in the Amazon place.
It was Fox who heard the call first.
We peered upwards, trying to see through all the leaves and branches.
Even with Fox's good eyesight we couldn't make out who was calling.
"Who's there?" we shouted.
"Me!" they hollered back.
"Me who?" fox giggled, albeit nervously.
"I..I..don't know...th-they've took my name away!"
Fox and I were silent for a moment.
In the quiet we heard a little sob.
"We can't see you!" Fox yelped.
"I'm in the nest..they p-put me here, and I can't get down!"
"Don't worry, we're coming!" Fox and I shouted together.
It was fox who had started climbing first. Even with his sore arm from the chains, he still managed to climb faster than me.
As I clambered out onto a sturdy branch, I saw for the first time who it was...sitting there in the 'Image Thieves' nest was a little boy holding the biggest, reddest, juiciest apple you ever did see.
Before I could even say hello, the little chap asked,
"Wh-who am I?"
I gulped with emotion as the words choked in my throat.
"Alfie", I said. "Your name is Alfie!"
You see, dear readers, when the 'Image Thieves' stole Alfie and his apple from my Zazzle store, they knew that his design could no longer be personalised. Amazon doesn't have that function yet. He can only be personalised in my Zazzle store or in my CafePress store.
Usually Alfie is given to teachers as a little present, and it's always fun to personalise the gift with the teacher's name. Alfie loves sitting in a classroom, whether it's on a tote bag, a teachers t-shirt, or a chalkboard alphabet cushion - he feels as if he's really getting a fantastic education when he's there too!
You can see him in action by pressing either of the buttons below (the page will open in a new window).
Thank you for following us on our adventure so far. Here's hoping we can free some more of our friends tomorrow!
And The Rock Cried Out No Hiding Place!
That little voice, almost lost in the wind, whimpering in the darkness..
It couldn't be, could it? I got out the boat, ran on to the shore, switched on my lamp, and heard that little quivering voice once more.
"I'm over here!"
"behind the rocks"
I shone the light over the rocks, and those little eyes peered out the darkness. It was fox!
I couldn't believe what those Image Thieves on Amazon had done to my poor little friend. His colour had drained, so much...he looked so..bedraggled. My poor, poor wee fox!
The reason poor wee fox looked so pale and drawn is because when an image thief kidnapped him from my Zazzle store, they could only copy a tiny picture, so there was a complete colour shift. Whenever these bad people would print him on a pillow or tee shirt etc, then their file would not have all the colour information that the original file contains. He would look so pale, so unwell, and really not a nice representation of him to have around the house.
If you want to see Fox looking his best, then have a look at him here by clicking this link to my happy hearts store
He always has fun over there, and looks so vibrant...and you know what, he'll be really pleased to go home with you too!
Thanks for joining us on our quest so far! There will be another wee adventure tomorrow, as Fox and i go to rescue another one of my wee pals from the Image Thieves lurking on Amazon.
Navigating The Amazon!
And the cry rang out - We're going to need a bigger spreadsheet!
It's been a bit of a day. Where previously I thought there had only been one..or even a couple of images stolen from my Zazzle store by the Amazon image thieves, it now appears as if there are quite a few.
I've had to set up a spreadsheet, and lordy do I hate using spreadsheets, just to keep track.
It's interesting to see that some of the designs have been on sale by the Amazon thieves for quite a while. Seems that almost as soon as i'd put them up online they were snatched up - who knew i had such an eager audience of ne'er do wells!
Obviously the Amazon system will have recorded how many sales were made by these jackanapes.
The further I sail, the more questions bubble up as to how a company as large as Amazon can fail to have anti pirating checks in place. That, however, is a discussion for tomorrow.
The Not So Great Amazon Image Theft Problem!
Firstly - Here's an image representing the way I was feeling earlier! Read on if you want to know why i'm raging!
Regular readers will have come to expect a more genteel, easy going, whimsical blog..but ...well folks today it's the other side of me making an appearance. That part of the inner artist that springs out like the Hulk saying - 'Brody Smassshhh!!'.
Remember the blog from a couple of days ago when i was remembering kicking up the autumn leaves as a wee boy. Well today I want to kick the arses of all those design thieves that have been selling my work on Amazon, some for over a year - of which i've only become aware today.
Let's be honest - anyone who sits down and puts their time, effort and skills into creating a piece of work and then puts it up for sale online, knows that they run the risk of it being copied and sold by some nefarious ratfink.
The question is - what does a site like Amazon do to stop this? And when it's brought to their attention, how do they handle this growing problem. I'll be going through this process in the next few days - so you bet i'm going to keep you updated with an honest appraisal of how i'm treated as an independent artist, and not a major brand, by perhaps the biggest marketplace in the world.
So be prepared for thrills, spills, illustrations and hopefully a lighthearted look at a serious problem.
For example - this morning I reported one violation, and the image was taken down within two hours...only to reappear 30 minutes later.
It's like 'whack-a-mole' but costing the copyright owner money!
Tune in tomorrow, where i'll be like Charlie Chaplin sliding through the cogs of the Amazon complaints machine!
And as always folks, if you're buying any of my art, please follow the links from my shop page!
Still going pumpkin mad here today!
Hope you're having a creative day too!
See ye tomorra!
Character Development - Wee Pumpkinheid (Part 1)
I've been toying around with a few wee spooky halloween characters, and as well as my usual 'Wee Dracula' and 'Little Medusa', i've started releasing this little fella on to the page - 'Wee Pumpkinheid'.
I'm not sure where he comes from, or how a pumpkin has landed 'splat' on top of his head, but as usual he seems to be forcing himself to the fore before sharing his story. Here he is from sketch stage to where he's at the now.
Do you know..just when I was writing the last bit, I started putting two and two together and figuring out why this 'Wee Pumpkinheid' guy has come into existence.
I'll reveal all in Part 2 of his character development.
Let's just say, he's been lurking around my brain since the 1970's!
Have a great night, and i'll see ye tomorra!
It's Raining Scotch Pies - Hallelujah!
Okay, sometimes I get a thought in my head, and it's slightly surreal, but it's fun to get down on paper.
I've the words to the weather girls "It's Raining Men" going round in my head...but replace it with the image of Scotch Pies.
I've a feeling it would be every dog's dream come true - so here's a picture of a wee dog leaping about excitedly as the Scotch Pies are raining down.
I think we're going to have to file this one under B for Bampottery!
I'm actually feeling quite peckish now!
Have a great night and i'll see ye tomorra!
I can't believe it's September alreadies! Where has this year gone. How much did i hope to get done by this time - picture books written, short films made, oil paintings finished.
But, you know what? We're only ever in a race with ourselves, these things take time, and you set your own pace, and to throw in a cliche - enjoy the journey!
I heard the weatherman this morning saying it was officially, in meteorological terms, the first day of Autumn, and it sparked a wee memory in me.
In this memory - i'm a toddler walking along Lochend Street, by Kinloch Green in Campbeltown. The leaves are already clumped on the pavement beside a little wall. I must have been dawdling..one hand in a packet of crisps (mini chips) and my eyes fascinated by all the different shades of the fallen leaves.
My mum must've noticed this, and instead of telling me to hurry up, started kicking up the leaves with her feet.
"Your turn" she says.
Tentatively my wee feet kicked a clump.
She kicked another clump, this time higher.
I kicked higher too.
Leaves soared, and scattered, swirled, and landed, and then were kicked again.
We did this for a few minutes, then seeing that my wee legs were getting tired, we toddled off up to Broad Street, to my house for hot chocolate.
So here's a wee Autumn image, as a tribute to those who showed us all to kick leaves, and to take time, even if just for a few minutes, each day, to have fun.
When the leaves fall this year, no matter what age you are, remember to give them a wee kick - for old times sake!
Have a creative day, and i'll see ye tomorra!
Whit's he up tae noo?
The blog posts of David Brodie, a Scottish artist based near Glasgow.