I'm so glad I found your site, I can finally confide in someone for help! Always loving animals, I became involved in furries three years ago. I wanted to commemorate it, so planned on getting a tattoo for my 18th birthday. I met someone through a roleplaying forum, and we occasionally talked through a messenger. Telling them I wanted a tattoo, they told me I could use one of their pictures if I wanted. They sent me some pictures through email, and I fell in love with a design! A year later I went and got it done happily!
Last week I was searching through my newly made account on FurAffinity and stumbled upon a picture. It was my tattoo design....drawn by someone else! Browsing through their gallery, it turned out to be the REAL artist! I lost contact with my messenger acquaintance so there's no confronting them, though I sent an e-mail.
I feel so ashamed! I have art theft on my body for the rest of my life. I want to contact the artist but I'm so afraid they'll hate me and be super mad, the picture says not to use it for any purpose. I feel really bad and don't know what to do! Do I tell the artist and risk them hating me and slandering me all over? I set out to make friends in the furry community and now I feel like I'm hiding a dirty secret that they'll all judge me for unknowingly taking part it. PLEASE HELP!
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First of all, this is not your fault, so don’t blame yourself. The “creative procurement” of other people’s art seems to be rampant in the fandom. Some talented artists have stopped posting work for that very reason. I’m glad to hear you have a conscience and want to do the right thing.
I can see where approaching the real artist would make you uncomfortable. For that reason, I would like to offer my services as a liaison between you and the artist. I could approach them, explain the situation, and gauge their reaction. Next, I would suggest you offer to pay them for their art (a reasonable fee). That way, the artist is compensated and you will have a paid-for tattoo that you are not ashamed of.
Please contact me at my email address and we will discuss it.
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