update: to address a few of the comments left at this post -- Kal & I actually talked over the phone and had a good conversation. I explained my side of things. She was very understanding. I know some of you are saying that I am being too hard on myself but maybe I just took this position because I've had my work copied very blatantly and then have the person outright deny it. I just needed to take responsibility. This post is not an entire apology, but a call to realization and action. I hope that point wasn't missed. Maybe it was. No, I'm not loosing sleep over this and I don't think 2 lines would have sufficed. I did write this post right after it happened so it may contain some extra emotions but it's written from the heart.
Friends, I did something really un-classy thing last week. I used someone's work without asking, without even knowing it. I didn't realize it was hers. I know, I know. how could I not know?? But it truly just did not even hit me. So I don't even know what's worse. Knowing it and doing it. Or being so ignorant and doing it. Regardless, I owe everyone an apology.
The "be classy" message from the free monthly calendar I posted was not mine to use. It is the work of Kal Barteski. I am embarrassed. The kind of crawl-under-the-bed-and-never-return embarrassed. I acknowledge that it was totally and completely irresponsible of me.
The elements I sometimes use in my designs are from various resource sites. Some time ago, I downloaded a pack of .png files from a source I won't name. I guess I thought this person created all these designs themselves. but that is how I came across Kal's design. Her logo was removed and probably many other designer's logos in this pack of images. Ugh. As a designer, I should know better. No excuses. I take full responsibility. The irony here is that I spoke on a panel with Kal in January about crediting properly!! Wow. I know, I know. This is bad.
I have to first and fore-mostly apologize to Kal - I am so sorry for the anger, disappointment, and frustration I am sure to have caused through this. I'm sorry for showing such a lack of class and using your design.
and I apologize to you, the readers & the blog community. With improper crediting and artists getting copied being so rampant now and days, I should have been more responsible with the designs I offered to you.
As a designer & blogger - I stand for proper crediting. I stand for responsibility, and doing my research for correct links and sources. So to have used Kal's image so ignorantly in my design goes against everything I try to do.
At ALT we talked about how we, you and I, those who know what is right, need to set the standard. Maybe some people just don't know what is okay and what's not okay. So it has to start with a few doing it right, and hopefully it will pass on. But how can I set good example when I'm doing something that is really not cool? I can't. I hope my experience can show us all how it is so important, now more than ever, to credit properly and link with love. If you are removing someone's logo from something - that is not okay. Who even removes logos from work? It just took one person to remove Kal's logo from her image which went viral on tumblr, uncredited and un-sourced. It's really a shame.
I've learned such a valuable lesson here: to care more and stop being so apathetic to doing proper research. To respect artists and designers, and simply be responsible.
One request: please do me a huge favor and download the new & corrected calendar. Kal Barteski's beautiful work can be purchased here. Thank you so much for reading and making a decision to be responsible.
ps: I wasn't sure if I should leave comments open or closed on this one but I've decided to leave them open. If you have any thoughts, want to scold me (which I totally deserve), want to share any of your own experiences so others may know, please do so in the comments below.