Last week Gayle from Garden of Daisies left a comment letting me know that my paper dolls were beginning to appear on Pinterest. She had quite correctly noticed that I don't have a Pinterest button and was concerned I did not know they were there. Thank you Gayle - I was completely unaware anyone had pinned them.
I've always been slightly uncomfortable about the concept of Pinterest. To see if I could find my own dolls I created a profile (apologies if I confused anyone by doing this as I'm unlikely to use it) but none of my searches turned up anything.
I then started searching in general and was amazed to discover some of my dolls on Tumblr. Don't get me wrong - it is extremely flattering to think that anyone liked my work enough to include them. It was also all done above board with a link back to my blog - and I was quite taken aback by the comments that were left by people saying they wanted to print them but felt sheepish as adults by admitting to doing so.
What was a bit disconcerting is that I had no idea this was happening. I have had a tremendous response (for a such small insignificant blog) to my Morgana and Guinevere paper dolls. The original Morgana doll (purple, green and blue dresses) currently has 1551 page views. The Guinevere doll is split over more posts but combined page views for her is already around the 1000 mark as well
Traffic for these dolls appears in my stats every day and the last thing I wanted to do was spoil anyone's enjoyment of them by defacing the images with a watermark. But I've come to realise I probably don't have much choice. (I've avoided watermarks before because I'm worried they may make me appear pretentious - and also it has to be admitted because I am lazy!)
Today I've started adding watermarks to the Morgana, Guinevere and Princess Kate dolls. (I've also temporarily restricted access to them in my Picasa Web albums.) I've tried not to make the watermark too intrusive but I also had to make sure it had some impact. This is how they appear:
Its possibly a bit of a 'cart before the horse' situation in the case of the existing dolls but it is a policy I will be continuing with. As you can see in some cases the watermarks are more visible than others. Its a pity I've had to do this but like any mother I am concerned about my children when they stray away from home!
I've also added an email button on my sidebar underneath my profile. I know its a nuisance but for followers of my blog I'd be happy to email the original scans on the assumption/assurance it is for personal use only.
I'd also like to thank everyone again for the wonderful feedback I've had on these dolls. As per some of the suggestions I am seriously considering joining The Original Paper Doll Artist Guild. Two of their upcoming themes - children and queens are both categories I'd thoroughly enjoy. At the moment I'm assessing which of my hobbies I have time for (unfortunately my 'real job' takes up more hours and energy than I have to spare!) Some of the things I do for fun have to go - I just can't make up my mind at the moment which I should keep and which to discard!
What do you think? Am I overreacting? Should I put the original images back as they were before or am I right to be concerned?