Category Archives: Animals

My Brush with Fame (or rather, Infamy)!

Every kid and kidult loves Lego, right? Me too. Until I discovered just how litigious they are as a company.

Nearly 5 years ago, when I first started out in my mobile photography art career, I put up my images for sale on Print On Demand sites such as Zazzle, RedBubble, Fine Art America, Society 6 and deviantArt. Over the years, many of those sites fell by the wayside, and today I’m only active on Society 6, and even that has slowed to a trickle as I explore other areas to showcase my creative output.

With RedBubble, I had not posted up anything new for over 3 years now. Imagine my surprise today when out of the blue, I received this email from them:

We have removed the following content from Redbubble as a result of having received a complaint from Lego System A/S, the claimed owner or licensee of related intellectual property, and in accordance with Redbubble’s IP/Publicity Rights Policy:

Lego the Octopus: http://www.redbubble.com/people/alyzen/works/7484841-lego-the-octopus
As you will be aware from our IP/Publicity Rights Policy, Redbubble requires a certain amount of information before it acts on such a complaint, including that:

the relevant content is specifically named;

the complaint came from the owner of the respective rights (or someone authorized to act on their behalf); and

they have a good faith belief that the use of the relevant content is not authorized by the content owner, its agent or the law.

If you believe that removal of the above content is the result of a mistake (for example, that you have authorization to use the relevant content from the content owner) or misidentification, you can send us a counter notice. Such counter notice must provide the following information:

an electronic or physical signature of the person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the relevant matter;

a description of the content which we have removed, including the URL on which the content was located on the Redbubble site;

your address, telephone number, and email address;

a statement by you that you consent to the jurisdiction of the Federal District Court, San Francisco County, California, United States and that you will accept service of process from the person who provided notification described above or an agent of such person;

a statement by you that, under penalty of perjury, you have a good faith belief that the material was removed or disabled as a result of mistake or misidentification of the material to be removed or disabled;

If you would like to send a counter notice please email the required information above to dmca@redbubble.com.

Please note that in some circumstances, if the work does not comply with our User Agreement and/or IP/Publicity Rights Policy, we may not be able to send your counter notice on to the complainant, rather we may inform you at the time of receipt that we cannot reinstate the work. We may also request further information from you in order to determine whether the work can be reinstated.

However, you should be aware that in most circumstances we will inform the complainant that you have provided a counter notice, as well as provide the complainant with a copy of your counter notice, which will include your personal contact information. The complainant will have 14 days to bring legal action against you in the United States. After 14 days, if they do not bring legal action and you would like your content restored to the Redbubble site, you may contact us to request that we reinstate your work. Redbubble may restore the content at that time if it otherwise complies with our User Agreement and IP/Publicity Rights Policy.

Further information regarding Redbubble’s IP/Publicity Rights Policy and User Agreement can be found here:

https://help.redbubble.com/hc/en-us/articles/201579195

http://www.redbubble.com/agreement

Regards,

Redbubble Content Team

Because the image “Lego the Octopus” had been posted to RedBubble such a long while ago, at first I scratched my head trying to figure out WHY indeed I had named my artwork “Lego the Octopus”. I certainly would not have called it that to mislead anyone, or to gain any pecuniary advantage. I couldn’t just click on the link RedBubble had sent, as they had already removed the image from their site.

Then I remembered a family outing to Bunbury Dolphin Centre in 2011, and I also remembered their aquarium displays of fish, seahorses, starfish. And their fortune-telling octopus. WHO WAS NAMED “LEGO”. The Centre claimed that their Lego The Octopus could predict sports and talent competition outcomes as accurately as the famous Paul The Octopus with FIFA matches.

So, here is my response to RedBubble by email.

Dear Sir/Madam,

I refer to your email informing me that my image “Lego the Octopus” has been removed from RedBubble as a consequence of Lego the Company making a complaint.

Excerpt follows, for your own ease of reference:

“We have removed the following content from Redbubble as a result of having received a complaint from Lego System A/S, the claimed owner or licensee of related intellectual property, and in accordance with Redbubble’s IP/Publicity Rights Policy:

Lego the Octopus: http://www.redbubble.com/people/alyzen/works/7484841-lego-the-octopus

My response:

While I fully understand Lego the Company’s rights and desire to defend the use of its name, in my own defense, the image is of an octopus actually named “Lego”, and said octopus resides in Bunbury Dolphin Discovery Centre, Western Australia.

So, if Lego the Company wish to take this further, they should really be speaking to the good folks at Bunbury Dolphin Discovery Centre. As all I did was photograph their octopus that they had named “Lego”, and call it exactly what it is, “Lego the Octopus”. There was no malice or ill intent on my part, or any attempt to deceive or gain monetary benefit from it.

Here’s a link to where you and Lego the Company can find the real life “Lego the Octopus”. (I don’t know if that octopus is still alive and predicting soccer results, it’s been 4 years since I was at Bunbury).

https://www.radioinfo.com.au/news/lego-octopus-predict-australia%E2%80%99s-got-talent-winner-radio-west

I anticipate your response in due course.

Sincerely,

AlyZen Moonshadow
Mobile Photography Artist

Then I sat back and waited for a response. I received a standard acknowledgement from RedBubble within 15 minutes of sending my email.

An hour later, I received this email response from RedBubble:

Redbubble Content Team (Redbubble)
Jan 19, 16:51

Thank-you for contacting Redbubble.

As you have been made aware, Redbubble has moderated the content that was reported in accordance with our [IP/Publicity Rights Policy[(https://help.redbubble.com/hc/en-us/articles/201579195-Redbubble-IP-Publicity-Rights-Policy), as it was specifically named in a valid Notice and Takedown report received from Lego System A/S.

We have not explicitly said that the work does or does not infringe intellectual property or publicity rights, but we have a legal obligation to act on reports filed in accordance with our IP/Publicity Rights Policy where the content is specifically named.

Unfortunately, we are not always privy to the reasons that complainants’ submit notice and takedown reports or the specific reasons that they find each of the specified works a violation of their rights, nor can we presume to speak on their behalf. Please understand that Redbubble is not making any judgement on the work and as we are sure you are aware, this is why the counter notice provision exists in our IP/Publicity Rights Policy. Filing a counter notice is the most effective way to contact a complainant regarding their notice and takedown report.

You can do so by following the instructions in our initial email to you, or in our IP/Publicity Rights Policy.

Regards,
Redbubble Content Team

I’ve fired my shot. I’ve told them where I got the inspiration for the title “Lego the Octopus” from. And you know what?

I don’t care if the image has been removed from RedBubble permanently. I’m not wasting my time or energy going up against a multi-billion dollar company, for the sake of getting one image put back on a site that I don’t even frequent anymore. I won’t be filing that Counter Notice RedBubble so helpfully keeps suggesting to me. Life’s too short, and I could be spending my time better making more Art, so I will.

Some battles are won by simply not engaging in them.

Here is my last email to RedBubble:

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for your standard reply. I shall not be filing a Counter Notice, because I have better things to do with my time than waste it going up against the brutal might of a multi-billion dollar corporation, only to win back the right to have an image of mine on your site. Especially when I no longer frequent your site as I used to 3-4 years ago.

That is not to say that RedBubble is not a good Print On Demand site, or to question the integrity of your policies. I simply mean that I have found other sites that better suit the requirements of my creative output, and that is where I am concentrating my efforts on. Should RedBubble offer items that are not found on competing sites, I will of course use your services again.

Yours sincerely,
AlyZen Moonshadow

Meanwhile, here are 2 more images of my (in)famous “Lego The Octopus”, that I managed to find online. These are from Fine Art America, another site that I don’t use anymore. Notice the artwork isn’t even entitled “Lego the Octopus”, but if I remember correctly, the tags would’ve contained those words. I wonder how long it will be before the mighty LEGO Corporation come after those images too…

image

image

Ravens vs Crows

Is it a raven? Or a crow? I see these huge big fellas in our garden and I know they are ravens. Yet some of my friends insist that they are crows. The Queen of England to this day keeps (or, rather “enlists”, as they are considered soldiers of the Kingdom), ravens in the Tower of London, following a long line of tradition. See Queen’s Ravens. I’ve seen them, and they bear a very strong resemblance to the fellas in my garden. We may be half a world apart, and there may be some variation in the species, but my boys are definitely ravens.

So, what are the main differences between Ravens and Crows? Here’s a couple of visual infographics that will help:

image

image

These infographics are comparing American Ravens to crows. The Australian Raven is corvus coronoides, the American Raven is corvus corax, and the English Raven is essentially the same as its American counterpart, and indeed in the Northern Hemisphere they are collectively known as the “Common” Raven.

For further information on Ravens, common or otherwise, here is Wikipedia’s link.

Adult ravens have a black pupil encircled by white. Juveniles have dark eyes. (I always thought it was the other way round Duh!) Australian Ravens are easily distinguishable from crows by their “hackles” or shaggy beard that appears under their throats when they call. Their call goes like “Ca ca cawwwwww”, with a long drawn-out final syllable.

Anyway, I was lucky enough to photograph an Australian Raven up close on Rottnest Island a few days ago. So here he/she is.

image

image

image

image

image

image

This YouTube video, which I found, clearly shows what an Australian Raven looks and sounds like:

http://youtu.be/S6YhVOHX-ws

And yes, Ravens are extremely intelligent birds. Here’s just one video showing their depth of reasoning. Just how they are able to make the connection and solve the puzzle, I don’t know, but they sure have my respect!

Rottnest Island for the Quokkas

Here we are on Rottnest Island, just off the coast of Perth, Western Australia. A daytrip for us that started with waking up before 6am, rushing to feed and water the chickens, Japanese Quail, budgies, weiros, koi, tropical fish, dogs and cat, before leaving the house at 7am to catch the Rottnest Express ferry from Fremantle to the island.

What a day! First hubby was tardy getting ready and we left the house 15 minutes later than planned. Then McDonald’s drive-thru mucked up our breakfast order and we were delayed by another 10 minutes. Then Google Maps gave us the wrong directions, and we ended up at the wrong ferry terminal and had to rush over across to the other side of Fremantle to find the right terminal. Then the roadsigns led us on a merry chase before we found the “B Shed” terminal. Then the parking ticket machines just had to be out of order, so it was a mad rush to find one that worked, pay for a ticket, run back to the car to display said ticket, run to the tail end of the rapidly disappearing queue to board the ferry…

We just made it. But had to then stand for 30 minutes on the ferry, which was chock-a-block. We sure are a family that doesn’t do things by halves!

And then at last we were on Rottnest.

It’s a lovely place to bring the family. Sun, surf, snorkelling, scuba-diving, water sports, bicycling, Segways for hire, chalets to rent, bbq areas, camping, a strip of food places and bars, even a mini cinema, the list goes on.

We hired bikes. They had weird rubber bands around the gears, instead of the usual bike chain. There were only 3 gears, 2 of which didn’t work. Mine lacked a bell, so I had to yell at pedestrians and other cyclists. The roads were hardly flat – if you weren’t able-bodied and fit, you would struggle up the hills. And there were LOTS of hills. Going downhill at breakneck speed is a lot of fun. Cycling in the scorching sun with a cloud of flies around your head is not.

But the best part of Rottness has got to be the Quokkas. Here’s what Wikipedia says about the Quokka:

The quokka was one of the first Australian mammals seen by Europeans. The Dutch mariner Samuel Volckertzoon wrote of sighting “a wild cat” on Rottnest Island in 1658. In 1696, Willem de Vlamingh mistook them for giant rats and named the island “Rotte nest”, which comes from the Dutch words rattennest meaning “rat nest”.

The word quokka is derived from a Noongar (Aboriginal) word, which was probably gwaga.

So today, here are some pics of Quokkas we saw on Rottnest. They are really cute and totally unafraid of humans. They are a protected species and the public are not allowed to touch them. (Shhh but I did tap a couple of them on their noses when they came sniffing around for food. And I poured some water into a container for them, poor thirsty souls).

image

image

image

image

image

image

Here’s a joke. A quokka walks into a bar. No, seriously, it does.

image

image

Artsy Quails

Just messing around with an App called Photomania. It’s a very simple App, with set filters, no way of modifying anything, no undo or redo buttons. Handy for on-the-fly photo editing, but not for any “serious” mobile photography art. Some of the effects are quite good, I must say.

I’d taken some photos of a few of my Japanese Quail today, in preparation for them going to a new home. The lady meant to collect them let me down, so I’ve still got them in my aviary. I did get some pretty good close-ups, though, so I thought I might as well put Photomania through its paces and see what the results might look like.

Here they are:

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

Artist Inspiration : Terry Jackson

Teresa “Terry” Jackson currently lives nowhere and everywhere, on the Seven Seas, a boat travelling around the great big continent of Australia.

In Terry’s own words, from this site:
“I’m a self taught wildlife artist from beautiful South Australia. I began drawing in 2005 and never really stopped. My favourite medium is graphite but I also work in soft pastel and coloured pencil”.

This amazing artist’s favoured medium is a graphite pencil. Sometime using just ONE single pencil, and hours of intense concentration, mixed in with a whole lot of love for wildlife, Terry creates wonderfully detailed photorealistic drawings such as these:

image
“Pride and Joy” by Terry Jackson

image
“Tiger” by Terry Jackson

image
“Feeling a little cocky” by Terry Jackson

image
“Dos Lobos” by Terry Jackson

image
“Tanklet” by Terry Jackson

image
“Nice Scarf!” by Terry Jackson

image
“Oh hey!” by Terry Jackson. Graphite and pastels.

image
“Zac” by Terry Jackson. Pastels. Commissioned work.

image
“Owl Whisperer” by Terry Jackson. Graphite and pastels. Wild Whimsy series.

image
“What a Galah!” by Terry Jackson. Wild Colour Series.

image
“Fennec Fox” by Terry Jackson. Wild Colour Series.

image
“Mouse Opposum” by Terry Jackson. Wild Colour Series.

Just amazing!! Check out Terry’s website Drawn Wild, where you can find out more information about her, including where to buy prints of her truly amazing work.

My dog Scruffy

Scruffy is my terrier-mix dog who emigrated from Ireland to Australia with me in December 2010. He was abandoned at a horse fair in Drumshanbo in 2008. I brought him home, and he’s been my constant companion since.

In October 2012, when we first got our pit bull puppy, Shelagh, Scruffy was her nursemaid. He may not be the sharpest tool in the box (the only trick he knows is “Sit”), but his heart is in the right place. He’s best friends with Shelagh now (he used to try to hump her every opportunity he got, until we had her fixed), and they’re inseparable.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

I don’t rightly know what breed Scruffy is, I think there’s perhaps some Border Collie (the white and black colouring) West Highland Terrier (the tufty ears and bearded muzzle), and possibly some Setter (small spots of black underneath the white). I love his unusual colouring. Even the main black patch on his body consists of a mixture of grey, black and white. Behind his ears he has little areas of brown. Scruffy has the most beautiful eyelashes!

If anyone can shed light on what breed Scruffy is, I would be ever so grateful. When anyone asks, I simply say he’s a “Lots-a-bitsa” :-).

Here’s an artistic impression of Scruffy, that I made while playing with the App Arto. I love the “patriotic” colours.
image

Posted from WordPress for Android.

http://www.alyzenmoonshadow.wix.com/alyzenmoonshadow

Pit Bull Art

Photo Artista Oil is an App by Jixipix, available on all platforms (computer, iOS and Android). You don’t have to know how to wield a paintbrush, this App will turn your everyday photos into classical works of art with a few simple pushes of the button.

What I love about Jixipix is how the developers utilise a uniform user interface across most, if not all, of their Apps. If you have already experienced working with one of their Apps, you already know how to use their other Apps.

I woke up one morning and decided on a whim that I’d love to design and wear a t-shirt with my pit bull Shelagh’s photo on it. Perhaps with a funky slogan extolling the virtues of pit bulls. To this end, I’ve been experimenting with Photo Artista Oil. If this works out, I’ll be putting up my designs on my Society 6, Red Bubble and Etsy store pages.

Here are some of the results so far. Enjoy!

image
This is the original photo of Shelagh.

image
I used Repix to paint out the backgrlund and foreground. I used my favourite brush here – paint drips.

Then, I ran the image through Photo Artista Oil . Here then are several incarnations of Shelagh.

image

image

image

image

image

image

Posted from WordPress for Android.

http://www.alyzenmoonshadow.wix.com/alyzenmoonshadow

My Pin-up Poster Girl

I’ve had such a lot of lovely compliments about my pit bull girl, Shelagh, when I pinned photos of her on my Pinterest board. She’s quite the pin-up girl now lol.

So, today I’ll share with you here a few more photos of Shelagh. For those of you who don’t know already, Shelagh’s my 2-year-old pit bull dog, and the sweetest, smartest thing ever. I’m so inspired by her photogenic looks lately that I’m creating some t-shirt designs featuring her. I will share that with you all tomorrow.

But for now, here’s my sweet Shelagh.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image Shelagh with her best friend, Scruffy

Posted from WordPress for Android.

http://www.alyzenmoonshadow.wix.com/alyzenmoonshadow

Idle Hands…

What do Kim Kardashian’s recent nude bottom photos and these obviously Photoshopped mutant animals have in common?

Idle hands and creative minds, that’s what.

Never mind the big hooha over KK’s ample backside, we all know every pic that gets into a glossy mag has been Photoshopped and airbrushed to perfection. Take a look at these imaginary mutant animals, and wonder at the inventiveness of their digital creators. They may not be in the tabloids, but they’re certainly more interesting and newsworthy than recent events. (BTW I didn’t see That photo, just a parody of it using a coffee machine. Disgraceful! I don’t even know who KK is, as I don’t read the tabloids, however it IS very hard to escape these things on Facebook!)

Just goes to show you can’t trust what you see with your own eyes these days. (All photo credits and copyrights belong to their rightful owners, there are too many to cite here. You guys and gals are soooo talented!).

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

Posted from WordPress for Android.

http://www.alyzenmoonshadow.wix.com/alyzenmoonshadow