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Credits – more trouble than they’re worth?

Well, in my opinion they’re worth every bit of trouble. It shows respect to other artists and to the hard work they put in, and it’s a nice thank you and show of appreciation that someone went to quite some effort to provide a source that you can use, often for free. Not a lot to ask then, a little credit?

However, it IS trouble, unless you prepare before posting your work.

Most artists who create photo manipulations use some of their own stock and some that others kindly provided – be it textures or models – but all should be credited. This can be easy if you are organised. Being organised is easy if you know how.

Here are some of my tips. I’ve divided them into three steps:

Preparation, Working Stage, and Posting


Create folders on your PC/Mac:
- One for textures
- One for stock
- One for custom brushes

When you download an image from the net, download it or copy it into one or the other of the two folders, depending on the image.

If you download more than one image from a particular source, e.g. a stock account on DeviantArt, create a sub folder for that account, e.g. Black Rose Stock DA or Blue Rose Flickr etc.

If there is an option to favourite the image, e.g. in DeviantArt, do so. It will automatically be added to your account into your favourites and make it easier to find it later. Otherwise, bookmark it – you can create bookmark folders the same way as you create folders on your PC/MAC.

Be careful when you download a single image. Sometimes the source of the image will not part of the file name. Make sure you add it yourself by changing the file name to the image name plus the source.

If you download form an unusual source, add a text file to the folder on your PC
where you note the source.

Working Stage
When adding textures or stock to your image make sure you type in the name and source for each one in the layers palette. That way you won’t get confused later if you used a lot of stock and textures (see image below).

I even name my own stock/textures so I know they’re mine and so I don’t later worry where I got them from. This is especially important if you edit the textures you download as I do – I often change the colour, change levels, blur them or mix two together which then makes it difficult to see which image I’ve used.

Posting Stage

1. Open the image so you can see the layer palette (as above).2. Now that you’ve favourited and bookmarked your sources and named them in your image, adding credits to any posting will be easy.3. Next, find each of the sources you used in your image and open it in a separate tab in your browse4. Once they’re all open (that includes any custom brushes I’ve used) you can get working. If you use MyFreeCopyright, type a title and add the category and browse for the image, if you’re not using MyFreeCopyright, leave this step out and just open the site you want to upload the image to and click in the description box.5. I always start with the model if I used one and then list the rest by category – stock, textures, and then brushes. Click on the tab for the first source you used, copy the link.6. Go back to the site you’re uploading your image to and paste the link in the description box in a format something like this ‘model, name of the image, name of the source’:link.7. Continue doing this for all of your sources until you have a list that looks something like the list at the bottom.8. Now you can copy and paste this to any other site you want to upload your image to and edit the formatting as required.9. Post your image with credits.10. The final step is to let the artists know you’ve used their sources and give them a link so they can look at your fabulous art. I use Firefox and the add-on Clippings for this. Clippings will allow you to save snippets of text that you can retrieve at a click and paste into any text box on the net. Great time saver. I saved some text that says something along the lines of “Thank you for the use of your stock, I’ve used it here: “.It may seem like a lot of work and lots of steps, but once you get organised it’s much easier and quicker than having to hunt around for hours to try and find that elusive image and its owner and you have the good feeling that you’ve done the right thing… and if that wasn’t enough, your credits will encourage others to credit and also will get lots of traffic back to your image. Hope this helps… :-)


Model, Craft11 by faestock: Ashwell for storm clouds and cracked mud: back time, Texture 4, Princess of Shadows: Grunge, Texture 4, Princess of Shadows: (Collection removed from DeviantArt)Feather Brush by Silinias: Brushes HiRes Nr.1 of 5 by leboef:


  • Anna Shaw
    Anna Shawover 4 years ago

    Just fabulous Sybille – and so important. I see so many images where I recognise the stock, but which are not credited. It is both impolite – and often illegal. Thanks so much for taking the time to put this together for us all.

  • Thanks Anna, I agree and feel very strongly about the whole credit thing. Too many people are just using other people’s hard work for their own benefit without giving anything back. :-( Glad you find it helpful. :-) xo

    – Sybille Sterk

  • BeautifulRust
    BeautifulRustover 4 years ago

    Very well written, thorough, and easy to follow; thanks for the tips! :)

  • Glad it works for you. It’s a tried and tested method. LOL

    – Sybille Sterk

  • Johanne Brunet
    Johanne Brunetover 4 years ago

    Excellent journal entry! Everyone should read it! :-)

  • :-) Thank you!

    – Sybille Sterk

  • scottimages
    scottimagesover 4 years ago

    brilliant!! Very important & something everyone should read because you’ve made it so simple & easy to understand. Thankyou :)

  • Thank you Rosemary. :-) Glad it was all nice and clear. :-) It’s all tried and tested, too. LOL xo

    – Sybille Sterk

  • PBWright
    PBWrightover 4 years ago

    Absolutely! Glad you took the time to point all this out.

  • :-) Glad you think so. It really gets my goat when people don’t respect other people’s art by not giving credit. There’s so much effort that goes into producing those resources and most people give them away for free…. Sorry. I am off my soap box now. :-)

    – Sybille Sterk

  • PBWright
    PBWrightover 4 years ago

    LOL Not a problem!! I agree totally! And I love the way you keep track of it all. I usually have a notepad beside me and jot down all the pertinent info, but your way is much easier.

  • Glad you agree. :-)

    – Sybille Sterk

  • JanT
    JanTover 4 years ago

    Excellent information. Credits are important! Thanks for adding a link to this and other tutorials of yours from our alphabetized Tutorials Library

    Thanks again for the excellent writeup! 

  • JanT
    JanTover 4 years ago

    Oops, botched the link. Try this again.
    Thanks for adding a link to this and other tutorials of yours from our alphabetized Tutorials Library.

    Thanks again.