In early 2008, I had the idea to create a website that was dedicated to the wonderful works of the illustrators of old. While the main plan was to create a resource for other artists and crafters to find copyright free images to incorporate with their own creative works, I did not want to take the original artist for granted.
I didn’t want to simply say, “Here’s a free image of a whatever”. Despite the drawings now being in the public domain, I never considered not honoring the original creators of these lovely works.
It takes more time than I had thought it would to research the copyright status of the images but Reusable Art is becoming a large and well-respected free vintage images download site. I am proud to be listed on several university websites as a “safe” place to find images. Reusable Art provides free images but also provides a number of educational opportunities to learn more about the illustrators, authors and the subject matter of each of the illustrations.
In 2010, The Famous Artists was launched. While it shares public domain works of art, it also includes somewhat lengthy biographies of the featured artists. The focus is not so much on techniques and schools but on the artists as people – who they were, where they lived, who they knew, etc. I also share examples of their work and try to share information about the painting from a subject matter perspective moreso than how they applied the pen to the canvas or ink to the paper. Again, the focus is more on the people and places than the “art.”
In 2013, I launched a second free vintage images site called Free Vintage Art. That site focusses on those images that are in the public domain in the United States due to some unique aspects of our copyright laws. The images on Free Vintage Art may not be in the public domain outside of the United States.
In 2014, I re-launched Reusable Art on a new software platform that offers a far-better search tool for site visitors and the opportunity to add some new features like Special Image Categories. Special Image Categories include things like Asian Art and a biography of Ida Waugh. There are only limited topics, for now, but, hopefully it will grow as the year progresses.
Art Filled Days is sort of the central gathering point of all three of my public domain art-related websites. It is more blog-like in nature so it is where I talk about my adventures in running those sites, general art happenings and other art-related odds and ends. I tend to write about exciting new additions to my sites and have a recurring column on “Then and Now.”
Then and Now is a fun look at a place that was captured by an artist or illustrator sometime in history. I compare the place as it was then to what it looks like now. Some places are sadly gone, others are being restored to their original glory and others have become something entirely new. The articles can take a bit of research but it is like tracing the genealogy of a family member and can be quite fun.
I hope you enjoy Art Filled Days and can tap into your creative side as often as possible!