There are lots of photo resources out there, but finding a true open source website can take a huge chunk of your time. If you’re like me, you don’t have a lot of time to spare.
Why Add Photos?
As a child, I remember having the most fun with the workbooks which employed pictures or artwork in the margins. I’ve been making my own tests for several years now and I find it makes the process more fun for me if I have a nifty bit of clip art or a pretty photo to add to them.
I’ve Decided To Add Graphics. Now What?
Now that I’ve decided to add graphics to my teacher created documents, I have two choices to make.
- Will I make my own graphics? or…
- Will I add graphics that have already been created by someone else?
If I decide to go with option 2, I have some other decisions to make.
- Will I ask a friend to create the graphics for me for free? At a reduced rate if they do this as a business? Is it even proper to ask for a discount?
- Will I shop for graphics at a website such as Shutterstock? You’re probably familiar with this particular site because it’s pretty widely used and also widely promoted by the search engines. As a matter of fact, if you type into your search “royalty free clip art” or “open source clip art,” this site will assuredly pop up. Unfortunately, nothing on Shutterstock is open source. All their graphics will cost you something. They are reasonably priced, though.
- Will I try to find free, open source clip art which allows me room to be creative? If you choose this option, try visiting openclipart.org. The graphics on this site are totally free to use, but do read all the copyright information on any website you visit to be certain and avoid nasty copyright violations.
- Would I like to support a starving artist? Or help jump-start a brand-new artist who’s just getting their work out there? Try a site like deviant.Art where you can find a wide range of art, line art, graphic designs, photos, textures and much more which are offered as free downloads. Just be sure to check the artists’ copyrights on each item you wish to download. Those vary by artist.
Things To Watch Out For
You’ll have to watch out for “hidden” restrictions. They’re not really hidden, but sometimes you do have to actively search the websites for all the copyright details. And some sites, like deviantArt, offer the artists a variety of copyright options. You have to read the details on each piece of art, which are located at the bottom of the page. Click on the photo or artwork you like. Once the page loads, scroll all the way down. You’ll see the copyright in the lower right corner of your screen if there is one. These are some of the questions you may need to answer with research.
- Can you alter the graphic?
- If you want to sell the item you’re using the graphic on, is there a sales restriction or rule you need to follow?
- Do you have to credit the original artist?
Once you read all the fine print, go through all the copyright details, etc., you’re ready to download and add a little spice to your teacher-created materials.
But What Do You Do?
I have done some decorative work on my own, using my own artwork and graphics to decorate teacher materials. This year, I started using openclipart.org to add more variety to my school document clip art folder. (If you happen to check out my gallery in the link above, you’ll see why I need to add to that folder. My work is pretty organic and sometimes doesn’t fit the subject we’re studying.) I also check deviant.Art regularly for items when I know I’m not going to sell what I’m creating. I’d rather pay the artist if I have an intent to sell the work I’m using their art in. As a fellow starving hobbyist, I totally understand the struggle of having work out there that no one is willing to take a chance on. If you do visit my page and would like to use one of my items, like the ones shared in this post, please do send me a message through my contact page and I’ll get back with you as soon as possible.
If you create your own tests and worksheets, why not try adding a little spice to them by checking out one of these sites? Who knows? You may find a way to help others at the same time!