What's up? Yep, I'm back, so stop being sad :) This blog entry has a special niche of fans of my artwork in mind: taggers. No, I'm not talking about urban taggers or wall taggers (a big shout out to them, by the way, amazing work!). The taggers I'm talking about are of the "signature tag" kind. You know who you are, don't be shy and stand up so everybody can see you.
OK, first of all, let me take you through "Tagging 101". I can tell you that taggers are people that like to create a graphic design. In particular, a graphic design using a central image that goes along (or tag) a name. Most of them do this as a hobby, not as a profession, but let me tell you: the designs from many many taggers out there are just amazing.
So, what does this have to do with my artwork? Well, taggers usually need images as a central part of their designs. That's where I come in: I've been giving permissions to taggers for over a decade now, allowing them to use my work in their signature tags. What have I received in exchange? A lot of free promotion to my artwork all over the virtual realms of the Internet; but most importantly, a large following of fans of my work, fans that have supported what I do for many years now. Again, thank you! :)
As I mentioned, the daily bread for taggers are the artwork images from many artists out there, including myself. But in most cases, they only need a subject (a girl, a car, a table, etc.), not the whole image itself. In other words, they only need the main subject, not the background, that way they can place that girl, car, table, etc. wherever they want in their design and create a background themselves. Imagine taking a page from a magazine with a pretty model in it, then cutting out just the model and pasting it on top of another page, which is actually a collage made of other images as well. The cutout of the model sits on top of everything, along with another cutout of a name, any given person's name. That, roughly illustrates how a tag is done. A collage for a background + a main subject + a name.
Now behold, the cornerstone of a tag, which is the cutout of the main image, the center of the design. Introducing: the tube. What is a tube?... you might ask. And I'll tell you: a tube is a digital file, an image indeed, with a transparent background (or basically, no background). In other words, the digital counter part to a paper cutout. Once the background is removed from the main image, a tube is born and can be used in any tag.
The reason why I say that tubes are the cornerstone, is because they are very valued among the tagging community. Sometimes taggers take on the task of making these tubes themselves (these taggers are known as tubers), or sometimes the artist will provide them (free or with a cost). Either way, a tube is a very important part of the tagging process, which is why a tagger can never have enough tubes :)
I myself have provided taggers with tubes for over a decade now. Since I "tube" most of my work anyway, in order to use my images for merchandise, I might as well share a low resolution version of these tubes with the tagging community. Furthermore, more or less recently, I started to make my new tubes directly only to patrons of my work, through Patreon. If you don't know what Patreon is or if you haven't visited my Patreon profile, you need to do it now. Stop reading and to go to patreon.com/popeyewongart. Become part of the art of Popeye Wong, become a patron! :)
Before I go, there's something I need to clarify: my tubes and the usage of my artwork are free to taggers. They've always been and they'll always be. The fact that I only give my tubes directly to my patrons doesn't mean that these cannot be shared. In fact, I encourage it. I pledged not to charge for my work to taggers, ever, and I'm keeping that promise. However, in order to give a treat to my patrons, I decided to share my tubes directly with them only, so they in turn can share them themselves. They get first dibs, but everybody gets to play. :)
On my next blog entry, I'll give you a peek of how is to get tubes from me when you become a patron in Patreon. Hopefully, this information will be useful to you, even if you're not a tagger yourself. All I can say for now is thank you for your support, thank you for helping me get to where I am right now. I am enjoying the ride, and I am happy that you are a part of it. See you next time!
Pin-up artist by day… and also by night. Well, mostly by night, because night time is my favorite time to paint.