In arts and crafts, using images created by others for your background, embellishment or focal images is useful for a variety of reasons. Personally, I have not yet explored all the techniques out there to create the variety of backgrounds I wish to use in my work. I find that using backgrounds created by others and building off of them is excellent for saving time and allowing me to create diverse looks in my art journal pages. The journal page pictured here uses a background created by Flickr user Elné, which I printed at home and I then created a layout on top of it using various paper embellishments.
Flickr.com is a convenient place to quickly locate images that owners have indicated are free for others to use and expand upon. The site’s search feature allows you to filter results to include only those with a Creative Commons (CC) license, which means you may use and build upon for your own work. You can further sort the CC licensed results on Flickr to show images that you may use for commercial purposes and those that you may modify rather than using “as-is”.
I recommend familiarizing yourself with the requirements of the various CC licenses so that you understand what requests you are likely to see from image owners in their rules for how you use their images. It only takes a few minutes to look over the various CC licenses on the Creative Commons website and you will learn a lot about the licensing rules so you don’t accidentally overlook any when you are using and sharing the work you create with them. It can be important not to overlook any of the rules of a license because they may require you to perform an action, such as create a link to artist’s website when showing their image or work you made with it on an online platform.
Read about more interesting places I find image sources for my artwork.