I sent this as an email this morning after googling my art to show my son how much I had online.. Food for thought in our digital age..
I was doing a google search for my art to show my son some of my work and saw that you had copied some of my images from my deviantart gallery to a forum. I'm glad you liked the image enough to share with others but I think you may not understand what's wrong with this situation.
When an artist posts an image to an online gallery site like DeviantArt, we are displaying our work there in exchange for a quantifiable reward; people visit the site to see the image and it registers a number of views and hits to our gallery; this let's us know which of our images are the most popular and gives us an idea of what styles and techniques we can use to improve ourselves. Ultimately though, as with any professional artist, the goal is to improve, and also to make money.
So when someone takes one of our images and puts it up on another site, and doesn't notify us first, we lose that valuable information gathering that happens on the site we posted to. I have no way to know how many people have viewed my image on your post to that forum, and no way to get feedback from the people who have viewed it to improve. You did list my username from DeviantArt next to it, but without a link to my page or the original image, the chances that your post of my image is going to do me any good are slim to none.
If you appreciate a piece of art, the very least you should do is contact the artist and ask if it's okay to post it elsewhere. DeviantArt gives artists the option of allowing downloads of their images with a "Download Image" link button. This again gives the artist information on the popularity of an image as the site records how often the button is used. But I'm going to go one step further and ask that you don't do this. Why? Because many artists don't realize the value of their own work, and would probably give you permission to post it elsewhere. This not only undercuts the value of their art, but of everyone's art. How? By perpetuating the notion that we all do art for free.
Nobody creates something for free. It takes time and energy to make an image, and many of us make (at least part of) our living with our art. But when people take that work and distribute it to others without our knowledge, it reduces our earning potential. I have three kids and a mortgage, and like most artists, I live on a very tight budget. Did you know that I am a published artist? That I've done the cover and interior art for several Palladium Books RPG supplements? And that I do character commissions? If you've perused my gallery and journal on DeviantArt you probably do, but how many of the people that have viewed my images in your thread on that forum know this? How many of those people might have paid me to do an image of their character, had they known that was an option?
Clearly you like the images you've downloaded from my gallery and reposted elsewhere. But consider this. If you see a beautiful flower in someone's garden, do you pick it and set it on your kitchen table? Or should you appreciate it's beauty and maybe tell some friends to go check it out? If you pick it, it's going to wither and die, and the person who planted it isn't going to have the joy of knowing others are appreciating the work they've put into growing that flower..