William McKee is an artist, web/software/videogame developer, writer, public speaker, photographer, videographer, and educator.
He volunteers for Creative Commons NZ helping to promote Creative Commons. Everything he creates is licensed under a Creative Commons license, with preference for the more liberal, and open culture licenses - CC BY and CC BY-SA.
His art can be found at http://artcontrol.me/ and is available under a Creative Commons Attribution (BY) license. William is a supporter, user, and developer of open source software and hardware. He is passionate about early childhood education.
In November 2015 William successfully 'won' NaNoWriMo. The novel he wrote one day at a time for the month titled It Will Not Be Mine is a Science Fiction novel which William has licensed under a CC BY license.
"Creative Commons is useful to an artist to promote the work and it makes the world a better place," says William. "Others may find new uses with my content and even make money, good on them!"
During High School William spent the majority of his senior years in the Design room. Spending the majority of his time creating vector designs.
William became interested in drawing after leaving high school and attending UCOL in Palmerston North. There he had a drawing tutor, Mark, who inspired him to keep a drawing journal. William gained the habit of carrying a sketchbook wherever he goes, along with a pencil or pen.
William created the site artcontrol.me: The Art Of William McKee.
The site was created for a home for William to host his artwork and reflect upon it.
Originally powered by WordPress, he has since switched to the Python static website generator - Nikola. This powers his various sites.
William was always interested in using a Creative Commons license, he at first chose to use a more restrictive Attribution-Noncommercial (BY-NC) license for his artworks, though soon chose to use the liberal Attribution (BY) license. William doesn't see many reasons for artists to use NC licenses, and finds it especially problematic when NC licensing is used by governments.
As William argues, "Tax payers have already paid for the material. It should therefore be licensed under the most liberal licenses (perhaps even public domain/creative commons zero). This allows the most freedom for people to do what they like with the content."
I like the idea of attribution. Everyone should be licensing their copyright work under a Create Commons Attribution license or zero.
William also point out that the "Non-Commercial licenses are hard to interpret, as was noted in a German court case in 2014, which strongly limited the interpretation of NC to 'personal use.' Similar problems with the interpretation of NC could exist in other countries. This is why I think everyone should avoid the NC license. I would actually prefer that the NC license not exist in the first place."
The good thing, Williams says, is that the majority of New Zeal and government works released under CC seems to be under CC BY, though he is concerned that some schools seem to have adopted an NC license.
In 2010 he moved to Wellington and attended The Learning Connection, where he began to focus on life drawing. This was created on brown paper with an easel. Pencil, colored pencil, oil pastel, acrylic paint, gouache, watercolors were the media that he used.
William had done digital painting since attending UCOL with illustration classes. He used a Wac on tablet. Currently for his digital painting William uses an Into us 5 small tablet connected to a Raspberry Pi computer. The software he uses is GIMP 2.8 and it is running the operating system Rabin (Debian Jessie, Stable). William uses a battery pack plugged into the Pi to power it.
William uses the Pi to edit text. Plugging in a keyboard and uses terminal with the software to edit text.
Digital later focused on portraits using GIMP, an free and open source raster graphics software. William began by painting on a windows desktop and laptop, later switching to Fedora and Debian.
He uses a Raspberry Pi 2b with a 480PX by 320PX touch screen and Wacom tablet attached.
Many of his works from 2012-2014 of portrait and figures were drawn from references on RedditGetsDrawn.
William would draw portraits of people and give them the drawing - taking a photo for his own reference. pencil and colored pencil was the media used mostly.
At the bottom of the page he would sign with McKee artcontrol.me and write 'cc by' on the piece of original artwork. These were mostly completely in pencil and colored pencil.
William is also passionate about working with children. In 2014 he volunteered at Huang Early Learning Cent re, where he would work collaboratively with kids, often on the same piece of art, using oil pastel, pencil, and colored pencil. He was influenced by the children artwork - often redrawing elements of their works. The children works were taken into digital painting. With GIMP artwork is digital traced.
William took the liberty of licensing these works under a CC BY license - photographing and uploaded the works to artcontrol.me. He would create large chalk murals on the ground outside, with children requested that he draw comic book characters like the Hulk, Spider man, Bane, and Batman. These mural pieces were created on the fence line of Whaihanga and Knighten Normal School. Swarms of school children would crowd the fence line - watching and discussing the artwork with him. They were blown away from how quickly he worked and the quality of his artwork.
"A hope of mine," William says, "was the children would learn that art was about sharing and remixing - something Creative Commons has at its core."
William has since become a volunteer for Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand, helping to spread the word about Creative Commons licensing. If you want to volunteer, get in touch!
This article has been reused and remixed from http://nzcommons.org.nz/artist-william-mckee-discusses-creative-commons-open-source-and-open-education/