From what I understand of this, it seems that there are websites which deal in free animated graphics, but I don't know what they are called.
It will pay you to look on the internet and search for them.
First of all it is quite important to try to make sure that they are not copyright pictures. This comes from the biggest culprit of them all
You can google Photobucket and then type in 'free to public domain' and there are loads of images you can use. You right click on an image that you want, save it to your own pictures file and then use it as you would your own photographs
I'll try to find you some other links when I get back from my weekend break.
Thanks to Helen for emphasising the importance of trying to get the copyright status across.
The bottom line is that many images on the Internet are owned by various people and companies. Just because it's technically possible to save an image to your computer by right-clicking it (on a PC), doesn't mean that someone has the legal right to then turn around and use that image in a post on the web.
So here are the types of thing that might tell you that an image belongs to another source and is not suitable for reuse:
1. A copyright symbol on the image:
2. A web address (URL) on the image:
Even free clipart sites that include the URL on the image, probably expect a link back to their site.
Each site has it's own terms and conditions which need to be read carefully before using their images.
3. A 'watermark':
This is usually an feint bit of text or a logo that renders the image unusable for commercial purposes, but asserts ownership.
4. A known character that is the trademarked property of the artist or a company:
(Could you guess I meant Garfield? Can't draw lasagne )
This means clip art of characters like the Simpsons or a Disney character are not free to use.
I'm going to now make another post about how to apply those guidelines to a site like Photobucket.
A long-standing member, Margarita, put me onto Photobucket (my 13 year old daughter knew all about it too, apparently )
Photobucket is a site that allows people to upload and share content, such as images and drawings.
Warning: Photobucket makes it's money through advertising and not all ads are entirely wholesome and uplifting. Also, not all the images are tasteful. If you are feeling in anyway fragile, I would not recommend using this site. I would instead try and find some clipart from old posts on TP and use that.
It's terms and conditions are such that it assumes that users will only upload content which they have the copyright to or which are copyright free. Being the wild, wild west of the Internet this is a very silly assumption - so you still have to look at images to see if they breach the conditions laid out in my earlier post.
Photobucket's terms basically say if a user posts content into the public area, that they are making them available for others to use.
You do not need to take out a membership on Photobucket to access content and save images.
So I will save it to my computer and then add it to this post:
Now that is glittery!
Warning: Going around the Internet and saving files to your computer is not the safest occupation in the world. I would encourage anyone thinking of doing this to have up-to-date Internet Security software.
Anyone wanting to test their image skills - please feel free to add to this thread as a practice