I am almost ready to publish my research project. In my project, I used different clipart and created a couple of figures for my participants to view. For example, I created an image of a person walking in a park. In this image, the park consisted of trees, the sun, and grass. These are all separate images I downloaded online. As you can see, I put multiple images together and created my stimuli photos.
Now the biggest challenge for me is that I can't publish these figures in academic journals because I can't receive permission to do so. First, I can't find the original authors of the clipart. Second, most clipart has a "personal use only license". I don't want to violate any copyright. However, I desperately need to publish them with my work because it will provide good visual representation to the reviewers and the audience.
A prof suggested me to ask someone to redraw the figures I created. And put notes like the "this is reproduced version of the original image, the content of the original image is copyright protected". I'm wondering whether this makes sense? I think I do have the copyright of the figures I created, but I don't have the copyright of the images that were used to create the figure.
As you can see, this is a very complicated situation. I really need advice. If you have any other ideas, please let me know. I would really appreciate it. I realized I should have thought more about this when I first created them. I will never do this again.
Thank you in advance.