Are you a supporter of the arts?
Most think they are, but in our digital age, it can be all too easy to undermine the very artists you wish to support.
When buying, sharing, and consuming art over the internet, it’s important to remember that someone spent their valuable time and energy creating that beautiful content. Follow these easy tips to support independent artists and give credit where it’s due.
Don’t Expect Things For Free
We’ve all heard that old moniker of the starving artist.
Fortunately, the internet has made it easier for artists to make a living and get their work into the public sphere.
Digital artists may sell their art in various forms, meaning you can get the same design on canvas, shower curtains, custom pins, and even phone cases. Several artists also take commissions – a fantastic way to show your support via a custom piece.
But no matter their format, these pieces take time, effort, and skill to create.
If you’ve ever thought, “I could do that myself!” when looking at an art piece, know that it may have taken hours of work to complete. Asking for a freebie is a big no-no in the art world.
Show you value their commitment to your newest purchase with money and gratitude.
Look Out for Watermarks
You know what they say – once something is on the internet, anyone can see it. On the one hand, this is an artist’s dream, helping to get their uploaded work viewed without having to rent expensive gallery space or pay pricey publishing fees.
But since anyone can see it, what’s stopping someone from stealing an artist’s work?
Many artists hide a small mark or signature in their art – some even print it across their work in big letters. When you see this, take note!
You’re looking at a watermark aimed to prevent that piece from being used without the artist’s permission. Keep an eye out for these! If you see someone sharing something that isn’t theirs, politely let them know – they might not realize the implications of what they’re doing.
Double Check Before Reposting
Hand in hand with watermarks, let’s go even further. Say someone made an art piece you’d like to share or repost on social media.
Firstly, make it clear in your own post that the work is not yours. Whether the artist clearly stated not to share without their permission, it’s excellent practice and common courtesy to credit whoever made it.
Especially on social media, content creation may depend on the use of images other than your own.
Be sure to give credit where it’s due in a story or post.
Secondly, sometimes you just can’t find the original creator; in this situation, it’s best to state this clearly in your own corner of the internet. Write something like “Artist/Source unknown” with your post, and you’ll have good karma for days!
Do What You Can
Doing your best to follow these simple steps goes a long way to supporting the artists you love!