Edit 2/23/13: This post was written in regards to images found on any website that sells art, photography, or crafts. Like Etsy, ArtFire, Redbubble, Storenvy, Society6, and many many more. Yes, it’s important to credit photo stock you download for free, as well. But, when I wrote this, what I had in mind was images taken from handmade shops and shared/used without credit to that person’s business.
At least 3 times in the last month, I discovered artwork via facebook I was interested in BUYING. But, each time, the image would have no credit, Artist’s name, link.. or anything.
Fortunately, I’m resourceful and can use key words to search for an image and discover the Artist. But, not everyone will do what I did.
No link and they’re moving on.
I know this is nothing new, but let’s address it, anyways…
When you discover an image online – art, photography, or other creative work – there’s one thing you know for certain:
You know if you like it.
You also know if you like it so much, you want to share it with friends.
What you don’t always know for certain is whether that image was created for fun only, or also for PROFIT.
You don’t always know which images are a product of someone’s livelihood.
Why don’t we always know?
Because too many images are shared without proper credit.
I’ve done it without realizing it. Maybe you have too.
And it will continue to happen.
Writing this article won’t stop it. 1000 articles like this won’t stop it.
The point is to spread awareness.
Awareness is lacking these days because we’re in a hurry.
In a hurry to share, pin, tweet, plus. To get it on our walls, streams, and boards like now.
But, what if I told you it isn’t hard to share and credit? Yes. For real.
Shouldn’t an Artist be happy if their work is being shared at all?
(credit or not)
Their ego is happy, I’m sure. Their bank accounts? Not so much.
It may feel good for a Professional Artist to see their work shared and loved a million times, but in the end… that piece of Art is still their JOB.
And just like it would be disheartening for you to go into an office and not have your hard work noticed, it’s also disheartening for an Artist to see people benefit from the fruits of their labor and not receive credit.
Maybe we forget to view Art as a job because many inspirational and motivational-type writers portray making Art like it’s so sexy… it’s not about the money… it’s a passion… and it’s all about the pleasure and joy of creating… ooh la la…
Well, pleasureable or not…
For many, it’s what pays the bills. It’s business, too.
And there’s no shame in that game. Caring about money & your livelihood does NOT corrupt the Art. It creates connection between the Artist and the people who want to support their work.
So, let’s give credit where it’s due.
We’re going to share our good finds with friends, anyway. So, why not support another person’s life work while we’re at it?
Here are a few things
I keep in mind when sharing Art:
On Pinterest, before I re-pin, I click on the image to see where it leads to. Because I’ve noticed Pinterest is turning into a place to drive traffic to lame tumblr blogs that don’t credit Artists like ever.
A re-blog of un-credited Artwork that was re-blogged by a re-blogger will not get a re-pin from me.
On a Google Image search I do the same – click on the image first. It may lead to an Artist’s store or personal website. If so, hopefully that site has…
SOCIAL SHARING BUTTONS.
Those ‘like, share, pin, and +1′ buttons are not just there to keep score. It helps you share work with the proper credit easily.
Do NOT download the image to your computer, so you can share it without credit. Share the love with social sharing buttons. I can’t stress that enough.
On facebook, it’s tricky. Images get shared SO quickly. I, frequently, discover shared Artwork on facebook created by Artists I’ve personally connected with on Society6 without any credit given to them.
And we can’t go back to the beginning where the image was first shared improperly. What’s done is done. Let’s not stress about the past.
But, could we keep this in mind now?
The next time you discover great Art, share it with credit, so when people re-share it – and they will – each share is supporting a hard-working Artist?
That’s worth the effort, amirite?
And here are a few things to keep
in mind if you find YOUR Art UN-credited:
It’s yours. Be proud of your work.
Be nice, but be assertive too!
They, obviously, like your work. And I’m sure you want them to keep sharing your work in the future. So, be polite.
But, firmly, tell them how you expect them to correct the situation and follow-up to make sure they did. When they do, thank them :)
Would you add anything to my thoughts?
What else should we keep in mind when sharing an Artist’s work online?…