Some artists are reluctant to get their art online and participate in the vast Internet world. There are a variety of reasons why artists are held back from really leveraging the exposure the Internet provides. One fear which I’ve addressed, the fear of technology is a valid one.
Let’s take a look at some of the more personal fears artists and designers have:
1. Fear the Loss of Exclusiveness
Before social media and the influx of websites and artists on the Internet there was more of an exclusiveness for artists. They were seen as unique and set apart especially in galleries where at one time, was the only place for artwork to be seen. Some artists are still stuck in the past. They are afraid if they put their art ‘out there’ they will somehow loose the uniqueness they have and will become just another online artist.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. With the Internet and social media, artists have the opportunity to not only bring their art to those who want to see it but also have the opportunity to reach many more people.
With brick and mortar galleries there is a definite exclusiveness for the artist that has been selected to show. But at the same time with brick and mortar you are only visible to those in that area. You rely entirely on the gallery to promote your and sell your art and they take a very generous cut for doing so.
Online you really do have more control over marketing and your message, but at the same time you are one of many in the sea of the Internet. However there are a variety of ways to set yourself apart through your website and social media along with online resources that can help, starting with the artanddesigninspiration.com website.
2. Fear of your Art being Ripped Off
One of the first steps is to make sure your art is not a victim is to add your copyright symbol to your artwork. The symbol is important because it tells the viewer or reader that it’s a work protected by copyright. The most recent copyright law says, “copyright legally belongs to the artist from the moment of creation,” meaning you can challenge a copycat in court if you prove your work is original.
The second step is to register your work with the U.S. copyright authorities which can be found here. Copyright laws, which cover published and unpublished works, ensure other thieves (including other artists) can’t steal your creations without legal repercussions.
Let’s say your online and you find someone has copied your artwork or design. Start with a cease and desist letter. A cease and desist letter will quite often be the first course of action for infringement of copyright, trademarks or other Intellectual Property rights.
3. Fear of Criticism
The process of creating art is a very personal one and for many a deep expression of who they are and what they love. Many artists are critical of their own work and fear others being critical of their work too. When you put your work online you take the risk of people criticizing it. However to get your name and work out there you have to take that risk.
So jump into the web arena and promote your artwork. Encourage sharing of your art through Facebook, Pinterest, Blogs, Art Gallery sites; to name a few. Be sure and have a website that is user friendly that effectively highlights your best pieces. Take it a step further and Blog, share your story and even better teach some of your techniques. Be sure to engage others and actively participate in social media. If someone doesn’t like your work, move on; others will!