Without a doubt social media is a great way to share with your friends, family, and others across the world the work you’re creating. You can get feedback and more exposure like possibly getting to sell your work. To admit, the feeling of others appreciating your work via ‘like’ on Instagram or ‘reblog’ on Tumblr is a satisfying feeling as it validates my online presence. Yes, you read that correctly. I’m human, so in moments of self doubt physically seeing that people have liked my work makes me smile and it says to me “Hey, we see the stuff you’re doing kid, keep on going.”
What happens when no one likes it? Well honestly I criticize myself at first but then I remember: “Wait Julia, as long as you are happy with your work then that’s all that matters.”
It takes guts to put your work online. People are more harsh when hiding behind a screen so the constructive criticism we might expect from studio critiques, becomes well, just negativity. I have yet to experience that with work online- most people have been very nice and encouraging, and I thank you all for that.
Aside from negativity, the biggest drawback is the possibility of someone stealing your work. On your smartphones and laptops we can now easily screenshot or right-click save as. Someone then can re-uplod your work and claim it as their own. There are ways to get around this by showing only works in progress, putting a watermark, and of course, signing your work. I personally don’t use watermarks because I don’t like the look of it.
Google has this nifty thing where if you copy and paste an image’s URL it can trace back to where the image was originally posted. This is nice, however, I wish it was just as easy to say: “Hey, let’s not steal other people’s hardwork.” or “Hey, let’s keep the sourcing back to the artist.” As I’ve noticed on Tumblr, some users would delete the source link of the artist, or the artist’s written comments about their work. I mean, people are sharing your work but if you want them to check out your blog or contact you, well that source might be more difficult to find.
There are also bigger issues when people begin to make profit off your drawings/paintings/photography etc. I’m sure most of you have heard of the stories where others see their own designs selling on clothing when they had no idea. For instance, you can check out this article here.
I mean I guess you could try and say that it’s flattering someone thinks your work is so cool that they want to say they did it, but just don’t. Screenshotting images for references in your work – I think that is a-okay, I do that too. I see an artist’s photograph that I think would be nice to try drawing or painting for practice. The big issue is reposting work as your own or sharing them and not giving credit where credit is due. It’s hurtful and it sucks. So yes I have this fear of people ‘art-stealing’ and I’m sure I’m not the only one, but the only way to share your work with others and connect with those in a community is to ‘share’ it on social media.
What are your thoughts?