|This is me, Kristen Watts. I figured you might want a face to go with Art Play Today.|
After receiving a somewhat negative comment on a post I made about using social media to promote your artwork I have been thinking about it nonstop and would really value your opinion. Here is the comment left by "Spinning Down Under":
More time on FB = less time creating and less time for real life and real time networking with people who can help you. Simple really. The world of FB is an illusion,smoke and mirrors, and if you post anything on FB it becomes their property - so much for tutorials you post and encouraging others to post photos of their work! Give it a little more time and it will be as passe as last weeks newspaper.Your time is better spent ensuring your blog, website, and etsy shop are high up in the search engines search results . THAT is what drives people (as in paying customers and serious followers) to find you; these are people who are interested in more than simply collecting "names" as friends in fake popularity stakes.But then I'm bucking the trend and prefer owning my own work, not donating the rights to it to a feral and uncontrollable internet site that may just be reluctant to let me have it back. And I'm fussy about my friendships, and paranoid about computer security. FB isn't.Depends if you are satisfied with 15 minutes of transient FB fame, or prefer to be taken seriously. And remembered.
When I first read this I felt a little offended by it, but I've chosen not to take it personally and to learn from her opinion. I've done a lot of research that I wouldn't have done if not for this comment and I learned a lot in the process. I appreciate all points of view, because without being open-minded I would never get anywhere or grow as a person and an artist.
In response to how facebook and many other sites may use the content that we upload....I'm not too worried about it, but this doesn't mean I (or my art) won't be taken seriously. If someone really wants to use your images from your facebook, etsy, flickr, artfire....or any other place you upload your images....THEY WILL FIND A WAY. Someone can just as easily take an image from Etsy, as they can from Facebook. It's fairly easy to get around a watermark etcetera. My point being that I don't see Facebook running a behind the scenes print shop and selling my art or anyone elses as their ultimate evil corporate scheme. If my artwork is used by someone other than myself I of course expect the courtesy of giving credit to me as the artist and a link to my site (which I may or may not get)....But in the grand picture, I feel it's useless and unhealthy to be paranoid.
I don't know....maybe I'm to optimistic....but that's something that I like about myself. I choose to be positive, to share what I know, to encourage other artists to create. I'm not afraid of someone stealing my style or technique...because frankly we and our works are either directly or indirectly inspired by others. Sharing makes me happy, so if someone wants to use my images I will just take it as a compliment and move on. Of course I want to be taken seriously as an artist....But I think using Facebook and other social media will have more positive effects on my art business than the reverse.
Every artist must decide for themselves what they are comfortable with, and every artist must take responsibility for educating themselves as well. I've done my research and feel comfortable with my decisions thus far.
There is something to be said, however, about protecting yourself as much as you can. For example, when you upload images for use on the web, you should use low resolution (72dpi) images that are not fit for print. If you use facebook, you should really read their terms and if you don't understand them, do some research on what the language means. You should also look at your privacy settings and set them according to your comfort level.
Thank you to "Spinning Down Under" for the thought provoking response to my blog post, and I encourage all of you to express your opinions, whether they align with mine or not! We can all learn from each other!