Web Post Photos/Do Not Post Photos

Posted by on February 3, 2015 in Featured Flag, This And that! | 1 comment

Hand Stitching

Hand Stitching Journal Page – Diane Duncan 2012

 

I am really enjoying the 5 day art challenges that are currently circulating on Facebook and have just been challenged to do my bit. I must assure you that I don’t mind participating but now I have to make a decision about what to post.

If you have visited my website and/or blog you may notice that I don’t post a lot of pictures of my current work. Rightly or wrongly, I am playing it safe. Most of my current work is destined for exhibitions and some have rules about there being no web postings prior to the launch of the show.  Once the initial show is launched, and they have posted a photo of my piece, I could start posting but often my attention has moved on to the next piece and I forget to go back and do a ‘catch up’ post.

Over the last few days I have become aware of an ongoing controversy about the pros and cons of  web posting pictures of your work.

The anti-posting people argue that they are afraid someone might copy their work or steal their picture or…..

The pro-posting people argue that no one can copy their piece exactly and replication is a form of flattery, that watermarking a photo, blocking pinning and sharing and other precautions ‘protects’ a photo and your work from infringement.

Sometimes the discussions can become quite animated and this topic gets caught up/confused with issues around protecting copyright – a separate issue in my mind!

I’ve been doing a lot of hand stitching over the past few weeks and this controversy keeps creeping into my thoughts. Over the past few years I have posted my work with caution, sometimes watermarking, sometimes including a copyright statement and sometimes not.

I like sharing my work with others and this leads me to the question, ‘Why do we create our art?’

All of us will say  it is a form of self fulfilment and artistic expression but lets dig a little deeper. I will readily admit that I really enjoy sharing my work with others. As a result, a lot of my recent work has been done in response to a call for entry for an exhibition. Most of the exhibitions post photos of the pieces on a website as part of their promotion. As a result there are pictures of my artwork spread all over the web. Is it a risk? I have yet to hear of someone copying my work or of finding my work ‘Pinned’ or shared without reference to me as the artist. It’s probably happening but as long as I don’t find someone using the images in a commercial context, I haven’t worried too much about it. To do so would take a lot of time and energy and I’m having too much fun moving on to the next piece.  I would get excited if someone was reproducing and distributing a pattern, instructions or creating products using my image(s) without my permission and attribution. That goes without saying!

In addition to ‘sharing’ my work, I would like to sell some pieces and I have had an ongoing discussion with my marketing guru about how to approach this. I also would like to work towards a gallery show which would require me to have a quantity of work available. The two desires compete with each other as my work is not ‘quick’ to produce!

If I were to pursue the selling goal, getting my work in front of a lot of people would be important. Therefore posting my  work in a variety of ways on the web would be an important part of a marketing plan. It is also a way to get my work before curators and gallery owners. Thus posting my artwork also supports my second goal path. I just need to get more specific with my target market!

At the same time, when I let a piece go to an exhibition, I often don’t see it for two years as one of the groups that I frequently exhibit with mounts traveling exhibitions across the western provinces and internationally. By posting information about where the show is appearing and my contribution to it, I am helping to promote the exhibition.

So what should I post? How do other artist work through this decision process? How do you make your decision to post or not to post? Do you enjoy seeing the work of others via the web? How do artist balance the risks and benefits of posting our work?

To all my artist/web marketing/ and other friends, I would love to hear what you  think.

he two desires compete with each other as my work is not ‘quick’ to produce!

If I were to pursue the selling goal, getting my work in front of a lot of people would be important. Therefore posting my  work in a variety of ways on the web would be an important part of a marketing plan. It is also a way to get my work before curators and gallery owners. Thus posting my artwork also supports my second goal path. I just need to get more specific with my target market!

At the same time, when I let a piece go to an exhibition, I often don’t see it for two years as one of the groups that I frequently exhibit with mounts traveling exhibitions across the western provinces and internationally. By posting information about where the show is appearing and my contribution to it, I am helping to promote the exhibition.

So what should I post? How do other artist work through this decision process? How do you make your decision to post or not to post? Do you enjoy seeing the work of others via the web? How do artist balance the risks and benefits of posting our work?

To all my artist/web marketing/ and other friends, I would love to hear what you  think.

Free motion stitching

A Forest Surprise – Detail , Diane Duncan 2013

 

1 Comment

  1. Posting photos also depends on whether you are a “finished results” or a “process” blogger i think. Working slowly can show few works, but sharing as we go along makes more posts, contributing to audience growth and participation. Since i rarely enter actual quilt shows, focusing more on art shows, they are not as sticky about things showing up on the web first. It depends on what your “market” is in the end. People are rarely willing to stick around if you’re not sharing something–and that is why even my process shots are watermarked 😉

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