Are You Giving Your Art Career Away? The Possible Perils of Filming Your Process

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written by Marisa D. Aceves

Your creative process not only helps to make your work unique and marketable…

It is the life blood of your art career.

It is a precious gem that helps you to stand out from a myriad of other artists that are competing for the same gallery showing, artist publication covers etc.

So why would you simply give your trade secrets away by filming every brush stroke, chisel or camera technique from start to finish?

Doesn’t make a lot of sense does it?

…or DOES IT???

Though this particular marketing strategy, may appear to be a good idea at first, consider who really benefits from this not-so-subtle form of advertising…

The answer just may surprise you.

WHY FILMING YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS CAN PUT YOU AT RISK?

Giving your style away is like giving away your originality!

Why should visitors and collectors come by your blog and website if they can find several other artists working in the same style and genre.

Consider these points before you film your art business out of existence:

1. Filming your creative process can expose you to theft from other artists 

For example…

a) From an artist with an “end-justifies-the means” mentality who only cares about making sales…

b) An art student that has to complete a project, but has no ideas…

c) A well known artist who has run out of ideas,

Someone can steal your style and subject matter and present them as their own.

Depending on how far along you are in your art career, this can destroy you and your ability to earn money from your art. Especially, if the artist that steals from you is well known and you are in the beginning stages of getting your work out to the public.

Who will they believe then?

A scrappy yet talented underdoggie or an artist with numerous publication covers and awards under their their big boy belt buckle?

We both know the answer to that one!

2. Filming your creative process can expose you to theft from designer art companies

When this particular scenario happens, and it does happen more often than we’d like to think, large companies selling designer artwork (paintings, sculpture, photography etc.) make money off of YOUR hard work.

They are allowed to get away with this because unless your work is copyrighted and protected by law, it’s fair game.

It’s public information.

It’s free content.

Anyone that is trained at copying the work of other artists can watch the video footage you took of your process (start to finish) and steal from you without getting caught.

The work is sold through a large company at rock bottom prices. The copiers that reproduce your work, usually go anonymous.

Even if your work is protected by law and you are able to report an obvious case of copyright infringement, if the theft occurs from a company outside of your country, it will make it even more difficult to take the guilty party to court.

In the mean time, you have probably lost thousands of dollars in future profits.

Not a good place to be!

However…

Sharing an appropriate amount of information (without giving away your secrets) could both increase your visibility on the internet, and help your present and future clients to better understand the reasons why you create your art.

*For more information about your rights,copyright infringement and protecting your work please check out these helpful Artist Resources:

1) Legal Guide for the Visual Artist,Fifth Edition by Tad Crawford

2) Photographer’s Survival Manual: A Legal Guide for Artists in the Digital Age (Lark Photography Book) by Edward C. Greenberg and Jack Reznicki

3) Art Law: The Guide for Collectors, Artists, Investors, Dealers, and Artists (2 Volume Set) by Ralph E. Lerner and Judith Bresler

Next week…

NEXT WEEK….3 Ways To Market Your Art Using Video

NOT IN MY INBOX! Warning: Not Every Opportunity is A Good Opportunity Part 1

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Everyone wants to be successful, right? As artists we like to dream big.  We have an extraordinary vision, a unique way of seeing things that we want to share with the world. Naturally, many of us seek out opportunities that will both help us to learn how to publicize our work and increase our income stream.  When we finally do stumble upon what appears to be a valuable website or blog with supposed insight into our industry we begin to believe we’ve finally “struck art market gold.”  “Our ship will come in” we calmly tell ourselves; we don’t have to be lost in that confusing sea of information we so affectionately call the “The net”.  All we have to do is read and apply the methods stated on the website or blog for artists and we will instantly begin to experience  increased sales and traffic to our site.

In some cases, this might indeed be true, depending on how much effort that you put into it and whether or not there is a market for your genre of work. After all, there are some blogs and websites out there that do offer helpful career advice, artist opportunities and coaching without extreme, unrealistic promises.  However, their are blogs and websites that also attach world views that we do not agree with, pushy sales tactics, mean-spirited bullying and “old fashioned guilt trips” to get us to buy this or that package or else we’ll be an obscure, abysmal failure forever.  These are websites and blogs that many artists are tempted to avoid.

While it may feel like an opportunity is right at first, if you experience any of these types of situations (marketing tactics) after you generously invite them into your inbox, you might want to ….yes….here it comes…..that dreaded word no blogger wants to hear…..UNSUBSCRIBE:

 RANT(ING):  You let them into your inbox because they have some great skill or valuable knowledge to share about marketing etc. and then the fun begins…Sure they’re entertaining, at least at first.  They write copy like nobody’s business, but there is one small problem.  They can’t stop whining and complaining!  They complain about the aches and pains of dealing with irritating, pesky people on different internet forums.  They complain about people that refuse to agree with them.  They complain about people that are offended by their constant complaining and name calling!  All this complaining has the average person asking, “Are they ever going to offer me anything valuable in my inbox” or in the words of the old lady in those 80s Wendy’s commercials, “Where’s the beef in this information burger!”  No beef folks, just two buns and some mustard!  The beef is just imaginary, it is a lure so that they can gain a captive audience.  At the end of the day, only you can decide if this is a proper use of your time!

 STORYTELL(ING) WITH FEW TIPS:  Let’s face it, many of us would love to become better writers, especially when it comes to writing about what we do and why we love to do it.  Our ability to communicate with others effects every aspect of our business.  It is a crucial part of our marketing plan. A great storyteller knows this and reels us in with their infectious tales of inspiration, support and encouragement. They make us hope that someday (perhaps in the near future), we too can be the next Seth Godin of the art world.  So we sit in anticipation waiting for those helpful writing tips that only an expert storyteller can give.  What do they give us?  What can we hope to receive for all of that reading?  They share their life story, accomplishments and charity, but they forget to give us the tips that they promised would help us to become better writers.  With each additional post in our inbox, they leave us feeling more and more frustrated, waiting for the tips that never come. Consider that there is a lesson for us as well. If you want to share some highlights of your story do so, just don’t forget to give us the tips that you have promised.

TO BE CONTINUED…

 Next week…. SCHOOL YARD BULLY(ING) AND PUSHY PEPPERMINT PATTY(ING)