I’ve been using social media in conjunction with my art and writing for some time now. For independent creative people like myself it has been an amazing development mixed with a certain insecurity that any type of major change can bring. Creative workers of all types are the ones who are actually creating a large part of the content that people enjoy online. They are writers, traditional artists, digital artists and a wide variety of others that help make the online world interesting.
The Creatives Versus The Copiers
One of the biggest challenges facing everyday artists and writers is the sheer amount of copying done online. While there is money behind the push against online piracy (mainly from Hollywood) independent artists have their content copied and shared freely online with little to no recourse available. Essentially, as an online artist or writer you rely on the goodwill of others.
Social media is meant for sharing and engagement, but a pet hate of mine is the number of social media accounts actively scraping original content from others and using it for their own ends. Just because something is online doesn’t mean that it is free to use as you please.
How you can Help Creative Workers
If you do love to share images and even words online through your social media you will probably find that most us do not object. What is objectionable is that there is when there is no attribution given to the original creator. If you see these accounts that share hundreds of photos or art works why not comment on them and ask “who made this?” or “where did this come from?”.
I am sure fellow writers and artists all have their stories of seeing their own images ripped off and tweeted or shared on other social media networks. These people like to see themselves as “online curators” but in reality they are simply theives. The real online curators always mention the source of any pictures so that others can discover the artist/s responsible for the work.
Social media is a great opportunity for us as creative workers to share more, and develop our artistic vision. It is also a chance for millions of people around the world to see and enjoy creative works that they otherwise would never have seen. I love all the support I have received on social media as I continue to write and create new images. I also love it when I see other artists attributed correctly, so if you love someone’s work make sure you give them a proper shout out on social media, don’t just copy images and repost.