Do you struggle with art thieves? Having your work stolen is the worst thing that could happen as an artist. No words can describe how upsetting it would be if you encounter this situation. That is true, especially if they received more attention than your original post.
However, posting artworks online allows you to gain exposure. Social media, for example, is essential in expanding your network. It gives you the opportunity to do commissions with various clients. Thus, not posting your artwork online is not an option if you wish to earn money and make your name as an artist.
Thankfully, there are some ways that you can do to protect your artwork online. These tips are beneficial if you post your artwork on social media sites. Art thieves may be inevitable, but you can do something to prevent it as much as possible. Let’s get started!
1. Put Watermarks on Your Artworks
Watermarks are the biggest enemy of art thieves. But how can you put one? Let’s take the example of posting a PDF document of your comic artwork. With this situation, you might want to use a tool such as GogoPDF that allows you to add watermark to PDF online. The process is easy, and it only takes less than five minutes.
But how about when your artwork is a still photo? Do not worry. You can use editing tools to add a watermark to your artwork. Even putting a simple text of your name makes a difference. Make sure to put your watermark in a way where art thieves cannot steal your work.
Below are some approaches or methods that you can take when you decide to put a watermark in your artwork:
- Make the watermark text big and place it in the center.
- Place the watermark in a way that blends with your artwork. Ensure that the watermark is still visible and clear.
- There might be times where you want to stream your progress in drawing. In that case, you may want to put a logo or an icon that represents yourself. That way, you can still protect your art even in a video format.
Watermarks serve as excellent protection to your art. It also establishes your ownership of the artwork. But, some art thieves can still be stubborn and would attempt to remove your watermark. In that case, you can try this next tip below.
2. Upload Low-Quality Images
Another way to avoid art thieves is to upload a low-quality image of your artwork. It does not have to be too blurry. Uploading artworks below 1000 pixels would work fine. This size would be enough for your audience to see your beautiful artwork. At the same time, this size can be enough to discourage art thieves from stealing your art.
However, we do not recommend this method if you use your social media site as your art portfolio. First impressions matter. Thus, uploading low-quality photos might hurt your chances of getting opportunities. In that case, you can do the following method below to prevent art thieves.
3. Use the Description Box
Establishing your ownership is essential for every art that you post online. That is why it is vital to use the description box since it allows you to tell people not to steal your artwork. Most platforms such as social media sites should have a description box available.
In the description box, you can tell people that reposts and stealing are not allowed. Or, if you permit reposts, you can remind them to give credit and put a link back to your account. People should recognize you for your art and not those art thieves that steal your work.
4. Have Pictures Taken With Your Art
If you have joined several art groups, you might have seen a meme about a person taking a picture of their artwork. According to the post, it is to prevent art thieves from stealing the art. Some people might find it funny, but it can also be an excellent method to protect your art online.
Let’s take the example of an artwork that you have done with pen and paper. You want to post it online, but you are afraid of art thieves. In that case, you can take a picture of your art with your face on the photo. That way, art thieves cannot steal your artwork since it has your face on the picture.
5. Be Wary of Commission Requests
Making art commissions gives you an excellent opportunity to earn as an artist. Unfortunately, art thieves would abuse this system to try to get and steal your art for free. Although rare, there have been cases where art thieves would commission an artist. They would block you after receiving the artwork you have created without paying.
That is why it is vital to be vigilant when accepting commissions. Always ask for a down payment first before starting. When you finish, do not send the proper picture yet if the client has not fully paid for the art. If the client asks for progress, always put a watermark on the artwork.
Dealing with art thieves can be tiring. However, they can never beat the original. So, do not let your fear stop you from creating more artwork and post it online. Do these tips mentioned above to prevent art theft as much as possible.