Thursday, August 1, 2019

Stop working for FREE! -- industry vet posts warning for all artists

This video applies not just to animation artists, but to all indie artist/content creators.

Stephen Silver — if you aren’t familiar— is an art industry veteran. He’s a passionate advocate for artist education and hosts his "Art Talk" You Tube channel. He’s often the canary in the coal mine alerting artists. He speaks publicly and fearlessly on issues fueling rumor mills in the animation and indie art world. His rants rattle cages. He elevates the discussion up from furtive mumblings and throws it into the deep-end mainstream of the community. He makes a splash. The ripples have impact. More about him on his website:

Artists working "for free" on many platforms hurts everyone. We cannot continue to accept that social media thrives on uncompensated image sharing. Images and content provided for "free" by artists/creators barely get credit. Companies are pocketing profits. Artists/creators should be getting compensation.

How do we shift this paradigm??? Artists need to remind fans/followers of all the WORK that goes into the "free" art the public gets to "like," "share" and enjoy. There's a misguided stereotype that artists create because "they love what they do." That's a myth. The truth is art isn't just talent or passion. For an artist: it's their job!

Artists provide content. Followers enjoy it, count on having access to it, and use it (by sharing etc). Why do we expect artists to not get compensated for their livelihood???

Does your plumber work for free because he's good at clearing pipes?

For artists/creators: Work-in-progress(WIP)/process posts are an ideal educational opportunity to connect artists with followers. Seeing all the skill that goes into creating art and content helps followers understand the value in the finished products. Look for ways to engage your followers -- post questions, surveys, ask for favorite subject matter. When artists educate their followers and provide value in their content, they can build a loyal and supportive fan base.

More posts coming soon with examples of WIP/process posts -- and how to monetize them. Here's link for one:

For fans/followers: If you are following an artist, be sure to support them. Buy their merch from them directly or via their approved outlets. Be vigilant about counterfeits!! Report them to the artist. When you share images, share the credit and links back to the source. If you don't see the credit, try to find it. Promote the artists/content providers you love. Fans are often the foot soldiers in the war against online art theft and unauthorized commercial use of artist-owned images. If you would take an artist out for lunch or coffee if you had the chance -- pledge them via services like PayPal, Ko-fi, Patreon etc.

Fan participation protects indie artists creative rights. Defend what you "like." Help keep more posts coming.

More on the issue of online art theft in several posts here on the blog:

People pay all sorts of money for things they find online these days -- art should not be such a reach.

None of us can afford for fans/followers to be ignorant. We need them to be informed, involved, and investing in the art and content that they love.

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