Jenny

Jenny

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Cheats Never Prosper.... or do they?

This is a bit of a cautionary tale for artists in the current climate of social media as an advertising tool.


Anyone that knows me will be aware that I have been politically involved in equine welfare for a long time, hence part of what I look at on social media involves scanning the myriad of equine pages scattered across Facebook. Particularly active pages include an assortment of 'Dodgy Dealers' groups, with posts invariably culminating in groundhog day bunfights between buyers and sellers.

A couple of weeks ago there was different topic, a poster asking about an artist doing pencil sketches, and had anyone had problems with her. She was charging £40 a drawing, and was either not sending the work, or when she did send it, it was dreadful, and nothing like the subject. There is clearly a degree of buyer beware if a client thinks they'll get a decent portrayal for such a small sum, but that's not the point to this. It's hardly rocket science to figure that all those commissioning paid upfront!
I followed the entire thread, and it transpired that the 'artist' was not in fact the girl whose FB page was advertising, but her partner. As more people joined in the thread showing the frankly awful work they'd received, one of them showed a sample of work she'd been sent as an example of what she could expect back for her money. It was a good enough drawing, and looked a real bargain for around the £40 mark. Sadly for this particular purchaser, the 'artist' had just stolen a photograph from another artist online, and pretended it was his own work.

Now, that kind of shook me. I'm aware there are people who will share images about, with the danger of them being downloaded. I'm one of them. I know that if I found my work being reproduced then the law of copyright would allow me to sue. My work doesn't photograph well, and I don't think that any downloaded from lowish resolutions would make anyone any money, but I'm probably very naive about that. However, I digress.



What would really infuriate me would be someone using one of my pieces as an example of their work, and profiteering from that. So from now on, everything I do will have this watermark online. I've created one in a circle as below to try and not block the flow of the artwork.
The only different watermarks will be the limited edition prints advertised, such as Sprinter Sacre, as they are done in a design shop.



I feel quite disillusioned by the dishonesty of people forcing me to have to take such precautions, but it seems that's the way of things nowadays.

I always sign my work at the base of the neck, and date with the year, as in the pics above. As you can see, my signature could quite easily be cropped out, so the watermark will now hopefully prevent anyone being able to pretend my work is their own. If indeed, they would want to!
Many artists sign at the bottom of the page, so their signature could be made disappear too.

For anyone looking at work with a view to commission, please make sure the entire work is visible, to prevent anyone using other artists work as examples for you.

Sorry it's a bit of a dull blog, but hopefully it might help stop the scammers, who have obviously already fleeced a few quid from unsuspecting, now unhappy, clients.

I hope you enjoyed looking at the gorgeous Kelpie and Robbie too!