Some of you may have heard about social networking and Web 2.0. While this blog is not about those things, they do come to mind because I happened to stumble upon Charley Parker’s great blog today. It is titled Lines and Colors. He’s an artist and Web designer, free thinker and definitely a Web 2.0 type of guy. There happens to be a site called Stumble Upon. It is a great way to find new blogs and all sorts of things on the Internet. I stumbled on Charley’s blog in a different way, but it did cause me to think about Web 2.0 and social networking. I will post about those things sometime soon as they are relevant to art print marketing.
Back to the post at hand. Charley provides all the dumb things artists do to make their sites and images less compelling and harder to view for Web surfers. If you read over the list and recognize doing any of the things he talks about, I urge you to admit your guilt and take immediate measures to change your ways.
Think about it, How hard did you work to create the images? How hard did you work to get them properly digitized for the Web? How hard do you work to get traffic to your site? None of this comes easy, it requires your attention. What Charley is pointing out are the things you may inadvertently be doing that are keeping the traffic you have managed to get from having an easy enjoyable time reviewing your work.
There is a discussion in the comments following the post about piracy. The facts are it’s here and not soon going away. All the arts are subject to being knocked off or pirated. The Internet just makes it easier for that to happen. It also makes it easier for you to keep ahead of the copycat crooks by continuing to innovate. I suggest doing what is prudent, fighting to stop piracy when possible, but don’t let it get you down or eat you up. Instead, focus on being creative and growing your business, it’s so much more productive. I have had contact from artists asking about Asian oil painting knockoffs before they have published their first piece.That is irrational fear. It is an admitted drag and time-consuming and spirit killing thing to suffer. But, there are worse things, like no one buying the real art. That’s something to seriously worry about.
Keep in mind, that if you are being knocked off or pirated, it is a good indication your art is viable in the marketplace. It’s a painful kind of compliment to have this happen, it’s also a rite of passage. Go forth and heed Charley’s advice and get yourself some sales in the process! It may not help to know this, but even Disneyland is being knocked off in China. Check out the vid here to see what I mean.