Artwork and Social Media

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Veezle
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Artwork and Social Media

Post by Veezle »

Hey, Yesterweb! It's been a long time since I've been on here. Hope the forums are staying active! :)

Anyway, This is something I've been wondering about for a while. I like to create artwork, both original and fan art of stuff I like, and I like to be able to share it online. It seems nowadays lots of artists are using social media sites to share and promote their art. I'm personally not a fan of social media in general (I've tried it before... Twitter, Facebook and what have you. I did not really enjoy it), but I am wondering if it is a good means for sharing art. I've used deviantART for years and I'm still somewhat active there, although it seems many of the good artists I used to follow on there have left and went to sites like Instagram and Twitter instead. I've even started an Instagram account as of late mainly to continue following many of said artists, and I'm considering sharing mine there regularly as well.

Thing is, I'm aware it's not easy finding new artists on there- I have a hard time doing it myself and usually when I do it's when other artists I already follow share something from them. That being said, I don't have high expectations that my work is going to be found easily and that I am going to get much popularity on there (not anytime soon at least). But that's okay; I still just want to share my art and hope at least someone will enjoy it as I enjoy the works of other artists.

I also have worries about art theft and copying, but I do my best to try to protect my work, including using signatures and the next step I'm gonna take is add a watermark, and maybe even upload in smaller lower-quality files. I'm also wary of the social media sites themselves being able to use users' art without permission, although I admit I'm not entirely sure where the legalities lie on that.

All of that being said- is it worth the risk? Do the pros outweigh the cons? Am I being overly-paranoid? Are there any other artists here who ask themselves these same things?
I know it's ultimately up to me what I do with my own stuff, but I would like to hear your thoughts on it as well.
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nighten
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Re: Artwork and Social Media

Post by nighten »

Hi Vee!
Yes, I can assure you that you are not alone; I struggle a lot with the same issues.

First of all, you should consider your goals: Do you plan to make art a carrer in the future? If so, how? As a contractor, in a company or independent? And if not, you don't really need to worry too much about the social media game; I spent a lot of time studying it and it really is a grind if you want to get an active following. But maybe you just want the validation and not work in the obscurity (I can relate), so you can consider other ways to get your art in front of people.

Here are some way I found to promote your art outside of social media:
  • Go local: join local artist group (or create one), show your art in café or in market, apply for artist alley, wear a shirt with your art on it (a friend got an art gigs like that)
  • Have a newsletter to directly talk to your audience and build relationship
  • Cross promote or use other people following: join other people event and project (challenge, zine, collab, podcast...), create a project yourself and invite people to join, and ask them to share your work if you have a good relationship
One last thing about social media: please remember that there are a lot of extremely talented and successful (by any metrics) artists that are not on there, or don't have a huge following on social media; they are too busy for that. It is just a tool after all, but don't think it's the only way.

As for your worries about art theft, I'd say you should really not worry about it. My opinion on this is controversial, but if it happen to you it is a sign that you're making good work, and that you should keep at it. If someone made a following or money with your art, why can't you? Of course you can ask the person to stop or take them down if they use your art, but really that's not something that should stop you from posting it in the first place.
Even if you don't agree (which is fair), I want to add that there are a lot of ways to remove watermarks, even complexe ones: just like DRM for games, putting too much protection might just make your art more difficult to enjoy for regular people, and don't really stop potential theft

Good luck on your journey, I hope my rambling was helpful!
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Re: Artwork and Social Media

Post by juette »

im not really a fan of using social media for my art honestly. deviantart was okay before they forced the ugly new theme on everybody now the website's so laggy its unuseable. ive used various other social media platforms over the years and honestly ive never really liked any of them, all those algorhitms and shit mean that if youre not posting on a precise schedule once a day literally nobody sees anything you make. and like, yeah art isnt always gonna reach a lot of people online but theres a difference between only a dozen people seeing it and literally no one seeing it. tumblr is okayish in that the dashboard is a lot less algorithm based but people absolutely hate reblogging any art (despite constantly reblogging memes and "rebogs are important!!!!!!!" posts) so its hard to get things to be seen outside of your immediate circle. it still is the platform that feels the least disgusting to use though because everything else seems to be trying to force me to become a super-filtered-carefully-curated-photos influencer if i want anybody to look at what i make
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GaryStu
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Re: Artwork and Social Media

Post by GaryStu »

If you're doing fanart, tumblr is still extremely good.

"Art theft" come on. Put your URL on your art and its fine. A lot of behaviours common in the old web would have been considered art theft by modern definitions, and this is a sign that the modern web is wrong and the modern definition is broken. There's so many people nostalgic for youtube slideshow AMVs and traced animation memes, things which would be considered art theft by modern definitions. If you've ever liked a carameldansen meme with your blorbos in it, oh no you've enjoyed traced artwork! Anyway.

I'm glad internet users assert their right to create derivative works by force, and to share art in a way that isn't Platform Approved TM. "Do not repost my art" is a form of algospeak. It's a depressing inversion of how it was "Do not hotlink" 20 years ago in a different technological setting.

Social media sites need a license to use and modify your artwork in order to display it. Deviantart got sued by a user who thought they were clever in thinking "generating thumbnails for my art is an illegal derivative usage". Therefore, all art hosting platforms now use a clause in their TOU to prevent any more users for coming up with those clever ideas. Those terms always sound a bit sus if you don't know what's going on. But if you know what's going on, they sound fine. Most everything else is fear mongering.

Don't bother with lo-res to protect your art though. Might have once worked, but AI upscalers do a pretty good job of turning lo-res back to hi-res nowadays.
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Veezle
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Re: Artwork and Social Media

Post by Veezle »

GaryStu wrote: Tue Sep 27, 2022 8:58 am "Art theft" come on. Put your URL on your art and its fine. A lot of behaviours common in the old web would have been considered art theft by modern definitions, and this is a sign that the modern web is wrong and the modern definition is broken. There's so many people nostalgic for youtube slideshow AMVs and traced animation memes, things which would be considered art theft by modern definitions. If you've ever liked a carameldansen meme with your blorbos in it, oh no you've enjoyed traced artwork! Anyway.
Yeah, true. I remember the slideshow AMVs and even then I didn't want my artwork being used in them without permission. I'm sure many other artists would agree. Never cared for the traced stuff either, commonly used or not (it's like those bases all over dA and people who would draw over them, is that still a thing? I wouldn't know...).
Also I've never heard of a "blorbo", lol

I've always been pretty strict about people using my art. I've never really had to deal with art theft much (only once or twice I'm aware of it happening), but maybe it's because my art's never been that popular. Perhaps things will stay the same in that regard but I'm a paranoid soul I guess.
GaryStu wrote: Tue Sep 27, 2022 8:58 am Social media sites need a license to use and modify your artwork in order to display it. Deviantart got sued by a user who thought they were clever in thinking "generating thumbnails for my art is an illegal derivative usage". Therefore, all art hosting platforms now use a clause in their TOU to prevent any more users for coming up with those clever ideas. Those terms always sound a bit sus if you don't know what's going on. But if you know what's going on, they sound fine. Most everything else is fear mongering.
Yeah I've figured that's what it was meant for. People will sue for pretty much anything after all.
My sense of paranoia often gets the better of me, though. Yes, it is annoying.
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Squid-Died
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Re: Artwork and Social Media

Post by Squid-Died »

as an artist i seriously hate how modern social media works, yea

some other ppl suggested tumblr which i agree with, newgrounds is cool too

for the most part u can get an easy foothold by doin fanart, it can draw attention to ur other original work with a bit of luck. personally i do art commissions and livestream the process, if you make friends with vtubers u can form a kind of symbiotic art/exposure relationship too with some luck
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△△△ i made some holographic stickers of this, check it out!!
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atKingMSPFA
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Re: Artwork and Social Media

Post by atKingMSPFA »

Honestly, fuck each and every uploading site that incentivizes upload frequency over actual quality. I don't care if something is 8 years old or 8 hours old, if it's good, that's all that should matter!

Also, big up to the sites with 'recent' sections which allow you to find newer artists that usually get buried.
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nightwolf334
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Re: Artwork and Social Media

Post by nightwolf334 »

I am not involved in any type of content creation, so my investment in the topic is limited. I feel as if art is an afterthought of social given that art is not necessarily something that can be monetized in a meaningful way. To be more precise, its not a product that someone would purchase advertising space for. Because of this your want for your art to be seen, stored, or whatever is not even considered as a service for most mainstream social media. With that said social media sites are in a strange place as far as copyright is concerned because you do not intrinsically own your artwork once its put onto a mainstream platform (Facebook, Instagram etc...), yet they are able to profit off them (technically?). If I am wrong on that last point, please provide me some clarity. I would see the issue to be more so that there is not a meaningful platform for you to be able to have complete determination over your art. The only way round this I see is if you work on a strictly commission basis, but then your exposure would become limited as you would be absent from social media and be hosting your work on a private portfolio-type website.
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nighten
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Re: Artwork and Social Media

Post by nighten »

nightwolf334 wrote: Sun Oct 02, 2022 1:22 pm With that said social media sites are in a strange place as far as copyright is concerned because you do not intrinsically own your artwork once its put onto a mainstream platform (Facebook, Instagram etc...), yet they are able to profit off them (technically?). If I am wrong on that last point, please provide me some clarity.
To answer your question, in the TOS of any social media you'll find a clause that allow them to store, distribute and make derivative (thumbnails for example) of anything you upload on their platform. That's basically so that they can function as you expect without getting into legal trouble, but you still fully own your copyright, you just licence it to them for free.
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