Dealing with Copy Cats
I have found myself posting some difficult topics on my social media accounts lately. Many of my friends have reached out privately with encouragement and gratitude that I share my studio process and personal experiences. Thank you for your support!
My question today is ‘how do you deal with people copying your work?’
I have noticed it a few times over the years, but it has happened enough recently for friends to comment about it privately. When I posted this question on social media earlier in the week my friends’ responses ranged from outrage to commiseration. If I’m honest, I’m not particularly angry, just disgusted because the primary culprits are usually someone I know.
I realize I’m not creating in a bubble and putting my work on social media increases the chances that someone will be inspired to make something similar. I often find inspiration in other artists’ work. It’s the only reason I stay on social media outside of trying to promote my art.
I am a digital hoarder of quotes and images that inspire ideas. The way I ensure that I am not copying another artist is to save images and links in categorized folders for future reference. I don’t go back to them for months, or sometimes years, in order to give myself time to make notes and flesh out a concept based on my own point of view and creative process.
With all of that being said, art is my business. Inventors have patents to protect their ideas, intellectual property is very carefully guarded, and their are copyright laws in place to deal with the exact issues I am discussing. Fighting a legal battle to defend your rights, however, is expensive and time consuming. That is why I am looking into several ways to shift my approach to sharing and promoting my art.
One of the things I’m doing to prove provenance for my work is providing Certificates of Authenticity moving forward. I wrote about that recently on my social media and will post an article here soon.
I am downloading an App right now to design and start adding a watermark to all of my photos before posting them publicly.
That’s a lot of extra work for me, as some of my friends pointed out. The reality is, though, that establishing and protecting my brand is ultimately my responsibility.
Some of the things I am considering are setting up a Patreon page, creating a private Facebook group and establishing a mailing list to share updates, special offers, and exclusive posts.
Are these things you would find beneficial?
Feel free to post your thoughts in the comments.
Feedback from Friends
I have been told several times in the past that I should offer consulting services. The subject came up again this week, so I’m going to add it to my long term goals list.
I have been very encouraged and flattered by the feedback I have received so far. Thank you to everyone who reached out in support after you saw my post.