Sharing my work: the Internet quandry

There has been a long gap since my last post, partly due to travel and illness, but in large part I’m simply struggling with adding this discipline of writing!  Having an idea for a post is one thing, sitting down and writing about it is another.

So, this is the website of an artist, and to date, the images of her artwork are missing!  What’s going on?  From the beginning of this project, and even before, a major concern has been the issue of copyright and how to handle sharing images of my work.  As an artist, my work is the product of my mind and hands, and represents many hours of thought, decision-making, and labour.  This is true for every artist, but the hand processes typical of textile media definitely increase the time involved in production.  Sales of my work are intermittent at best, and have been especially slow over the last year thanks to the economic downturn.  Consequently, I’m concerned about the possibility that someone else could profit from the illegal use of my images.  However, a large point of this website and blog is to introduce my work to a wider audience, with of course the hope of generating interest, and let’s be honest, sales.  I’ve been grappling with the question of how to protect my intellectual property while at the same time making it available to others.  There seem to be limited options: small and/or low resolution images or watermarking of some description are all possibilities.  So far I haven’t decided how to resolve this dilemma.

To be realistic, the likelihood of someone actually copying my work, which would entail a ridiculous number of hours in order to duplicate hand dyed colour, original block and screen prints, and unique shibori patterning, is highly unlikely.  Turning one of my works into a printed image, especially the small collages that I make, is a greater possibility.  What are the chances of someone choosing my work to steal, out of the millions of images on Internet?  Probably not that high, but not impossible, either.

Of course, in the real world showing my art in an exhibition or my studio has many of the same issues, particularly with the prevalence of cell phone cameras, which means a great many people are always equipped with the means to capture an image of my work.  Sometimes people ask permission first, but many don’t.  Public galleries don’t always supervise visitors or enforce a ban on photography.  With this in mind, in the interest of having at least a few images of my artwork on my website, I’ve decided to post some pictures of an exhibition I had a few years ago at the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Chinese Garden, in Vancouver, BC.  These are on my Gallery page, and the exhibition will be the subject of my next post.

This entry was posted in Art issues, Artwork by Jean L. Kares. Bookmark the permalink.

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