Tag Archives: Facebook

Everything’s Coming Up… Copied?

Original painting (above) "Everything's Coming Up Roses" by Amy Guidry; 2007; Acrylic on canvas; 40"w x 30"h; (c) Amy Guidry 2015.  Below is a copy by unknown person
Original painting (above) “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” by Amy Guidry; 2007; Acrylic on canvas; 40″w x 30″h; (c) Amy Guidry 2015. Below is a copy by unknown person

Well, I encountered one of an artist’s worse nightmares.  I found a copy of my work on the internet painted by someone other than myself.  I don’t know who did it or why they would do this, so I will limit any speculation for the moment.  I would love it if they would come forward and explain themselves, though.

So I thought I should write a post about this topic now that I have some personal insight, and as I said, I know a lot of artists fear sharing their images for this exact reason.

Okay, so you find your art being used on the internet without your permission, or worse, find it being copied by someone else.  What do you do?

– Personally I don’t mind if someone shares my work on Facebook or other social media sites, so long as they credit me.  At the very least it should say that the work was created by [your name].

-Ideally if your work is shared on social media, it should include your name, the media, dimensions, year created, and a link to your website.  **Note to everyone out there sharing other peoples’ images: please follow these guidelines.  Artists work HARD to do what they do, and it is much appreciated when someone gives them credit for it.

-Always  put a watermark on your work.  I know this can’t always be done since most online publications want to feature your work sans watermark.  Do what you can, though, to help limit uncredited images going awry.

-If you find your images shared without credit to you, first contact the person posting and send a polite request that they add your contact info.  Send them the info as you would like it listed so it is easy for them to copy and paste, thus they will be more likely to follow through.

-In the event that this person ignores your request, you can go above their heads and contact their web host or Facebook, Twitter, etc.  Explain that you asked nicely to get your work credited and since they refused, tell them you want the image removed.

-If your work is being copied by someone else… my condolences.  This is aggravating, but something can be done.  First, find out who did the copy.  Just because someone posted it on social media sites does not mean they are the one that created it- it may be a re-shared image.  Trace it back to the original “artist.”

-Contact all social media outlets and the website host of the copycat artist and explain your situation.  Provide images and information regarding the copied art, yours and theirs, with links to the posts and direct links to the work in question on their website.  Ask that the images be removed.

-Your original work is automatically protected under the copyright treaty law.  If you need to take legal action, it will need to be formally registered, which can be done after the fact.

-Social media sites and the website host should comply, but if need be, you could contact a lawyer or lawyer friend, and have a cease and desist letter sent.  Further action may not be required, sometimes this is enough.  If not, you’ll have to take everything into consideration as to whether or not it is worth a legal dispute in court.



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Why Losing Fans is a Good Thing

Facebook Fan Page for Amy Guidry Artist

After reading the title of this post, you’d probably think I’m being sarcastic or just plain crazy.  Actually, no.  The thing is, anytime you are losing “fans” (email newsletter subscribers, Facebook Fans, etc.), you’re probably not actually losing fans, you’re losing people that weren’t really interested in the first place.  There are many reasons why someone may subscribe to your newsletter or be your fan on Facebook or follow you on Twitter.  You would hope that it’s because they just love your art, but that’s not always the case.  Some are other artists just doing research on you, some are acquaintances that felt obligated to join because you asked, and some may have been interested but quickly discovered that your work is not what they expected- the list goes on.

So why is this a good thing?  Because it translates to more time and effort put into those who do care about your art, and less wasted on those that weren’t interested.  For every email, every phone call, every Tweet, every newsletter, every postcard, etc. etc., there is less time, money, and energy invested into those that are not interested in your art, thus allowing you to focus on those that do care.  Sure, you want to know that your art resonates with tons of people- everyone, for that matter- but it’s not going to do that if they’re hitting the delete button every time you send them something.  And it’s not that you’re doing anything wrong or that your art is “bad.”  Some people are just not going to be interested, but this frees you up to fully invest in those that are.  If you were to send out a newsletter and end up with a few “unsubscribes” as a result and one heartfelt email from a fan, that fan’s response far outweighs the unsubscribes.  (More than likely those unsubscribes are people you’ve never heard from anyway.)  Having a meaningful connection with your fans is much more rewarding and better for your career seeing as these are the folks that will talk about your art, come to your shows, and share your news or posts with others.



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You Like Me, Right Now, You Like Me: The Case for Social Media

Sally Field\’s 1985 Oscar Acceptance Speech
Spike Full Episodes Spike Video Clips Spike on Facebook

With all the social media sites out there- Google+, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.- it has a lot of us all wondering if we really need to be on these sites.  As an artist, I have to say yes… I can hear the groans now… Does it really matter?  In short, absolutely.  Not that this is a popularity contest, but those likes, plus 1’s, and tweets are important.  Sure, they give you a boost of confidence and let you know that someone out there is taking notice to the work you’re doing- everyone wants to have their “Sally Field moment” – you “like” me.  But more importantly, it’s about trust.  Social media sites, time-suckers that they are, actually help build brand trust.  They allow people to get to know you, get better insight into your art, see what you are doing with your art career, and it also gives them confidence to buy your art when they can see that others like you as well.  In fact, the number of fans you have on Facebook, for example, builds confidence among other fans and potential buyers.  All the social media kudos you receive show that they are not alone- that others like your work and buy it, too- therefore they should join the club.  Because of these sites, others are able to vouch for you.

So how to manage all these sites?  And is one more important than the other?  Well, I have to admit that I do have my personal preferences when it comes to social media, however, I do think it is important to be present on all of them to some extent.  To keep things from getting out of control, I would recommend that you first set time limits.  Don’t get distracted with reading posts and watching videos.  Limit your social media time to only work-related posts and interactions when you are on the clock.  You can always go back later at the end of the day to do your personal posts, etc.

I know some of you may frown upon this, but copy and paste is your best friend when it comes to posting about your art.  I see no harm in replicating posts from one site to another.  It will save you time while maximizing your reach.  More than likely no one is going to be seeing the same posts from one site to another anyway.  Not everyone is on all social media sites and even if they are, they still may not see all your posts due to their short shelf-life as well as Facebook’s use of EdgeRank (which filters out 99% of posts by friends and businesses).  It really is best to cross-post in order to broaden your audience.

One last note- this may sound contradictory given your time restraints, but do try to respond to your fans’ comments in a timely manner.  If you post a painting or you ask a question, people are going to respond rather quickly, so be around to give them a response as well.  If you find that this is exceeding your time limit, perhaps find a way to wrap things up and exit the conversation.  You could thank everyone and say that you are going back to the studio now.  Or maybe entice them to come back by saying that you’re off to work on a piece and will come back with a “sneak peek” photo later.  Speaking of which, I need to get back to my easel as well.  If you have questions or comments concerning social media, feel free to to share them here!



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Exposure- Need it, Want it, Grow it

Lately I’ve noticed a surge in questions by artists regarding internet exposure.  I think everyone can use more exposure, even if they’ve been at their careers for awhile.  You have to “feed the machine” as I always say and continually add to your internet exposure.  If you don’t consistently provide the public with new information, they will soon forget you unless you happen to be Damien Hirst, for example.  Given the short shelf-life of posts to Facebook, Twitter, etc., it’s especially important to keep the news coming.  So here is a list of my favorite and most useful recommendations:

Website– This seems to be the most obvious but there are many artists out there that don’t have one.  This should be your #1 priority over all other ideas listed here.  Cost can be a big factor, so if you can’t afford to hire a designer, talk to talented students or freelancers that do this as a side career.  You can probably get a better deal– just be sure to look at their portfolio beforehand.  If this is not an option, you can also use WordPress to create a site in which you feature galleries of pictures.

Blog– Again, you can use WordPress for this, but there are many other options out there.  Blogging is important to help build your name, increase your SEO ranking, and gives you an opportunity to connect with fans.

Facebook– I see many artists using Facebook, which is great, but far less have an actual Fan Page.  First, Facebook expects that you will promote your business and conduct sales through your Fan Page, not your personal profile.  Sure, Fan Page posts tend to get filtered out of the news feed, but in all fairness, Facebook is not taking a cut from your sales made via your Fan Page.  Drive traffic to your Fan Page via your website, blog, etc. and include links to your Fan Page on other websites.

Twitter– Personally, I find Twitter to be overwhelming, but no matter your social media preference, it is important to be present on any and all.  I have found that fans/collectors/potential collectors all have their own personal preference for following you, therefore you need to reach them through all of these sites.

Google+ – Some people still don’t know what Google+ is.  To me it is just another version of Facebook, except without all the “flash.”  No ads, no news feeds, no news feeds in your news feeds (haha), and it makes it much easier from the get-go to control your privacy settings and even per post.  As far as I know, you still have to be “invited” to join so if you haven’t already, ask a friend to send you an invitation.

Blogrolls– Besides your own blog, increase your exposure by getting your site included in the blogrolls of blogs that you like.  These are lists of sites that are recommended and tend to share similar interests with the blog listing them.  Ask to trade links with your artist friends- their link listed on your blog and yours on theirs.  You can also approach bloggers that you like to trade links.

Comment– One of the best ways to get noticed is to leave a comment.  So many sites feature like buttons or share buttons, which are great, but don’t forget to leave a comment.  If you have something valuable to add, do so!  You don’t have to agree with the writer, either, just be civil.  When posting, depending on the site, you may have the option of adding a photo of yourself- a Gravatar– or if you can sign in via Facebook or Twitter, use one as long as there is a photo.  People are visual creatures.  You’ll also have the option of including your website or social media link, too.

These are my best recommendations, but there are new sites being created all the time.  If you have any ideas you’d like to recommend, please add them to the comments section!



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Art and Social Media

Artist Amy Guidry autographs a fan's exhibition catalog

As an artist, I’m always learning more about the business side of the art world. I scour the internet constantly, read books and magazines- Art Calendar!, listen to podcasts, etc. Anything I can get my hands on basically. So I’ve compiled a “best of” pertaining to social media. Some of you are using these services already (as am I) but are you using them to their fullest potential? And some of you are not using these at all, which needs to change pronto. So here are the tips I’ve gained:

– Create a Fan Page for your art. This is where you will do all your marketing since Facebook does not allow such on your personal profile.

– Engage your fans with your posts and make sure they are visible (not locked under some privacy setting). When fans “like” your posts, everyone on their profile sees this, thus spreading the word.

– Ask fans questions to get them interacting and interested in your page.

– Join Facebook Groups for artists and post links to your work and introduce yourself. However, do not do this to another artist’s fan page since that is dedicated to their work and would be considered rude.

– Add to discussions, don’t just “like” a post.

– When a gallery invites you to an event on Facebook, never just ignore or decline it, always write a personal note on the event wall—leaving your name there for all to see.

– Retweet and @reply other artists to spark conversations and build your network.

– Follow people (even if you don’t know them- that’s the great thing about Twitter) to get on their radar. Follow artists, galleries, curators, etc.

– When tweeting about a popular subject, put a number sign (#) in front of it. These are known as hashtags and make it easy for others to find your tweet through Twitter searches so they may want to follow you. Example: #art, #gallery

– Do not to use more than 2-3 hashtags or you might be considered a spammer to your followers.

– One of Twitter’s most popular personalities, @GuyKawasaki states, “I find it’s worth repeating important tweets up to 4 times in about 18 hours. Typically, that would be evening, late evening, next morning and then the afternoon. Hopefully, that will catch the different audiences. But that’s enough; I don’t want to turn anyone off.”

– Make a “List” on Twitter to group people of interest- such as galleries or dealers, curators, and collectors. This will help you keep track of different groups and stay in touch.

– Join groups that are related to your style of artwork as well as more general art groups. Ask questions and contribute to other discussions.

– Connect with galleries, artists, curators, and collectors that you know (you can get booted out for spamming people you don’t know). Also connect with other professionals- your dentist, doctor, real estate agent, etc.

People who are popular in the social media world inform, entertain, and educate – sometimes all at once. If you’re a successful self-employed artist, it’s about the inspiration and the example you provide for other artists. So it’s really about them. Post videos, tutorials, news, artwork, interesting articles, music, movies that you think people will appreciate. Posts should be of substance, not how you’re waiting in line at the grocery store or that it’s Monday or Friday (we know the days of the week). Think of it this way: if you were in their position, what would you find interesting?


Social Networking

My Fans

As if it wasn’t difficult enough just to paint, maintain a website and a blog, I decided to jump on the bandwagon and join some of the popular social networking sites.  It’s a lot to keep up with, but I have to admit I do enjoy meeting and reconnecting with people.  It’s amazing who you’ll find.  Anyway, as some of you may already know, I am on Facebook, but I also recently joined Twitter.  I’ve come to find that different sites appeal to different people, so it’s best to join as many as you possibly can.  So, that said, for those of you who frequent some of these social networking haunts, you may like to follow me on those as well.  If you’re on Facebook, you can follow my Fan Page.  And if you’re on Twitter, you can follow me at www.twitter.com/amyguidryartist.

And, of course, if you’d like to view all of my work, including event photos and press, go to my website at www.AmyGuidry.com! And for those who are wondering, these four pictured to the left are some of my biggest fans. They lounge behind my easel all day, though it doesn’t look very comfortable in this particular photo…

Getting Up to Speed

Amy and Zack Guidry I’m a little slow to join most of society, but now I can offically say that I have a Facebook page. I must admit I did not think that it was of great significance to join such a site, given the fact that I’m on the web in many other places (i.e. www.AmyGuidry.com, www.WallyWorkmanGallery.com, Myspace, ArtistsSpace, THIS blog, …) However, being on one more website certainly never hurt anyone. What I didn’t realize, however, was that everyone is on Facebook. And I mean everyone. People I haven’t seen in decades (yes, I’m that old).

In addition to posting some of my artwork and my new video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uL3H_rKW1k), I have also posted photos of family, friends, and me, of course. And I even play along and post comments on what I’m currently working on, etc. So now you can get a more in-depth view into my world (I shudder at the thought- haha) and can see more about me as an artist. Just go to www.Facebook.com.

To view more of my work, in addition to new paintings, go to www.AmyGuidry.com.