Part of the Movement, Part of the Growing
To have been there… at the beginning. Does anyone ever know, at the time, when this is the beginning of something big ? Or is it always someone with a controversial idea, an unconventional passion, a yearning for something different who is going out on a limb because of what is missing in the safety at the foot of the tree?
Art is changing. With digitization and the internet come greater visibility, dissemination, opportunity to share and to buy. . . and to take. I began writing about this before, when a Canadian artist was sleuthing out what a sordid path one of her works had taken at the hands of a stranger. The hand-brushed text piece which was printed and sold without the artist’s knowledge said, “Be true to who you are.” Verily.
This violation ~and others~ set her on a quest. Protecting our work requires time-consuming and soul-sucking litigation. Or does it? What about widespread acts of education? Maya Angelou said, “When we know better, we do better.” There is much to be said for clear expectations; given the chance, won’t people rise to meet them? We are charting new territory and the rules of engagement are not, it would seem, patently obvious. Most simply, if you didn’t make it, it’s not yours. Ask permission to use it or at least give credit when you draw attention to it. Never profit from someone’s work as if it were your own. If you really love it, isn’t it worth paying for the time and effort it took to create it? Thus was born just this week LINKwithlove!
You are invited to pick up a badge for your own use, to spread the respect. If you want to be here at the beginning, when new social protocols are being enacted and new shapes of enlightenment are forming, then follow the twitter feed, join the FaceBook page, commit education wherever ignorance rears its loathsome head.
Brené Brown is another advocate for living an authentic life, embracing vulnerability, and giving credit. She supports LINKwithlove and also has great badges available on her website.
Art works and we must, too. This is an amazing time for sharing, collaborating, and connecting. We can forge an awesome future for artists of all stripes. But it won’t happen without attention and vigilance.