Recently I got an email asking me about sharing work online. It's a great question, and one I have struggled with for a long time. It can feel like “giving away” your work with all the opportunities for people to use your art without permission.
And there are different ways to share your work online … it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. So if you've already decided you will share consider how you might share. For example, you can share detail shots, in progress shots, or photos of your work in context (a distance shot of your work on a table or easel, etc.). Additionally, sizing the digital file small enough will also help protect her work (I recommend 150 DPI at 72 quality) and embedding the digital file with your copyright info (name, email, and year of creation) will help protect your image as well.
On the topic I also recommend the book, "Show Your Work," by Austin Kleon.
Ultimately though, the most question may be: What are your goals with your creative output? That can define how and what you share. But that's a big question. You may not know the answer yet. Here are four additional questions you can ask yourself to begin to uncover your answer:
How does this land on you today? Share in the comments; I'd love to hear what you have to say.
Getting into photography for me was a process of tinkering and curiosity. I found an old camera and started experimenting with it in high school. But my tinkering started years before when I was in elementary school.
My first tinkering memory is from my grandma's house. They recently purchased a VCR, but it wasn't working quite right. So I fiddled, clicked a few buttons and - VIOLA - it was fixed. A few years later I was tinkering with the stereo system and accidentally fixed that, too. I remember my parents asking how I knew what to do to fix it ... my reply was an adolescent shoulder shrug, or something like it, because I had no idea. I just tinkered my way into the solution.
And I've been tinkering ever since. Tinkering with business start-ups, website design, painting. If it grabs my attention I'll tinker away. Sometimes for fun and temporary amusement, and other times it develops, you know, into my life's work (like photography).
To this day, when people ask me, like my parents did, how I knew to do XYZ, my response hasn't changed much: "I don't know. Got curious and tried a few things." That's not to say that all my tinkering is "successful"--there was the failed ad sales job, and the sports physical therapy internship (I nearly fainted at my own broken finger). But I can see how those experiments led me to where I am today and I'm grateful.
Im curious though why we've made it so difficult to fail in our society when the best entrepreneurs and life game-changers have royally blown it, and later written best-selling books on the topic. And I wonder, what holds you back from tinkering away at your curiosities? What could happen if you did? And perhaps more importantly, what will happen if you don't?