How are artists taken advantage of and preyed upon? Here are five ways. 1. Artists are not only asked pay to enter art contests, but they also pay in materials, framing supplies, and shipping. Artists are exerting a tremendous amount of effort, time, and money for the false hope of winning a pointless price. One that they’re very unlikely to win. Who wins here? The art contests the organizers. If you know your niche, you won’t fall for this and other scams, you won’t fall for this. You don’t look for prizes you look for sales. 2. Artists are asked to donate their art all be it for a “good cause” but without the benefit of a tax deduction under the false guise of exposure. If you know your niche, you won’t fall for this and other scams because you know that when your art sells at a discount at a charity auction, and it will, the value of your art declines. 3. Artists are pressured to give a discount, even to friends and family. If you know your niche, then you know that your enterprise is part of the luxury retail market. Discounting your art is shooting yourself in the foot. You’re degrading the value of your offer. You also know that it is unfair to you and to the people who did pay you full price. If your family loves you and if your friends are your friends, then they will not ask for a discount, and you should never offer it. Bake them a cake or take them out to lunch but do not discount your art. 4. Artists are asked to work for free under the false promise of exposure. Who works for free? Slaves and indentured servants. If you know your niche, you won’t fall for this because you know this is just a way for someone to get something for free. If someone values your art, then they should pay for it. 5. Artists are tricked into donating their copyright again under the pretense of exposure. If you know your niche, you won’t fall for this because you know that your copyright not only represents your brand but it is a real financial asset that represents current and future income. Two things I haven’t mentioned.
- Artists routinely are the recipients of email sales scams.
- Hopeful art students and their proud parents are lured into a lifetime of inescapable student loan and credit card debt by art schools.
These are just a few ways that artists are preyed upon. Don’t let this happen to you or other artists. The best way to protect yourself, and to thrive, is to know the clear value that you can offer to a specific market. Have you been taken advantage of? Please share what happened to you in the comments below. The truth will set you free and it could alert other artists about common predatory practices.