The Importance Of Crediting And Acknowledging Independent Artists
Last weekend, #HorrorTwitter exploded when an account, that shall remain unnamed, was called out for taking images from independent artists’ Etsy shops and tweeting them without credit or a link to their page. Their reasoning? It would make the tweets look like ads, and lessen their reach. When asked to credit the artists so people could support them, the account unleashed a torrent of abuse on anyone who disagreed with them. They’ve lost around 2,000 followers since the events began, more than 2% of their total numbers. While that may not seem like much, it’s an indication of how their attitude pushed away the very community they profess to support and be a part of.
However, the issue here is not how this page acted but rather how they viewed independent artists and their work. For independent artists, attribution is incredibly important as that’s what drives sales and protects them against theft. It helps build their brand allowing them to keep doing what they’re doing.
With sites like Etsy and the power of Twitter, independent artists have a chance to not only sell their work but also get free publicity, an invaluable asset. And when there are, as of this piece being published, 142,691 results for searching “horror” on Etsy, getting noticed is the difference between selling your product and getting lost in the maelstrom. Hence the frustration that quickly turned into righteous anger over the weekend. A powerful outlet who claimed to “love all things horror” made it clear that their primary interests lay in generating revenue (however small) off the backs of people who benefit from every dollar they earn.
Artists like StabandStitch, whose Samara embroidery is pictured above, are the kind you see at your local farmer’s market. They have a booth at your local horror convention. They are hustling and grinding to get their name out there and they don’t deserve to have the spotlight taken away from them, or charged to keep it focused where it belongs. They deserve to be recognized and lauded for their hard work. Crediting artists doesn’t cost a thing but you better believe it supports them a lot. You may not purchase something but someone else might and that one sale could make all the difference.