If you enjoy, use, or otherwise benefit from an artist’s work then they deserve to be compensated for it. The way I see it is you can either give them cash or you can give them credit.
Let’s start with the cash.
When you fork over your hard earned dollars in exchange for a work of art, you’re helping an artist realize their dreams. Your money gives value to someone’s hard work and helps them continue to creatively contribute to their community.
Cash can take many forms. You can purchase someone’s work or a ticket to their show. You can support their work online through Patreon or GoFundMe, or more. You can donate to their cause or tip them for a job well done.
Cash is king.
But maybe you can’t afford to buy a piece of art or contribute to a Kickstarter. Hamilton tickets are expensive and so is your rent. I totally get it.
That’s where credit comes in. And when I say credit I mean C-R-E-D-I-T, as in credit-where-credit-is-due.
When you read someone’s work or watch their video, that creator has probably entertained or inspired you in some small way. Maybe it was for a matter of minutes or a matter of days. It doesn’t matter. They deserve your appreciation.
The simple act of giving someone credit goes a long way in helping an artist pursue their passion. And in 2017, crediting couldn’t be easier.
Take the time to smash the “like” button or comment. Share the post and start a dialogue about it with your friends. Passively reading or watching someone’s art without reciprocating does nothing for their cause.
Crediting means you aren’t allowed to repost someone’s photo without letting people know where it came from. You can’t copy and paste a funny tweet and pretend it’s your own. You must always attribute the creation to the creator.
I do my best to credit anyone I work with. Event photographers, other performers, journalists, event planners, companies, vendors, producers, you name it. They deserve respect and appreciation for their work and I would expect the same from them. Crediting means we all get to enjoy success, instead of a select few who took advantage of their fellow artists to get ahead.
So the next time you enjoy someone’s art, writing, video, pictures, blog, novel, tweet, web series, vlog, or more, be sure to pony up some cash. Or, at least “like”, comment, share, and give them some credit for creating something for your enjoyment. It’s literally the least you can do.