How I Explain Art Theft
So I’ve been working on my baking for some time. A long time, in fact. I’ve spent hours in the kitchen learning different recipes, experimenting with new techniques - and creating some stuff that, frankly, was terrible. I didn’t want anyone to see it or taste it, so I just tipped it in the bin and tried again.
Some years later, I’ve become quite good at baking. So good, in fact, that I want to share my baking. Now, I don’t want to sell it - but I do want people to see it and taste it. So I set up a “free cakes” stall. The only payment I need is a smile.
Some people do smile, but maybe don’t take anything. Or they smile and snag and run because they’re busy. That’s cool. I understand. It makes me happy because I know they’ve seen my work and liked it, even a bit.
Some people are amazing and tell me all about how much they love my stuff! And they tell other people about it - and I get the real warm fuzzies. I’m not making money, but I’m enjoying what I do. It makes me want to do more.
Other people, though, are not as nice. Some people take cake and say nothing. Others take cake when my back is turned and I don’t even see it! And that makes me so sad, because they’re taking my stuff, they might even enjoy it - but they don’t give anything back. Not even a smile.
The worst, though, are those who take my lovingly crafted cakes and buns when my back is turned and put them on their own cake stall! They might not make money from it. They might vaguely point in my direction and say, “That guy did it, not me” or “Yeah, you can see the baker’s signature there.” But I feel awful, because it’s my baking, my creation, and people are taking it without telling me.
It’s the same with art theft. I don’t produce art for financial gain. All I want is a smile, or a like, maybe a comment or a reblog if you really like it. But what breaks my heart is when I see my artwork posted elsewhere without my permission - by people who’ve never even had the courtesy to speak to me. They enjoy it. They take it. They show it to others and get enjoyment that way. But they leave me out completely.
I’m the person who made it, slaved over it, reworked it, researched it, tried so hard. I’m not a famous artist. No one knows who I am. The only satisfaction I get is producing the art and seeing others’ reactions.
So please, if you like an artist’s work, enjoy it where they post it - don’t repost. And at least send them a little smile - or a like.