Today, we’re diving deep into a topic that many artists face when they put their work online – scams and annoying direct messages. This morning, I received a message from a frustrated artist, patzer, who’s been dealing with a barrage of fraud and scammers on Instagram. It’s disheartening, but it’s a reality we all need to address.
So, let’s get down to business and talk about how to protect yourself and your art in the digital world.
The Red Flags
One of the most crucial things to remember is to be vigilant. If someone contacts you out of the blue, especially through social media, be cautious. Patzer mentioned plausible chats, where scammers engage in seemingly meaningful conversations. They might say something like, “Your art is beautiful,” or “I love your profile,” which seems flattering, but it’s often a red flag.
Personally, I’ve adopted a rule of thumb – I block anyone who contacts me out of the blue without a specific message or inquiry. Legitimate art buyers will ask detailed questions about your work, like, “Do you have the painting with the Redbird available?” Be wary of vague, general messages, as they’re usually a sign of trouble.
Specific vs. General
When someone genuinely wants to buy your art, their message will be specific. They’ll inquire about a particular piece, its availability, or details about your art. If someone’s interest is incredibly vague, such as “I’m really interested in buying some of your work,” consider it a potential scam.
The essential thing to remember is that if you’ve provided all the necessary information about purchasing your art on your profile or website, potential buyers should find the information there. If they can’t, and they reach out about a specific piece, it’s a good sign.
Dealing with scams is part of the online landscape, no matter where you post your work. Don’t let these negative experiences deter you. Many artists encounter scams, and you mustn’t let it affect your self-worth or enthusiasm for your craft.
The key is to educate yourself on how to identify scams and develop an “I don’t care” attitude. As you build your online presence, scams will become more of an annoyance than a threat. Think of them as spam emails – delete, block, and move on.
Persistence and Empowerment
Patzer asked how to overcome the BS online and the fear of being perceived as a “sucker.” You can’t control how scammers view you, but you can control your response. It’s crucial to persist happily. Don’t push through challenges with resentment or frustration; face them with empowerment.
Keep your focus on your art and your creative journey. If you let the fear of scams or negative comments paralyze you, you’re only hurting yourself. Don’t take it personally. Scammers are everywhere, and they’re not a reflection of your talent or worth.
Remember, your art deserves to be shared with the world. Don’t let scammers and trolls get in your way. Delete, block, and keep putting your work out there. With time, you’ll become more resilient, and you’ll no longer care about those who try to drag you down.
Keep creating, keep sharing, and keep believing in your art. Don’t let scammers or trolls define your online experience. Stay strong, stay empowered, and have a fantastic, creative week.