Here is a simple update; I do not write for Artid.com anymore nor do I have a gallery there any longer either. Anxiety attacks, artistic meltdowns and life in general aside-I stopped using and writing for this site because of one thing: scammers. There was an incident recently that lead to me almost losing $1300 to some asshole who said he wanted to buy a piece of art from me.
I was contacted by this scammer guy through Artid.com. There is a place in your personal gallery there where you can offer your contact info and because I was contacted via the site I hoped beyond hope (trusted) it was legit. It was not. Apparently this sort of stuff happens all the time and I (among many many other artists) was targeted via this site.
The administrators were aware of the scam but no warning went out to their members-not a sufficient one at least (in my opinion). I really didn't like that. Had I not stumbled on a little blurb about it on the website the night before I was set to send the cash, I would not have known the guy was a scammer. Thankfully I discovered it before it was too late. Barely. Do you know how much $1300 is to me? It might as well have been $13 000!
So, I felt a little let down to put it mildly. All I really expected was an e-mail to the members of the site to alert the paying subscriber (me) that this was happening. When I asked the folks at Artid about it they didn't seem too concerned and said this sort of thing happens all the time. I was also told that scammers target artists a lot these days because artists are so desperate to sell. WHAT!? Is that true? Am I that desperate to sell? I was almost suckered out of a lot of money so maybe I am! Or maybe I am just a regular person with regular and modest goals and maybe I didn't deserve this crap.
Now either I am really really naive or they were brushing it off to save face but never in my 32 years of life had it ever occurred to be to be wary of scammers interested in art. Stupid of me? Likely. But still... come on people. Seriously? One little e-mail to the members would have save me a lot of head ache. They send an e-mail right away if you miss your monthly payment (which I did once) so it is possible to contact their members rather easily and quickly should the need arise. Or so it seemed.
Also, I had a silver membership which was about ten dollars a month. I joined the site about a year ago (or more) and I wrote for them for about as long and did not receive one sale. Zip. Nothing. I wasted over a hundred dollars and a lot of time only to find myself caught up in some stupid internet phishing scam. I know it can happen to anyone but when you get an e-mail from a site you trust saying that you have a potential buyer for one of your pricier pieces of art you get a little befuddled. But it was a total joke. Nice.
As if it isn't hard enough to make a go of it as an artist. Sloppy professionalism. Not good.
So. I guess this is the year I trim the fat from my lifestyle. I decided it was way too much headache to be bothered with so I canceled my account and I quit my non-paying blogger job. I wrote for them for free thinking it would be my ticket to more exposure and more opportunity as an artist but nothing happened like that at all.
I have had some people advise me to show whenever and where ever I can. Experience has taught me that is not exactly the best advice. I say know your audience. Know your platform and know who you can trust. Don't pimp yourself out to anyone who is willing to take you on as an artist. It just may bite you in the ass big time when you least expect it. Follow your gut and never compromise your artistic vision even if that means taking on a regular job instead to pay the bills. If we artists are so desperate to sell even the bottom feeding scammers are after us, then maybe we need to really look at that before we get ourselves hurt.
You've got to be your own person and sail your own ship in whatever way suits you best. You've got to live and breathe your own sincerity. You've got to value yourself first always and forever. You can't compromise your values, integrity and sense of right and wrong in hopes to be noticed. You'll get noticed alright-by some arse wanting your money or worse.
So that's my advice.
Now Etsy on the other hand, is super professional to deal with. Their rates are spectacularly cheap and you can get started easily with a paypal account, five bucks, a camera and whatever weird masterpiece you've decided you want to sell. Actually it is even better than that. You only need twenty cents to list one thing. Sure it's tough to get your footing but once you do, you will love it. It is the ultimate creative paradise in my opinion.
As for customer care? One time there was a glitch with the way my name was displayed in a treasury and they let me know right away about that glitch with info as to why it happened and what they planned to do to fix it. They apologized and offered support and invited inquiries. It was a trivial thing but they took it seriously. I liked that. A lot. I felt cared for and I felt loved. I felt the Etsy LOVE!
Not so with Artid.com sad to say. Too bad. Very sad. I had high hopes. Other artists might swear by it. I don't. I can't afford to!
My Etsy sales are fairly consistent I am happy to report.
I've actually made a little money from my art here and continue to do so.