Online art super stores the newest american sweatshops [ Editorial Commentary]

Quicksand by Mark Humes
Just as the junkie becomes willing to do anything for their next fix.
The artist finds themself in sinking mud they can not escape
 in a new unethical art world. 
For anyone who has ever endeavored in making artwork you know it is a process that takes a lot of creativity, time and supplies.

So what is an artist to do once they have created a thing of value worth more than the sum of its parts?

It used to be an artist could set up a stand in the streets and sell their wears but as time passed cities and laws made this impractical, and with the invention of the color camera artist found themselves hard pressed to find patrons who would hire them on to be their personal artist.

That leads us to the era of art galleries where a few smart businesspeople saw the value in art and opened up a building to house that art for a share of the sale.

Since these were usually small local groups, most people involved worked together to make sales 4 to 5 artist meant competition was low and everyone did their fair share of the work.

As time passed, art galleries became greedy.

Now fat with money from selling someone else's work.

They marketed hard and , created and bribed critics to push less talented artist.

It got to the point now in 2018 art galleries charge artist to consider their work for exhibition and sale. Then on top of that they charge them rent on wall display space as well as insist on upwards to a 50 percent commision on that artwork leaving the artist in many cases with barely any profit.

Then came the internet age. This was an exciting time for an artist.

Now free of needing an expensive space to show and sell artwork , millions of people can view the artwork freely, and profit margins went up, but all did not end well.

A great many artists were not computer literate.

So many greedy business people saw an opportunity taken directly from the idea of social media.

They thought to themselves lets advertise to the artist who wants a solution.

We will charge them to put their art on our website.

The pure volume of free web content will guarantee we dominate the search engine rankings.

Who cares if the artist sells his work.

Someone else on our website is going to sell.

An artist has hope above all things so they will hold on till the last second.

If they decide to do this themselves and learn how to master the web to set up their own shop, it will be too late.

They won't be able to compete without a $100,000 pay per click campaigns or our vast organic reach.

So where does this leave our disillusioned artist?

They are paying everyone money they don't have just to be seen.

They put in thousands of dollars of work to get pennies back just like a sweatshop worker.

Here is what you can do to make sure you are not taking advantage of an exploited artist?

1. If you seek to buy art from a brick and mortar gallery ask for their protocols for showing an artist work, Do they charge a review fee plus rent and take a commission; If a gallery does 2 out of 3 or tell you its none of your business walk away.

2, Never buy from an online art superstore if they show more than a handful of artist, run!

Fast and far.

Don't be that single sale that keeps them hanging on.

I would suggest sending the artist an e-mail stating you are willing to buy from them if they get their own website.

Together we can protect the creators in this world and stop this exploitation of the artist.

We need to make this so unprofitable all the unethical art galleries shut down, and the desperate artist abandons the superstore and opts for sustainable single artist websites creating a fair market and ecosystem for all artist.

If you happen to be an artist who has fallen in with these awful places, please don't hate me.

The information I put out here is a bit of tough love that is for your own good if you would like help reach out in an email.

I will be happy to point you to many websites where you can own everything, and every penny you spend on your marketing will be for your art and not that guy being suggested sitting next to you on the same screen.

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