Should you Watermark Your Art on Instagram?

    Lately, there has been a rise in artists who watermark their art images on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

    If you haven’t noticed it yet, a watermark is a faint logo that is digitally placed over your image. The idea is that the logo lines will interrupt the image, making it difficult for bad people to steal and use your art and post it as their own.

    If you wondering if you should also watermark your social media images on Instagram (or other social media platforms) the answer is No. Do not place a logo over your entire image to keep it from being stolen.

    There are several reasons why you should refrain:

    1. It makes you look like a beginner. If famous artists and museums are able to post their artwork for people to see, so can you. Yes, it’s possible someone might steal your idea. But they don’t need your low-resolution Instagram photo to do it. The type of thief that steals artworks is quite capable of reproducing it themself.
    2. It is a major distraction. It is easy for the artist to see through the watermark and understand the details underneath. But to the viewer, it’s just a scroll-worthy barrier that triggers a swipe. There is so much out there to see, why should they work harder to see this one post?
    3. It is extremely easy to edit out a watermark. If someone wants to steal your work, it would take about 20 minutes to erase your watermark using a program like Photoshop with tools like spot healing and clone stamp.

    Take Away

    There are horror stories out there of artists having their artworks stolen and put on merchandise or worse, claimed as someone else’s work. The truth is, as you attract more people to your art, you will notice a very small percentage of them just aren’t good people. The percentages are true in life, and true in art sales.

    But, remember your original purpose of showing your artwork on Instagram and social media. It’s to get people to take notice and to see your artwork. A watermark is an obstacle to your purpose.

    Since it’s is already difficult to attract attention to your art and build a following, adding an unnecessary (and unhelpful) obstacle is a waste of your time and efforts.

    Instead, focus your attention on creating the awesome type of work that will attract the type of people that want to buy your art and support you as an artist.