Monday, 16 January 2012

The Last One to Know

Facebook, Twitter and...
oil on linen, 2012
( just joking, the title is Two Wrapped Boxes )

Am I the only person who was completely unaware about Tumblr until now?
If there is still someone out there who is interested in visual arts, has come across the name of the website and ignored it, think again.
The place is a goldmine !
So, Tumblr is something like Twitter, but for images ( and video and audio I guess, but I care less about those). Many users, in my limited exploration of the huge website, collect and share inspiring images of all kinds.
I have come across a few very good collections but I know there are many many more to discover.

I have now set up two mini blogs, one has images of my paintings, the same you can find on my main websites. The other will feature images of paintings I like and find inspiring.

So, how does Tumblr work ?

I would say it is not too difficult to use, I guess any twitterer would get to grips with it faster than me ! The photos upload fast and display in a large format, and you can post your own pictures, images from the internet or share ( reblog) images from other Tumblr users.

Once you sign up for an account you will find yourself on a dashboard page where you can/will see images of the users you follow as well as your own posts, and then if you wish you can also create your own blog.
The idea is to find and follow users whose photos are of interest to you, or for example you can search for painters you like in the "Search Tag" field on your dashboard and find out who has posted images of their work, assuming that you might have the same tast in art.
I typed my name and found out that three users had published images of my paintings !

What is good about Tumblr?

It seems to me that this is a no-fuss website. Facebook for example allows and calls for more exchanges, so that painters get to know each other a bit. Tumblr is more stern, more anonymous: if you share someone else's image you don't need to acknowledge it to them,  but at the same time the whole process is quicker, less time consuming.
Images are large and clear, and many users have organised their blogs so that it is easy to access and consult the archive.
Below, for example, a screen shot from the archive of the blog " Neon Fruit Supermarket" which has kindly featured an image of my latest painting.

It seems to me to be a much better platform than Facebook albums for paintings. I have weaseled my way into the FB contacts of a few very good painters who post lots of interesting images and it would be great to see them on a Tumblr page instead.

Tumblr seems to me quite a funky community, where users find inspiration in paintings, photos, illustration all jumbled up for a change.

I hope you might be curious to explore !


Katherine Tyrrell said...

It essentially depends on whether you want to see your images appearing on somebody else's site with no credit at all to the originator.

Not nice but certainly possible.

You lose control of your images. To me that gives the appearance that you don't value your images and where they appear and whether people know who created them......

I don't think that's who you are - I think you value your images and care about who sees them and where they are seen and that people know that you created them.

That said, I guess we're all vulnerable to Tumblr - irrespective of whether or not we've got an account - since a lot of people who post images to their blogs care little for crediting the originator.

Personally I really don't like that as a way of operating. However I guess that might be because I've seen rather too many examples of people claiming other people's art as their own.

Ilaria said...

I see your point, Katherine, but as you said I think one is vulnerable from the moment your images are online.

Until now I have been credited with my name on my images, and if they are taken from your own Tumblr blog then you can follow who is publishing ( reblogging) them.
I thought the appropriation of images might be more of a problem for photographers, whose images can be used as reference, did it also happen with painters ?

Anyway one can access the website as a follower without having to upload their images: for me it is interesting to look at people's collections if I can deepen my knowledge about other artists.
I don't care much about images taken out of context, so I wouldn't be interested in visiting a blog were I have no means to know who the arrtist is.

I'll be careful and see what happens, bearing in mind what you said.