This Artist’s Success Story Speaks to the Importance of Crediting Online Artwork

Lead Photo: Art by Esther Garcia López/Collage by Alan Lopez for Remezcla
Art by Esther Garcia López/Collage by Alan Lopez for Remezcla
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If you’ve ever re-posted art from Tumblr onto your personal Facebook page without crediting the original artist, you’re part of a specific problem facing creators online. For them, putting their artwork on the Internet is akin to playing roulette; most of the time, they’ll lose their ownership of the work, therefore losing any recognition for a piece of art that could be shared thousands of times. It’s money down the drain, basically. However, every now and then, the ball lands on red 32, and similarly, someone credits art correctly and opens up new opportunities for the creator.

That’s what happened to Spanish digital artist Esther Garcia López, who now has a brand new job thanks to one helpful Facebook post.

Speaking to Buzzfeed News, López said that a Spanish editorial company reached out to them after seeing a Lady Gaga illustration that the Facebook page Little Monsters Artworks had shared.

BY tetratheripper"BAD ROMANCE!!!I always loved this @ladygaga videoclip so, I've made an illustration. Best wishes!!💕"CF/

Posted by Little Monsters Artworks on Tuesday, September 26, 2017

With that simple “BY tetratheripper” line, the post pointed at the creator in a way that most art being shared online does not; it allowed López’s new employer to reach out by finding their Tumblr via the Instagram handle, and the rest was history. After talking to the company, López was offered a job, which they accepted, bringing a rare happy ending to the Wild West of online sharing.

López says they shared the story in order to get this type of thing to happen more often, especially in a medium where ownership is lost so easily. Speaking about the hardships that come from seeing their work shared without credit, López put it in blunt, economical terms: “By doing this, they are making it more difficult for people interested in our work to find us, and therefore, losing chances of getting a job. For someone who lives [off] occasional commissions, it’s vital that every work we share has a proper credit.”