A common response to opening up your portfolio of work – allowing it to be shared, and not plastering it with giant watermarks – is the concern that somehow this invites “stealing” it. Artists should be proud of their work, but that pride can turn into covetousness: some creatives have an instinct to huddle in the dark, crouched protectively over their work, muttering “My preciousssss.”. Here is the reality:

  1. DRM and watermarking doesn’t stop anyone. If someone wants to rip off your work, they will: watermarking is a speed bump, nothing more.
  2. You’re not sharing every detail of your work process: you’re showcasing the results of your work. There is a distinct difference. Not everyone can do what you do, and claims that they can will quickly be proven false.
  3. Your profit lies in performance, not product. In the 21st century, the Rolling Stones don’t make their money from album sales. They make it from concert tickets and T-shirts. Your value lies in the fact that you can create the work you are showing, not the work itself per se.

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