Credit where credit’s due

This is a plea to anyone who shares stuff, particularly creative stuff, on social media or blogs.

A few months ago, a picture of a beautiful patchwork popped up in my facebook feed, and I shared to the Wildbrook Woollies facebook page as one of my “colourburst” posts. I assumed – and I’m as guilty as the next person for assuming – that it had been posted by the creator, or would be ultimately linked to the creator’s own page. But no… when I later decided to approach the artist, with a view to featuring her work on this blog, I found the original post had been shared from a 2014 report, in Czech, of a patchwork exhibition in Prague. Even with the help of Google translate, I could only find the photographer (who was credited), not the artist – of whom there was no mention. I googled the photographer, typed things like “multicoloured patchwork” into image search, and hunted through three years’ worth of picture galleries on the exhibition organiser’s website, but still… nothing. I began to get narked. Not just because I still couldn’t identify this artist, but because the original facebook post had received nearly 9,500 likes, over 1,700 shares, and 82 comments about how beautiful the work was – and I now realised she probably hadn’t seen a single one, and no one knew who she was. Not fair.

A New Day, Sunshine Dreams and Memories, a work by Susan Rienzo.

Susan’s Rienzo’s patchwork,
“A New Day, Sunshine Dreams and Memories”

In the end, I wrote to the exhibition organisers in Prague, and they were able to tell me the artist was Susan Rienzo. I googled her, and immediately found her website, facebook page, and Pinterest boards, and at last I could email her directly. (And I’m delighted to tell you that she will be feature here later this year.)

So please, join me in trying to ensure you credit the artist in any photos you upload, and if possible add a link to their website. And if you share other people’s photos, please consider checking they have credited the artist too: usually, this just means a few clicks back to find the source – though sometimes, as in the case above, it might take a little effort. One fabulous tool (which I only found after all this) is TinEye, a reverse image search, which can tell you when and where a photo was first posted on the web (although this might not help if the original page has been taken down). TinEye would have taken me straight to Susan’s website via a post on Pinterest, which had credited her.

So please share – sharing is good – but do your best to also give credit where credit’s due.

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