Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Art Networking Sites

In the age of social networking sites, it would make sense that there would be sites specifically for artists, an updated version of the old school art registries. There are sites such as Myartspace.com, Brooklynartproject.com, pagaeaa.com, artslant.com, artistfileonline.com, and  waxworldunited.com to name a few. I've had some moderate success through some of these sites. I had a gallery see my work and inquire about it. I was recently "artist of the day" on Brooklyn Art Project and had my painting on the front page of their website. I was also named featured artist of the month on Myartspace. All good things. But there are some bad things that can come of these sites if you're not careful.

This is where I tell the story of Razzy Popo. That's right. Some guy named Razzy Popo (did his parent's hate him? What kind of cruel person would name their child Razzy Popo????) contacted me after seeing my artwork on one of these sites. He said he was from London and loved two of my large paintings and wanted to purchase them. Sounds good so far, right? But then he starts to mention that he could only pay by check and would mail me a check that was over the amount of the paintings and would I please cash the check and give the remaining amount to his shipper who would be handling the paintings. It sounded pretty fishy. I still wanted the sale (it would have been a BIG sale) so I told him I would feel more comfortable using Paypal. After he made some excuses about not having access to it, I agreed to let him Fedex me a check that I would wait to make sure it cleared and then contact his shipper. He took my information and I awaited my check. It never came. I suspect this was a money laundering scheme or one of those scams that usually target old ladies and their retirement checks but since I was unwilling to comply with my "buyer's" instructions, Razzy Popo did not make off with my life savings.

After doing some research and contacting the artist site, I learned that scamming artist is the new thing to do (okay, maybe not new but it was new to me). How horrible must it be to be a struggling artist and have someone not only steal your heartfelt work, but also your hard-earned money? I have since been contacted by two other people "overseas" inquiring about purchasing my paintings with checks. I deleted their emails immediately. Artist beware. There are some pretty crappy people out in the world....

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