Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Going Global.. whoosh !

Going Global.. whoosh

I got several folks signing up to my mailing list last night. I've also noticed my website hits climbing steadily for a month so. So this morning I checked my website stats and they have gone through the roof and I still wasn't sure why. So I started do a little digging. 

My work appeared here yesterday

Then overnight a French site picked it up and ran pretty much the same article 
Of course the first two didn't ask permission or offer any payment. 
Now I've got ESPN in the States emailing for permission to use my image for a similar article. 

Stayed tuned to see what tomorrow brings ;)

Andy Mercer
Andy Mercer's website

Friday, 11 May 2012

Fraudulent Websites stealing artists work.

I became aware of these fraudulent sites a week or two ago. This is much worse than one or two image being stolen and used without permission, this is mass image theft for use in an industrial scale fraud.

Buyers searching for your art are likely to find it being offered at lower prices via these fraudulent Chinese sites because they are being given equal prominence to legitimate online retailers by Google.  
I would encourage every artist at the very least to sign the petition below and raise the profile of this issue with the powers that be.. the bigger the stink the more chance there is of getting this sorted.
A big difference between this and other scams is that the sites are being replicated massively (see the list below) and are gaining google rankings. They are not only stealing artists work they are then using our work to fraudulently to obtain payments without delivering anything. In addition they are also prominently displaying trusted logo’s which make them appear legit. Verisign, Paypal, Amazon, FAA etc. 
So far attempts to remove them from their servers have been unsuccessful. Hopefully by the time you check the links below they will be gone. If you want to do more to get Google to delist these sites, full details of what to do  can be found at the FAA forums in the “Is this a legit affiliate” thread.
Please check and see if your work has been stolen.. mine and many others have.
Unlikely as it may seem a google search of scam sites reveals that people are being ripped off by these sites. Enough people believe if it is listed prominently on Google it must be a legitimate online retailer... 
The major problem here is that if these fraudsters can get away with pretending to be an affiliate of Amazon and using trusted logo’s like Verisign, Paypal etc and have Google search rankings then people will be ripped off. (Google, Amazon and the server hosts so far appear complacent and disinterested). Many of these fraudulent sites are also making income from Google ads.. this again makes them appear legit. The failure of Google etc to act on this issue threatens the very credibility of online trading. As you can see these sites are replicating massively.
It won’t be long before victims start saying “and the artist did nothing about it”.
People are being ripped off for hundreds of dollars by these sites. Google “Scams NanYang ESC International Trade Co Ltd” which is a China based company associated with this.
Please feel free to link to this and copy and paste this and spread the word.
This is a list of all “China Wholesale Sites” we know of so far
The first link is always the mainpage. The second link is always the print & posters category where you can look up and insert your own works
…and the ones which end with xml are the google-sitemaps of the requested sites

Andy Mercer's website

Sunday, 29 April 2012

"All inclusive" by Andy Mercer | RedBubble

"All inclusive" by Andy Mercer | RedBubble:

Cyprus is a lovely island and the people are very friendly but it is very hard to escape the feeling even when you fly in for a week and for the most part stay within the hotel grounds that there is a lot going on all around you.. in Syria, in Turkey, in Greece, in Israel and across the region.

Even more curious is that Cyprus seems more British than just about anywhere else in the Med, everyone speaks English… full English at breakfast with a few olives.. milk in their tea.. distinctly British looking traffic lights.. and they even drive on the right side of the road. It's a Britain in the sun.

I have to say things generally tend to happen to us when we go on holiday (vacation)
One day my wife and I were taking in the spring sun by the sea.. when I noticed unusually that there were no pleasure or cargo boats out at sea. Within a few minutes a military patrol boat came up the coast and took up position close the marina. 

A few minutes later a Rihanna (type) jogged past with her security guard, who I thought was a perve following a young lady so closely but my wife put me right on that one.  Surely even Rihanna or her look alike doesn't warrant a patrol boat ?

In the distance another two ships came into view.. they looked a different shape to the cargo ships that you can regularly see on the horizon and they were moving much quicker. A few miles from shore they slowed and stopped. Then a small black dot lifted off the back of one of the ships.. flew around the ship a couple of times and then flew over us and away.
It was military.

We watched engrossed by it all.. not a single pleasure boat went down this busy tourist coast but there were now several large vessels on the horizon. One looked like an aircraft carrier.

After the departure of the helicopter nothing much happened for awhile. So we decided to head back to the hotel while keeping one eye on the sea.

Throughout the rest of the day I kept on checking the horizon but things remained pretty much the same. Three or four  ships on the horizon and the military patrol boat anchored near the marina.

As we prepared to go and eat I switched on Sky news. Kofi Annan and John McCain were in Turkey supporting the Turkish after Syrian troops had been shooting refugees inside Turkey and Lebanon just across the water. After his speech to the camera's the UN General Secretary was shown climbing onboard a military helicopter as he left.

A few minutes later we heard a helicopter in the distance, it flew out to the same ship and landed on the back.

Within a few minutes all the ships were gone or leaving. So was it the edge of international politics or is that the trouble with creatives doing nothing on holiday ? Sadly Hilary Clinton didn't turn up at our hotel for a press conference. 
The war ships on the horizon.. the helicopters.. made it feel like “all inclusive” in the danger zone.  
After a few days of doing nothing but bringing up the vitamin D levels, just for a change we decided to take a trip over the green line and visit a place that doesn't officially exist The Turkish Republic of Cyprus. 
When the week ended we flew away to “normality”

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

The stark facts about selling art via POD sites.

Every few days on a art forum someone posts somewhat forlornly asking "if anyone is making sales on this or that site."

If anyone thinks they are going to make "sales" simply by uploading their work to a POD (print on demand) site they are going to be disappointed. The ratio of sales to artists is not good. As an example there are almost 100k "artists" registered at Fine Art America.. and over 2 million images.. lets say 100 pics sell on the site everyday.. I think it's less than that but it makes the maths easier. For example 100k "artists" divided by 100 PICS SELLING per day = 1 sale per artist per 1000 days.

Now bear in mind many artists on the site by their own efforts sell more than this so this reduces the odds further for anyone just uploading and "hoping" for a sale. And also those odds are increasing everyday because the number of artists registering on the site is increasing more than the number of sales. The more popular the site the harder it is to make sales because of this basic sales to the number of images ratio. So the likelihood of making a sale for most is one sale per artist every 3-5 years. Of course there are many who sell more than this but if you simply put you work on a POD site and leave it at that then those are the basic odds.

The most the vast majority of artists will get from a big POD site is the occasional POD sale, some exposure.. and some interaction with other artists ! Most POD sites are social networking for artists, a place where they can gather with others and show their work, which is fair enough if that's what you are looking for. You might also sell the odd original by having images on a POD site.. so you need to consider any POD site as a part of an overall online strategy to generate income. For the vast majority it is unlikely to ever be enough to live on. Uploading your work is only the first stage.

The plain fact is.. if you don't sell many pictures in the real world being on a POD site isn't likely to change that. Sorry.

Andy Mercer's website

Thursday, 8 March 2012

How to blog an artists work without getting into trouble !

Many people use an artists images without consent or acknowledging the artist. Images available on the internet are very often NOT in the public domain. This is the correct way to feature an artists work in a blog or on a personal website. Amiria features my work here My name is shown with the work and there is a link to my website. I have no objection at all to this type of use. Amiria who owns the blog has lots of very good info for students of art. There really is very little reason to use an artists work without acknowledgement. Just to be 100% certain the blogger sent me this message
"Hi Andy, Just letting you know I have featured one of your awesome artworks in a blog post I wrote to help high school art students: Line Drawings I have credited the image to you and linked back to your website. Hope you don't mind! (If you do, I will remove the image at your request). Keep up the great work! :) Amiria"
Do it right and the chances are most artists will "thank you" for promoting their work. Steal an artists image (yes it is stealing) by using an image without consent or acknowledgement and you risk being "named and shamed" or even being sued. If you think its unlikely you will ever be caught think again.. you would be surprised how many people report artists images being used without consent on art forums. Many artists routinely search on their image names to see where they are being used. If you want to build a reputation for blogging you'd be surprised how much damage taking images without consent can cause. Is it really worth all the aggravation.. when many artists will "thank you" if you do it the right way ? Andy Mercer's website

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Whats my favourite music

Somebody recently asked me what is my favourite music.. now that is a very big question and it could take a long time to answer. Here is a couple for starters M People.. Search for the hero. The theme from American Beauty. Andy Mercer's website

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Corona Billboard Art Project Andy Mercer (4)

A sequence of my images as shown at San Bernadino as part of the US Billboard Art project 2011. I'd recommend viewing these as slideshow.