How to Keep Your Artwork Safe

Photo, Frankie Cordoba.


How to Keep Your Artwork Safe

Painter, illustrator, designer ...? Protecting your artwork should be one of your top priorities. Learn how to keep your artwork safe..

As an artist, your artwork is your pride and joy. Whether it’s your current job or you’re aspiring to eventually become a full time artist, it’s a highly rewarding career and it enables you to express yourself in a creative way. But do you know how to keep your artwork safe?

If you are a painter, illustrator, or designer, protecting your artwork should be one of your top priorities. In fact, it should be your very top priority. Physical works of art are vulnerable to damage from a range of things, including water, sunlight, dirt, and dust. As an artist, you need to know how you can protect your drawings and paintings from the elements to maintain their quality and integrity for years to come.

You also need to keep your work safe from thieves. Sadly, in the modern world, many people assume that anything that they see in person or online is available to copy or use. Part of protecting your images means taking steps to prevent theft or unfair usage of your work.

Proper fine art storage might seem complicated and overwhelming but it’s simpler than you might think. As long as you take the necessary precautions, you can maintain your amazing masterpieces for decades into the future.

Below, we’ve listed some simple things that you can do to protect your work from damage and theft.

How to Keep Your Artwork Safe

Photo, Hayffield L.

Storing and Handling Your Art Correctly

Keeping your artwork safe from sunlight, dust, and solvents is vital if you want it to maintain its quality and integrity for years to come. Here are some easy things that you can do to keep your physical artwork safe.

Keep it Away From Sunlight

Sunlight can damage artwork and cause the colors to fade. Whether it’s new or old, you must store every piece of artwork out of direct sunlight.

Store your art in a cupboard or a dark room that doesn’t have any windows. Alternatively, use protective covers over your art to protect the quality and color intensity.

If you’re decorating your home by hanging your artwork on the walls, make sure to keep it away from areas that get intermittent sunlight.

Wash Your Hands Before Handling Your Artwork

Grubby hands can wreak havoc on your art. As clean as your hands might look at any one time, dirt and dust can build up over the course of the day.

If you touch or move your artwork, the dirt can transfer onto the canvas and damage it. Your hands also have natural oils that can transfer onto the artwork and disrupt the paint. To avoid causing damage to your art, you should always wash your hands before handling it.

Avoid Using Solvents to Clean Your Art

The chemicals, substances, and solvents that are found in cleaning products can damage acrylic and oil paints. To keep your artwork in pristine condition, you should never use cleaning products on them.

If you need to clean them, use a soft microfiber duster. Avoid wetting the duster with cleaning sprays or water. Instead, wipe the dry cloth gently across the canvas to protect the paintwork.

How to Keep Your Artwork Safe

Photo, Erik Lucatero.

Protecting Your Art From Theft

If you post your images online, you have to be extremely careful to avoid copyright issues. Online images are available for others to screenshot or copy and use for their own gain.

Whether you’re displaying your artwork on your own website, on third-party websites, or on social media, take the following steps to keep it safe from potential copyright issues.

Post Just a Portion of the Image

If you want to give your viewers a teaser of the images that you have available in your online store or you’re displaying your masterpieces on social media, avoid posting the whole image. Instead, post just a small portion of the artwork.

Doing this will prevent others from being able to save or screenshot the image and use it for themselves. You can either use photo editing software or crop the image yourself to create a snippet. Depending on where you’re posting the image, you can scale the cropped image accordingly.

Watermark Your Images or Use a Copyright Notice

If you want to post your full images online but you want to protect them being copied, you have two options. You can either add a watermark somewhere on your digital image or you can display a copyright notice somewhere on the webpage.

A watermark covers some of the image so that it can’t be saved or screenshot and used elsewhere. Make sure that if you’re adding a copyright notice, it is easy to spot. It should inform your viewers of the legal penalties that they will face if they try to copy your image.