Something that happened to Darcy just struck a chord in me.
ETA: This was a copyright infringement issue that caused her to severely limit access to photos of her work.
I've reset this blog to private again. I've reset my Flickr photos to private. I've deleted my DeviantArt account - I never really belonged there anyway - and I'm giving some serious thought to how I want to proceed as an artist, a bead artist.
ETA: I've re-opened the blog, but I'm still trying to understand why I want to maintain it. The Flickr account remains private (with a few exceptions), and I did delete the DeviantArt account. When I started this blog, it was as a marketing tool to go along with my Etsy account, to give my work more visibility and to certify its handmade bona fides, the same with the DeviantArt and Flickr accounts. Then the blog became an interesting way of sharing my progress in the Bead Journal Project. When that ended and I stopped selling on Etsy, switching to ArtFire, I still thought it was a viable marketing tool. After a year of no sales I should have closed it all then. So what's my reason now to maintain this blog? It may be to document my need to create, how the process is helping me get through my husband's terminal illness, possibly to track my growth (or lack thereof) as an artist/crafter/beader/human. And I am considering selling on Etsy again. So I could be coming full circle here.
I can understand the wisdom of not sharing.
ETA: Some of my early jewelry designs were simplistic - and easy for anyone with a background in beadweaving to copy just by looking at the photos. When I began creating more complicated pieces it never occurred to me that anyone would try to profit from my designs, and I don't believe they have. When I look at someone else's work, I find myself inspired to translate their vision into my own. I honestly thought that's how everyone else did it. That whole "steal like an artist" concept. I know better now, having seen some pretty flagrant copyright issues flare up even with large companies - like Urban Outfitters* - so what's to stop some lazy-assed wannabe-crafter from straight-up copying what you've made? And profit from your years of experience, education, style, and hard work? Almost nothing. For me, proceeding in this climate won't be so hard - because what I do is labor intensive, very individuated, and hardly profitable. For others, a whole different story. Best of luck to us all.
*a brief internet search yields a frightening amount of litigation going on with these guys.