(Image by Glendon Mellow)

Twitter is an essential platform for illustrators and artists to make connections and communicate with fans and potential clients. For people making #SciArt, it allows us to connect with fellow artists and forge community ties with scientists themselves. 

Recently, Twitter announced some changes, such as links and images no longer counting against your 140 characters ( which currently reduces characters to 96). I had some thoughts about the pros and cons, and researcher Kausik Datta compiled them into a Storify alongside commentary by Anil Dash. Check it out:

Clearly issues that benefit illustrators, such as more room in tweets are offset by other features, like trolls entering into conversations with up to 50 people and spamming them all with an image. 

What other features would help illustrators, cartoonists, fine artists and image-makers? I've mentioned some of these before, but here's a short list of suggestions for Twitter. 

  • Defend artists' copyright the way they defend comedians' tweets. Twitter announced a while back they would delete plagiarized or unattributed tweets from comedians. But re-sharing unattributed artwork is still considered not worth fussing about. 
  • Verify artists. What if Twitter verified established artists from the way they do journalists, politicians and celebrities? Political cartoonists, comic book artists, fine artists, and kidlit illustraors all add a huge amount of value to Twitter, and are frequently re-shared without attribution.
  • Make discovering artists easier. I don't have a fully thought out version of this, but Imagine a badge that followed verified-accounts' artwork so you'd know you were looking at work from a pro that you could easily follow. If Daisy Ridley shared Rey fan art, a little symbol on the artwork could allow you to view the profile of the artist. 
  • Act on abuse reports. You've said you'll do this Twitter, and yet it hasn't happened. Women, people of colour, trans people and more still face abuse even as visual artists. We need to see their work and they shouldn't be mobbed off of the platform. At the very least, allow us to take down tweets with our artwork or remove ourselves from tweets with our @___ name. 

What other suggestions do you have for illustrators on Twitter? Let me know in the comments below, or tweet at me @FlyingTrilobite.