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What is Cara? An Introduction and Overview of the New Artist Website

With the rise of generative AI, the line between imagination and reality has become even blurrier, especially when it comes to art. Even experienced artists may find it difficult to distinguish between AI-generated images and real works of art by creative people. Along comes Cara; a platform that filters out generative AI images with the hope of allowing people who want to find genuine artwork and creatives to locate them easily. Here’s an overview of the platform, alongside some of its features and how to get started.

What is Cara?

Cara is a social networking platform for creatives that allows users to post their original works and host their portfolios. Essentially, it’s a fusion of Instagram and Artstation for artists, and one doesn’t need to look too hard to notice the semblance between Cara and both platforms. Cara also prides itself as built by an artist for artists, and it hopes to provide a suitable environment for artists and companies to connect and collaborate. 

What Makes Cara Special? 

Admittedly, there are lots of online art galleries out there. But below are a few reasons why Cara stands out:

No AI: It is forbidden to upload AI-generated art on Cara, except when appropriately tagged. The platform uses a high-end AI image detector to ensure no artist flouts this rule, and the punishment for defaulting is quite severe.

Artist-focused: Founded by veteran photographer Jingna Zhand (Zemotion), Cara is indeed a platform made by artists for artists. The platform allows artists to easily upload their work, create a profile, design their portfolio, and connect with other artists and fans from around the world. 

Familiar User Interface: Cara’s design closely imitates Instagram and Artstation. This ensures that artists do not have to worry about how to work their way around yet another social media app. The familiarity with already known apps makes it feel close to home. 

No advertising: Cara does not accept adverts on artists' timelines, at least for the time being. Although the platform’s website is silent about advertising at the moment, it’s quite refreshing to scroll through your timeline without being greeted by loads of sponsored posts. 

Data Privacy: A major driver behind many artists’ migration to Cara is Meta’s decision to use uploaded photos and videos to train its AI model. Cara tries its humble best to ensure third parties are not allowed to scrap uploaded pictures to train AI models. The platform also promises that artists’ info will never be sold to third parties. 

How does Cara Work? 

If you already use Instagram and Artstation, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding your way around Cara. Below is a quick guide on how to get started with the platform: 

For Artists 

  • Sign Up: You’ll need to sign up with your email, set up your profile, and add a short bio about yourself. It’s interesting to note that Cara does not use regular passwords. Instead, the platform sends a one-time password to your email whenever you log in. This, according to the website, is to avoid the risks and complications that come with storing passwords. 

  • Upload your art: You can upload any of your original works to your profile for the viewing pleasure of your followers. Cara allows you to add titles, descriptions, and tags that can help others locate your work easily. 

  • Build your Portfolio: Beyond using Cara as your online gallery, you can also build a portfolio that will attract prospective recruiters. Remember, Cara has a jobs board that connects creatives with companies looking to hire. So, get a feel of this feature and put your best foot forward. 

  • Engage your followers: Once your pictures start gaining some traction, do not forget to interact with your followers. The more you engage, the more your fanbase will grow. 

  • Protect your Art: Cara detects and flags AI images, and offers a feature called "Glaze". Glaze protects your art from being properly analyzed and copied by AI Generative programs. For now it is still in beta, but sounds very promising.

For Art Lovers

  • Sign up: Just like artists, art lovers need to sign up to access the platform. You can sign up with your Google or Apple account or by entering your email. 

  • Explore: Once you’re in, you can start exploring the stunning artworks on offer. If you have any artist in mind, you can always search for their profile and follow them. 

  • Interact: Your comments and engagement mean a lot to artists. So, do not hesitate to leave beautiful comments on artworks that you love. 

  • Support: Cara allows you to support artists by donating or buying art directly from them. You can also request custom-made art from an artist you love. 

Cara's Challenges. 

With all of this positive attention, hundreds of thousands of artist have now left platforms controlled by Meta, Twitter, and ArtStation to take solace on Cara. While this success is amazing to see, it has also caused some financial tension for the creators of the app. The developers have been very open with the costs of operating the platform, and while it was manageable to operate independently when the platform was small, the increased traffic has driven up their maintenance fees. It will be interesting to see how they handle this issue going forward without capitulating to advertisers or subscription-based systems. Currently, they are taking donations through "buy me a coffee" until they can figure out a permanent solution.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re an artist looking for a safe space to share your work or an art lover looking to discover something new, Cara is a refreshing platform you’re likely to enjoy. The platform emphasizes community and friendliness, and you’ll get to interact with like minds as they share important pieces of themselves. Visit the website today, and you’ll have a fun time exploring the world’s fastest-growing online art gallery. 

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