Why the cloud is the perfect storage solution for creatives

cloud storage for artists
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Finding reliable and easy-to-use digital storage is critical for creatives. As your library of photos, video clips, or designs grows, you’re going to need a way to back up your files. More than that, you need a storage solution that will enable you to access your data from anywhere, collaborate on projects, and run your creative business or side hustles.

While there are a variety of storage methods you could turn to – the best external hard drives and SSDs for example – in our opinion, there’s no better solution than cloud storage for artists. In this guide, we’ll explain five reasons why getting the best cloud storage platform is a game-changer when it comes to storing your art and projects.

01. Keep your files safe

Your files represent years of work and might be a foundational part of your business. So it’s absolutely critical to keep them safe, especially in a world where ransomware attacks – in which a hacker locks your hard drive until you pay a cash ransom – are becoming increasingly common.

One of the key benefits of making the switch to cloud storage is that it can keep your files safer than almost any other storage method. While it’s common to hear concerns that the cloud isn’t as safe as physical storage, that simply isn’t true. 

External hard drives fail all too frequently, and if you store an external drive with your computer, they could both be, say, stolen, or lost to a catastrophe like a fire, at the same time. You could store your data on multiple hard drives in different locations, but then how do you keep them up to date?

With cloud storage, your files are backed up to the cloud in real time. That means that as soon as you start work on a new design or project, there’s a copy of it living safely on the cloud.

On top of that, most cloud storage providers offer redundancy, meaning that your files are backed up in multiple data centres across the US or even the world. That ensures that even if one server fails or a data centre goes offline because of a natural disaster like a hurricane, you can still access another copy of your files. 

Cloud storage platforms like Amazon Web Services rate their chances of losing your files at just one in one hundred billion.

02. Access your files from anywhere

If you’ve ever accidentally spent hours working on outdated files, or realised that the files you need to work on right now aren’t on the computer you have with you, you know the importance of being able to access up-to-date files from anywhere. 

When your data is stored in the cloud, you can do just that. Any device you own can access your cloud account and upload or download files, so they’re always available when you need them.

Better yet, cloud storage enables you to sync changes across devices, so you always have the latest version at your fingertips. When you edit a photo on your computer, for example, with the cloud you’ll be able to view the edited image on your smartphone without having to manually transfer it back and forth. 

Automatic syncing between devices is especially helpful if you like to work between a computer, phone, and tablet, or if you have different computers for your home and office.

03. Show off your work and collaborate

cloud storage collaboration

Cloud storage helps you collaborate even when you don't share a physical space  (Image credit: Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash)

Cloud storage can also help you share your work, collaborate on projects, and generally run your creative business. That’s because most cloud storage platforms enable you to share any file you want with anyone you want.

Importantly, with most cloud storage for artists, you can set permissions to limit how the recipient can interact with your files. For example, you can limit a client’s permissions so that they’re only able to view your project files and provide feedback, while you can give a collaborator permission to dive in and make changes. 

Some cloud storage platforms will even show you when a collaborator is working on your shared files to ensure that you’re not making conflicting edits at the same time.

04. Build an online business

Cloud storage also has benefits for any creative who is running an online business. Let’s say you want to offer digital downloads of a photo, a logo, or a video clip. With cloud storage, you can automate the process.

Just create a download link for the file in your cloud storage account and password-protect it. Then, set up your online store so that as soon as someone pays for the file, they receive an automated message with the download link and password. You can easily create different files with unique download links and passwords if you want to offer the same image or video clip for sale in various resolutions.

Of course, you can also use your cloud storage space to deliver files to clients. Have a batch of photos from a recent shoot that need to be delivered? You could mail a hard drive with the files or try your luck with you email service’s attachment size limit. But it’s much faster and easier to simply send your client a download link to the files in your cloud storage space.

05. Flexible storage limits

If you’re still not convinced that cloud storage is right for you, there’s one more benefit: flexibility. With cloud storage, you only pay for the space you need and you can buy more at any time.

It’s easy to see the benefits of this flexibility for creatives. You’re creating new files daily, so the amount of space you need is always increasing. If your cloud storage space fills up, just let your provider know that you need more space, and most can make it available to you in seconds. Plus, buying more storage space in the cloud is often much cheaper than buying a physical hard drive.

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Michael Graw

Michael is a freelance journalist and photographer based in Bellingham, Washington. His interests span a wide range from business technology to finance to creative media, with a focus on new technology and emerging trends. Michael's work has been published in TechRadar, Tom's Guide, Business Insider, Fast Company, Salon, and Harvard Business Review.