This post is a bit of a rant and a bit of a plea. (There. You have been forewarned). 😉
The theme of the week (year?): people stealing creative ideas and calling them their own. Please, please…. if you are truly an artist (in whatever medium) please respect the struggle and the hard work that other artists have done to arrive at their craft.
Put in your own time, study the work of others (especially the masters), and create something fresh, new, and original.
We need *your* voice – not a replica or variation on someone else’s. If you are tempted to copy the work of someone else and market it as your own, please think twice. You have the creative energy to create something remarkable – to say something with your medium that needs to be said. Do not waste that opportunity echoing someone else.
Your perspective is just as valid as anyone else’s – so show it to us!
I wrote a post about not being afraid of copycats a few months ago, and it still rings so true, but I cannot stand by and watch my friend’s hard work, my own art, and the art of other hardworking makers be replicated by others. Whether by a small scale hobbyist or a big company, stealing is wrong no matter what.
So here is what I ask.
If you see someone’s artwork being replicated or even strongly “inspired by” please stand up for the true artists – the one who put in the time and effort to arrive at that beautiful place. It can be as gentle as a comment “Beautiful! Looks like so-and-so’s Painting!” or “Wow! my friend ____ created something just like this!” — just so people will know that the creative community has strong supporters, people notice, and that stealing is never ok. At the very least, please let the artist know and he/she can deal with it more heavily if needed.
If you have created something that is inspired by another creative, please give them credit. They have earned it and you will only look better for being both honest and well researched. The creative community is quite small, and we are learning that we must stand up for each other.
I know there is a fine line between inspiration and copying, and that there really is nothing new under the sun – but when you feel deep down in your heart that something is crossing a line, call that out and/or make it right.
Ok, my little rant is over, but I hope it will empower you to be ethical, helpful, and supportive of those who are working hard, struggling daily to refine their art.
If you are an artist – please speak up! Create! The world needs your voice and your voice is powerful and beautiful.
Emily Jeffords, struggling artist.
Beautiful photo by Chris Isham