Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Making Copies

Remember that guy--the Office Nerd--from SNL? Well, I'm scared of making copies. Really.

I was reading a post by Barbe SaintJohn about people stealing other artists' designs. It makes me sick. Not just the robbery of intellectual property (and I've had my share of stuff ripped off) but the fact that it can happen so easily. There's no protection. That's pretty scary.

Want to know what I think is even more scary?

I'm worried that I'll inadvertently rip off someone else. I see dozens of great jewelry designs every day. How can I be sure that the piece I'm making isn't merely "inspired by" but actually copied from someone else?

I could easily paralyze myself by over-thinking this, second-guessing myself.

How do other artists handle this? How do you do it? Any advice?


Nona said...

You can't! Our minds collect far more information than we can possibly track!
That said, there are So Many inspirational artists out there, and so many more artists who suck up that inspiration and then inspire us. It is Impossible to know where a trend began!
All we can do is know that we are all inspired by those who came before us, and give thanks.
Artists' inspirations come from everything -- nature, art, books, classes -- there is nothing that does not inspire us!
So always give thanks where it is due, and know that your own interpretation of some inspiration is Yours!

Christine Hansen said...

Peg-Sweetie, as Nona said, inspiration IS everywhere...and as I have said many times, intent is EVERYTHING.

I think if you set out to make a piece, NOT intending to copy anyone else, it's all good.

Artists find inspiration EVERYWHERE, but our own personal artist's sensibility will always tweak something here or there, making it completely our own.

If a piece is heavily influenced by another work, it is only right and honest to acknowledge that influence.

It is a long-standing tradition for new artists to copy established artists for the sake of developing skills, and is, in my mind, a quite acceptable practice, HOWEVER, the copy should NEVER be represented as original work.

It all comes back to the intent in the heart and mind of the artist: if an artist is NOT consciously trying to copy someone else's work, there should be nothing to worry about.

If an artist IS trying to copy someone else's work, with the intent of passing it off as his or her own, that person should knock it off immediately and go figure out something on their own.