Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Dear Those Who Like to Copy: Why Your Imitation is NOT Flattering

Some may say artists are temperamental, and well, I'd have to agree.
Why do I think we are so temperamental? First of all, without the passion that fuels this temperament, we would HAVE no art...

Secondly, we are putting our personal selves out there in the forms of ideas and products, and this leaves us quite vulnerable, not only as a person but as a business. When we allow our passion to come through our hearts and onto our painting, our knitting, our pottery, our crafting; we are showing how unique we are as human beings and how we've been given the ability to create.

So, when we, as artisans, see our personal endeavors being replicated, we indeed become temperamental.
Now, let me be clear that inspiration is NOT the same as imitation, and artisans will understand me when I say that we definitely know the difference.

You love the colours you saw used on a dresser online? You dream up ways to use a similar colour on a dresser you have sitting around, then you work to make it your own?

That's inspiration.

You see a product that is selling well for another business so you think of cheaper ways to create the same product and market it as your own?

That's imitation. And it sucks. Not flattering at all. 

You love a local artist so you go to their show/store and introduce yourself as so-and-so and say you love their work. You chat about techniques and "shop talk".

That's inspiration.

You go to a competitor's show/store and sneak around incognito, possibly snapping a picture or two to draw ideas from before you leave.

That's imitation. And it sucks. Not flattering at all. 

Ready for one more...?

A client shows you a picture of something from a local artist and they want you to create it - you say that you could do something similar in your own style, but if they want that exact product they should visit business so-and-so.

That's inspiration. 

A client shows you a picture of something from a local artist and they want you to create it - you say "sure" and create it down to a "T", then post it on your Facebook page and start taking custom orders.

That's imitation. And it SUCKS. Not Flattering at all. 

So you see, inspiration is always giving credit to the creator of the original art - showing your appreciation for their art by NOT replicating it for your own profit.

Imitators see what you are doing (and making money doing it) and see an opportunity to steal business. This is UNETHICAL and just plain unprofessional.

Real artists do not imitate, they are inspired and strive to inspire others as well.
We share ideas, we don't compete. We don't undercut.

Please share this post to remind everyone the difference between inspiration and imitation.

"If you are your authentic self, you have no competition"

Thanks for reading,

(Google Image)