Aug 21, 2009

Clarification on copycat posts . . .

The couple of times I've written about this subject I wrote that someone copied my work or my friend's work. I need to be a bit more clear. We're not talking about someone taking the same idea and working it similarly or just mimicking an idea. We're talking about illegally downloading our work, cutting it out and reusing it with very little change AND then, on top of that, using the pirated pieces in a VERY similar way.

Gosh, mimicking or borrowing an idea and putting your own spin on it is just part of the process. I obviously mimic whoever put the first wings on a photographed body or a crown or party hat on a head. There wasn't only one Impressionist painter or one Surrealist artist or one singer for every song. Car designers don't start from square one, clothing designers follow trends, virtually everything we use and see has its counterparts and "copies/versions" or similar takes right down the toothpaste you use. We can't avoid that and pulling and stretching ideas help us learn and grow as artists. But the point is, to take an idea and stretch it a bit, make it your own, put your own brand on it, your own voice in it. Do your own work to SOME degree.

Again, I don't have details to share of my friend's experience. But I do know that her work had very tiny details she added herself that made it obvious it was her work being reused, not just mimicked. My experience was the same. Obviously downloaded and reused. Mimic away, I say, just don't reuse my work and don't take my stuff to do it! Hope that all makes sense.

Update . . . Now that she's posted about it, wanted to let you know the friend I've been writing about, the victim of the most recent piracy I know about, is Jade of Jade's Funki-Junk (aka artchicapoo on flickr). She's been handling it very well and as professionally as possible. So give her a pat on the back and let her know you love her work!

I promise to leave this subject and post some work and happy stuff later today!


Joy said...

Marsha, I can only imagine how stressing this all must be. I remember feeling very shocked and surprised {not in a good way} when I discovered someone had copied a paragraph of mine word-for-word a few months ago and published it on their blog.

p.s. I have left you a little something on my blog today. :o)

julia said...

Marsha, I'm so sorry this is happening to you (and many others). It just doesn't seem right or fair that people actually get away with this on a daily basis.
Know that your vision and art can't be replaced no matter how many parts they steal. Part of the reason your artwork is so beautiful is the love and effort you put into each piece. No one else can duplicate that. I'd recognize a rip-off of your work in a minute. It may look similar but it would visibly lack the soul your pieces have.
Smile, Go forth and Make art!

Kim Mailhot said...

Keep on doing your thing, Miss Marsha! Looking for and celebrating what is right, is how I am trying to go, and man, there is so much right with this community, and with the stuff we put out there ! Shining the light on the dark corners is good but let's keep celebrating what we want more of.
Can't wait to see the good stuff you've been cooking up !
Happy Friday !

Tumble Fish Studio said...

I agree Kim that there is much to celebrate in our blog and flickr world. I try very hard to celebrate too. This is my heart and soul. But, this stealing stuff is getting to be a real problem and when very talented artists are considering giving up sharing their work anymore, we can't let the sour apples take over what they love to do. So, this isn't about the people that read my blog, it isn't about me, this is about everybody helping spread the word that stealing someone's work will not be tolerated by any of us. If we just ignore the uncomfortableness of the subject, it will never change. We need a big voice!

beth said...

Marsha, thank you for clarifing that for me. Being new to the art world I was starting to get really worried that I have been doing something wrong. I do take ideas from magazines and the internet, and books, but as you said, putting my own spin on it. Imitation is the highest form of flattery. But taking someones work and making it their own is something quite different.


Tumble Fish Studio said...

Thank you everybody for your comments!

Beth - don't be worried. I agree imitation is flattery! And it's truly flattering when someone actually says "inspired by the work of . . . " in their image credits when feasible and appropriate. That way the original artist knows someone's not just being sneaky with their idea but truly giving them credit for their idea. That's not always possible or necessary (i.e., you wouldn't put wings on a body and say "inspired by . . . " because it's been done a million times. Hopefully you get the idea that I mean when you truly mimic a very particular idea or style it's a nice gesture to give a nod in the direction the idea it came from). I don't think it's possible to make any collage or mixed media piece without it being a take or spin on something that's already been done, so mimic away guilt free, in my opinion!

Elena Lai Etcheverry said...

oh boy! this is a never ending battle isnt it? I know I am always careful to give credit when inspired!

House of Hullabaloo said...

That would be heartbreaking. Your art work is so beautiful! It makes me smile every time I see it.