11:52 PM

Rip off art or flattery?

As the quote goes..."Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" that's until you ask an artist with any sort of talent. In the few years I have been in the sculpting world, I have seen many rip offs, knock offs and outright theft of other sculptors work.(actually JUST saw a horrible theft of a few caricature artists on Facebook too) I have seen some very original items too. Sadly it seems not very many people can come up with their own stuff...even right on down to reputable artists ripping off each other. It's pure craziness. I have an original idea or two but wow...even being a no-name for now :) I'm scared to death to put them into an actual working idea. 

And then there comes the debate on doing tutorials. Hmmm...it seems many people seem like to think if an artist puts out a tutorial on a certain sculpture/piece...that means all of their work is up for grabs and anyone can do them. This saddens me. I am one of the lucky ones that learned how to sculpt by going to free forums and watching free tutorials. I couldn't believe the amount of people that were willing to teach others...just to teach. And now look at what's happening to them. They are getting ripped off for all their efforts. It also really makes me not want to do any sort of teaching in the future. 

I suppose no matter where you end up in life, you always will have to deal with one of "them". Such is life. But what to do with these people?? And at what point do we stop if calling them out on their work? There are many people that are influenced by our Art Gods/Idols. And when sculpting...I think a time or two it comes across as copying even though you are just practicing or didn't mean for it to, it was just coincidence. I am influenced by many people...and I am sure there will be a time or two when that might show...but if it's not copying..then...it should be okay, right?? But who's to say that someone else doesn't think that I did copy and blows the whistle on me? So where to draw the line? And is it a good idea to blow the whistle on others?? I'm sure that collectors can spy it too, especially if they are hardcore collectors but everyone is free to buy what they want. And where do we draw the line on what's acceptable to copy and what isn't?? I've seen many sculptures that are Disney characters. Or comic book characters...so on and so forth. Why is that acceptable and not someone copying our art. Is it because you are doing a rendition of your own on something that's been well known for a long time...or because we can fly under the radar of major corporations?? I'm not judging...simply wondering where the thoughts are on this. I hear Disney doesn't mess around when it comes to copyright issues. I don't think I'll go there...thank you. :) Being cautious isn't a bad thing. Being original is a very good thing!!

So in the end, I will try my ideas and hope they sell well and hope I don't have to deal with any of these problems like all the big wigs in the business have to. I can see where it would make anyone jaded, for sure. 


Annette said...

Very valid points Heather. It is a dog eat dog out there now. As soon as someone is successful with an idea the bad element will copy it. I believe the genuine artist will admire and wish they could one day make a piece of their own that would make people sit up and admire as we have them. You will always get the bad element but if we are vigilant and pull them up on it... maybe we will curb it or we could hope it will....I love your thoughts....

WendiesMiniWorld said...

This subject is discussed over & over again amongst different artists. The general opinion being that its just not right copying anyone directly. Being influenced by someones work is one thing but directly copying an original idea of theirs is just not on. It's always best to just have your own ideas, coincidences do happen and other artists do come up with similar ideas, if you have nothing to hide, then dont worry! but NEVER mess with Disney!!!! they are more than happy to sue the arse off of anyone, and they do find out! but some characters Disney use, are a bit different as they are from story books that copyright is ok on... its a complicated area that you need to apply caution & common sense to. Perhaps seeking authority & permission if neccessary, there has been much recent discussion about this subject on AIM are you a member? if so log in and have a good read. Im sure many peeps will have different viewpoints. Good luck with this subject its a hot-pot!!!

Anonymous said...

I don't know why people do what they do, I often think back to a story I wrote in the 6th grade that merited my spot at the young authors conference, It was 99.9% my story, but the first line was from an english paper my sister was writing. I didn't read past that first sentence as she ripped it out of my hands and demanded that I leave her "stuff" alone. It was a simple sentence that I stole, something about falling asleep in order to wake up in a fantastical place. Anyways. If these artists intend to sell their work, it seems that eventually they will put their own spin on the stolen ideas... then they too will be stolen by someone just like themselves... and the circle continues, unless we as an artisitc community can put the word out that that is BAD behavior.
I will, and I have, taken up this crusade, only to be disappointed with the end results, but having been reminded again... I solemnly swear to regain the stand on this pertinent issue.

:::Heather~Leigh::: said...

Thank you, ladies for your comments and compliments. I often wondered if anyone read my blog besides "One Crazy Betty" and Julie Kendall. Both of which I adore and love! LOL. You have made me proud today to know there are people out there that care and that listen. So, thanks!!

I, for another...am going to stand on this issue too and promise not to be one of those people. You know, I think with all the great groups we have out there as artists...such as the "99 cent club" and the "I promise to buy handmade" club...why is it that we don't have a club for people who promise to keep it straight and on the up and up?? Maybe that's something we need to put into action on Facebook. Eh?? (suddenly I'm Canadian!)

Wendie...not sure which AIM you are talking about? Is this a forum or a group?? Never heard of it but it sounds like something I would love to be a part of if you could so kindly point the way for me? :)

WendiesMiniWorld said...

Heather, AIM is 'Artisans in Miniature', is an online global group & forum, & produces a fantastic monthly magazine that members can contribute to. It is for those that make & sell "handmade quality miniatures to the public"
you have to apply to join, check out the website, you'll be pleased you did! I'm a member but dont join in much since my many illnesses stopped me creating & selling :o( but I'll be back.... I hope!!! x

:::Heather~Leigh::: said...

hmm, I will have to check into that Wendie...thank you. I'm not sure if I qualify for "miniature" or not. I guess I do in that I sculpt dolls...or miniature people...but even then most of my dolls are a lot bigger then the norm.