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Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Copying - or Taking Inspiration?

There has been a lot of discussion about copying over the last few months on the forums at Folksy.  This has been an ongoing problem for artists/makers and some examples have been highlighted in the press, where large companies have copied the artwork of independent designers and sold the copies all  over the world.
I'm sure we all love to see the work of other artists and take inspiration from it.  A while back I went to a gallery with a friend and my first instinct when starting to look around was 'I should just give up now, I can never make work this good'.  I managed to squash this and realise I can take inspiration from other people's beautiful work - it's not about competing and it doesn't mean you want to copy them either.
I found a wonderful blog post about this subject today.  I get a daily email from Polymer Clay Daily. This is a lovely website, run by Cynthia Tinapple, herself a great polymer clay artist.  Today she directed us to Luann Udell's website.  Her post, entitled 'What is the story only you can tell?' says it all in a way I never could articulate. Please take the time to go and read this.  Read all the comments too, they are very interesting.
You don't have to work with polymer clay to relate to this, it is true for any artist/craftsperson/artisan/maker or what ever you like to call yourself.
We can all help one another by sharing skills and techniques but ultimately we need to develop our own styles, find our own stories.


Helen-S said...

We are all influenced by the work of others but I think it is so important just to collect and store these influences - in a journal, a sketchbook, a box of cuttings or even just our heads - until they all emerge one day mixed up together with our own thoughts and ideas and completely our own. Thank you for directing me to Luann's blog - she is a very inspiring writer.

OddSox aka Thesockgarden said...

Thank you for that link - and you're right it's worth reading the comments too. x

tammykingdon said...

Wow, that has given me so much to mull over. Like many of those who left comments, I feel quite emotional. Thankyou so much for sharing it.

Evie said...

I had a look at Luann Udell's blog and enjoyed her honesty and thinking. It reminded me of something that happened to me, so now I'm going to blog it.


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