Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A VERY Important Blog For All Creatives

I found myself today in one of the strangest artistic dilemma's I've been in. As to not throw anyone under the proverbial bus tire, I will not use names but explain this scenario the best I can. 
I created, not from a template but from a blank Photoshop document in the late hours of last night a collage with some images from the post titled "Fall Through My Eyes" from last weekend. Loving the Fall colors I added eye droplets of one color from each of the four images in my collage, and added the color palette that gave me to the bottom. Here is the collage I am referring to. 
Love it..Fall hues make me happy!
Today while on Facebook, a friend of mine posted an image that was created by another artist/designer who's primary focus is purchasing images, and making color palettes to attach to the images. They look very different than this one I did, this individuals uses one image and I think 5 colors that are not generated in Photoshop with the eye dropper I learned after research...but when I saw the image, it blew me back a bit. I was shocked to see an image that was "similar" to what I had just last night tried to achieve myself. This is where we come into a fine line friends...where I reached out, got offended and had to fight back and will continue to do so if necessary.
Immediately after seeing the image, I clicked over the original source and there I saw this persons work, beautiful and colorful..I clicked like and told the individual I liked their work and that I too liked the idea of creating images and incorporating color palette's. I then proceeded to the net to do further research on copyright laws on collages, ( which mine was created by me in Photoshop from scratch didnt even use a template and if you broke out a ruler you would find how off my eyes are!)
I'm not real sure that anyone can copyright color..perhaps their layout? The images are not even theirs, they purchase them. Went over to that individuals website and read it word for word. My primary reasons were 2.
1. I am NO theif. I do not want to imitate or copy anyone Else's work, techniques, trademarks or anything else and it was an ethical concern for me more than anything else...
2. To make sure I hadn't broken any law in any way

Now...this brings us to many murky areas in the art world folks. Many areas that become so incredibly cloudy...it is almost "Good luck finding your way out" area.
This...I want to make perfectly clear.
I am an arists, a photographer, an educator and many many more things but one thing I am not is a thief. And if I were, I would stay clear of anyone I was attempting to steal from nothing like waving a red flag saying "Look at meeee" to someone you are trying to steal from right?
With that being said..I got a rude comment back from my compliment to this individual that basically said..I made this layout, concept idea years ago because there was nothing like it out there and I suggest you find your own crative expression of color and this was the kicker insult for me folks and the moment I started internally fighting back and I quote " imitation is not a form of flattery in the color/design scheme" 
Prior to this morning, I had never seen this persons images or website, heard their name, knew one single thing about them and further, unless I join a work shop and follow along with you, I will not ever try to imitate you. That was an insult to me as a human being who upholds a professional and ethical standard, who operates daily from a place of integrity and kindness and that comment pissed me off. I feel it is a bit full of oneself to suggest you are so original that no one EVER has done anything like it and that any artist or photographer would aim to flatter you by imitating you. I have a damn mind of my own and dont need to imitate anyone.
After my reply which was lengthy and I tried very hard to remain respectful although respect had plummeted at the speed of light by this point...the comments were removed. OK...but still there is the looming perception and the area of gray where most artist hate to go. 
Is your work really origional?
Do you ever borrow concepts or bits from other artist in you work?
What is trademark, signature or copyright?
In doing some research tonight it became clear to me that we need to look at this and be honest with ourselves and with each other.
Here are some images that I found on the net, in one single google search to see who all uses this concept of incorporating color palettes in their work.
Here are just a few... none of which are from the person I am referring to here.
Quite honestly, that person wouldn't get free marketing from me at this point of my life depended on it and that's unfortunate cause their work is lovely...
The lovely Bella Maison who creates these to incorporate in interior design projects)

Mr. Kate

Michelle Yorke Interior Design...lovely work..
Christopher James...VERY high end Interior Design
Best Friend Jules site..cute!

College Fashion .net
 Now really? Did all of these people "imitate" that person or try to flatter with imitation? These are only a FEW of thousands I found. I first saw the idea in an IKEA catalog. 

To define originality: Compliments of Dictionary.com



the quality or state of being original.
ability to think or express oneself in an independent and individual manner; creative ability.
freshness or novelty, as of an idea, method, or performance.
By this definition no one is original other than by the second definition. 
All parties here show some expression in an independent manner, and show the ability to be creative.
None of them are identical, and who knows what copyrights are on the images or layouts or anything else right? It is my friends, insane, to believe that any technique in art, that any medium, that anything we do has not been done in some way by someone WAY before us but what makes us original is the method in which we carry out the intention and deliver creatively.  
which asked the following:
 Is there such a thing as originality?

I was rather impressed with some of the answers. 
This was one of my favorite responses:

Julie Thompson October 9, 2008 at 9:33 am
Absolutely! Originality lies with the interpretation by the artist in his chosen medium, and within his individual skill sets. Everyone has their own approach. A couple of years ago I took a palette-knife class with Fred Oldfield, in which we all followed him in painting a mountain. He did not over-guide his students, but let them take it where they wanted – even though everyone was following what he was doing. The end results were amazing. A walk-through of everyone’s easels did not reveal mirrors of the same mountain, but instead was more like a journey through the entire Cascade mountain range. That was a great example of individual originality within the same colour palette and theme.

And another:
Daniel Sroka October 9, 2008 at 11:48 am
The only real originality is individuality – your personal, and therefore unique, interpretation of the world.
Well said Julie Thompson and Daniel.
 Next Question:
Do you ever borrow concepts or bits from other artist in you work?

Every single one of us do it. EVERY single one of us. If you took an art class you learned it from a teacher, if you watched youtube videos, if you get inspired by something in a magazine, if you read tutorials or learn from a text book...hell even abstract art in the most RAW form is borrowed concepts. Paint with your fingers...it was done before. Mix paints with other mediums? It's all been done. 

"Nothing is completely original. All artists’ work builds on what came before. Every new idea is just a remix or a mashup of two previous ideas.”
Austin Kleon on Cultivating Creativity in the Digital Age
What matters after we can admit that there is VERY little originality in the world of art...
Is it your intention, to make something with your own hands, from what you have learned over the years through education, through experience, through mediums you have played with, techniques other artists have shared with you workshops you have joined; tutorials you have watched...books you have read...do you try to make something your own to share with the world and feel proud of? Combine elements that you love, with things that trigger as your favorite elements and combine them and make them your own somehow?
  Or is your intention to "imitate" which personally I feel is such an insulting word?
I am inspired by many people...lets take Mindy Murphy Lacefield, Kelly Rea Roberts,   Karen Ann Young, Teesha Moore, April Cole and so many other of my favorite art pals...I see their work and I know its theirs...that is a signature...but each one of those artists...I'm willing to bet you a thousand dollars would more than likely tell you they learned many of their techniques from all over the place and just made it their own. 
I get in Photoshop with my images...and forget what I have leaned I do it all backwards and wrong and try new things with my photos...I buy art supplies and end up using household items for textures and desired effects and so do many artists.
The moment to be insulted...is when someone tries to steal your identity. When someone mimics every step you take, when someone takes your work and puts their name on it or markets it as their own. Otherwise...everyone needs to stop having workshops, you are teaching people your trademark, stop writing books about how to and posting on DIY walls you are giving your ideas away...
that just sounds stupid doesn't it? Because it is. 
Look at Susannah Conway! you think she gets pissed off every time someone takes a Polaroid photo? Hell no cause she has her own individual style..her own touch her own vision just like these other artists I have named...Thank GOD the artists and people I have come to adore are not pompous creators who believe the world revolves around them and that their the FIRST..EVER.END of Story....
That is arrogance. and its ugly.
I would gladly teach any friend of mine or share anything I have done here with them...I am not so full of pride that I would try to hold under lock and key my big secret..
that I go with the flow and break the rules and use inspiration I find from everywhere and everything and every colorful anything that's ever blessed my eyes to create what I do.. and that i make it MINE because i walk through this life with integrity and because I know in the pitts of my soul more than anything in this world...the BEST thing you can ever give to ANY human being is
To teach another person...something new. 
That...friends is the end of my story...and I will be adding color palette's to whatever photography I feel like...because I didn't take it from anyone...it was already within me when i altered MY OWN PHOTOS. 
Good night...and God bless us all..(even the assholes of the world).

1 comment:

  1. Somehow I missed this post of yours, posted on the 23rd. Can't believe I missed it! I mean really! I first read my Yahoo mail, then check your blog and April's. I must have been tired. Now I'm too tired to read it now! I'll get to it soon! I promise!