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The Fine Line…


There is a fine line between being influenced by an artist and directly copying another piece of art.

I don’t think I used to be so aware of it. If I saw something I liked, I did my own twist on it, and put it out there without being terribly concerned about whether or not there was ENOUGH difference.

In my old age, I’m looking at it a little differently.

For personal use, I don’t think it matters all that much. If all you are doing is adorning your own walls, or decorating your own your own house, or making your own art journal, is it really that important? Artists that teach classes don’t mind you making art based on their techniques for your own personal use. No one would take their classes if they couldn’t.

But when it comes to making money off other people’s ideas? Well, that a whole ‘nuther thing. When people are creative enough to come up with a brand new idea, they should be able to reap the profit from it without seeing it coming from other people (artists OR companies.)

There have been several recent instances that come to mind.

One of the gals in my art group had a piece of her original (and VERY recognizable) art show up in a major chain. There was no way it could be accidental. It was pretty disconcerting. Then another gal (who I don’t know) had a big company make her designs into Christmas ornaments and sell them nationwide. Turns out this company had been doing it regularly, and got enough bad press from it that a couple of national chains dropped them over it. But in another twist, it looks like her “original” art was copied from overly influenced by photographs not her own. It’s a tricky business, these copyright laws.

I even had it happen to me with one of my Christmas ornaments back in the day, although I was young and dumb at the time and found it kinda flattering.

Now there is another situation brewing where a group of ladies may have been “overly influenced” by a project another artist developed, and it’s made me very sad. I kinda wish I didn’t know about it. I don’t know how it’s going to turn out, but it’s going to be interesting to see what, if anything, develops. One way or another there are going to be some hard feelings and people caught in the middle.

All to say, I have another reason to be glad I’m no longer interested in pursuing my art as a business. I don’t have to worry about whether or not my interpretation of an idea is different enough from the influencing project to be a problem. I can do what I want within the confines of my own home. I don’t need to be concerned about that fine line.

Whew! One less thing to worry about.

About tatterednworn

I am a woman who has committed to living a creative life.

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