Sunday, February 18, 2018

Apter's Chapters: Respect


I have been wanting needing to write something about respect. About support. About sharing. And about caring. More and more I hear stories about artists, crafters and designers being copied, taken advantage of, cut down in an online comment and/or treated with a general lack of respect. And like so many others in our community, I have been the recipient of these types of treatment as well.

It has long angered me when I hear one creative talk down about another. The fine artist who puts down the mixed media artist. Or the mixed media artist who minimizes the crafter. Or the _____ who puts down the _____ (fill in the blanks with what you have experienced). How about respect and inclusivity instead?

At Creativation in January, the annual trade show in Phoenix for AFCI, I had the pleasure of seeing and talking in depth with a large number of creative people - many of whom you all know and admire. Wish it weren't the case, but I heard the same stories over and over about struggles with the companies they work with, challenges with their peers, stealing of ideas and creative content, and the like.

Happily though, there was also a feeling that 2018 is the year to change that. To use our voices to stand up for ourselves. To get back to our roots in order to find the love of creativity again. To say no to the things that don't fit with our personal beliefs and to say yes to all that does. No coincidence in my mind that this seems to be mirroring what is happening in a broader way in our world.

Perhaps it is naive, but I believe that we should all support and lift each other up. To me, there is more than enough to go around for all of us. Rather than coming from a place of (unhealthy) competition and a sense of division and threat, I believe it is far better to work together, to support each other, to respect each other. This is what will lead to each of us growing, thriving, and obtaining our goals as artists and as people in general.

A simple equation in my mind. And one that is very effective and powerful when put into action.

Hoping you will use the comment section to share your thoughts and experiences, whether negative and traumatic or positive and uplifting. But always with respect.

67 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hear, hear Seth. Well said.

Redanne said...

Such a great post Seth, thank you! You are not naive at all. I can only think that some (or all) of the negativity stems from jealousy and that is just so sad. We may not all be the best designers (or crafters) in the world but we do what we love and we want to share this with others who are like minded. It costs nothing to be kind and if people do not like a piece of work, or a person, they should just say or do nothing at all. I too, experienced some negativity at Creativation, it was my first visit, a gift, and meant to be a happy experience.... hopefully time will help me retain the happy thoughts of the wonderful people I did get to meet! x

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I have not experienced the type of negativity you talk about, but NO ONE is ever going to copy me. I doubt they will badmouth me because I am so low on the mixed media totem pole, they would really have nothing to say about me, negative or otherwise. I think that happens with well known and loved artists.

I have to admit, I have used others' ideas to contribute to my own art. HOWEVER, when I do that, I admit it and add a link back to the person I have emulated. It doesn't take much to let people know who inspires you and it might even make them feel like they made a positive contribution to your art. Thanks for this post on respect.

Patricia Lintner said...

This post is awesome Seth. I haven't experienced negativity to my work YET or that I am aware of. I do believe we need to support each other as no matter how hard we try, we still have our own creative style and that will always show through. Not everyone is going to like our art and that is just the way it is. What we as artists do really does come from our hearts and souls and I know there are others out there that don't quite understand that.

I too feel strongly of what you say here in every aspect. Although I can't imagine anyone saying anything negative of your work!

I think the big key here is be yourself, respect yourself and well as others, and to believe in yourself, no matter what anyone else ever says.

Tammy Tutterow said...

Every single word of this. ❤️
I’m so grateful that my journey includes you dear friend.

Ann Barnes said...

I am so glad you shared this today Seth. It is such an unfortunate occurrence when someone is unkind or disrespectful to a fellow creative. I hate it that anyone has had to deal with this! It’s a small world and each of us has a limited time on it, the least we can do is hold each other up and be kind-it costs nothing and yet it can affect someone’s life forever. Thank you for opening the conversation as I think many times it just gets pushed aside and it’s an important one. 🖤

Lisa said...

Well said, Seth. Hopefully this year people will see that this life is not a competition but we need to share and work together for everyone to succeed. Respect is what we need. Thank you for sharing your article.

angiecamp said...

I very rarely leave comments but felt inspired by your post - Seth you certainly embody this philosophy of giving respect when you teach - I have had the pleasure to see it first hand. You make sure everyone is heard and I can only speak for myself, but I am sure that the rest of your students would agree, you respect and make everyone feel special - that is what respect does! Thank you !!! And I hope to be "seen" in ne of your classes soon.

Author: Kerry Cutler said...

Well said!

Gail Green said...

I totally agree! Maybe too many people have become so self-focused that the act of creating becomes all about the satisfaction ( or financial compensation) the creative receives instead of also being about inspiring others and sharing their own unique creative vision, Not everyone is a team player. Many people are also just very, very competitive and egocentric.They don’t care if they trample others on their quest to “win”. Or maybe just insecure of their own abilities and constantly comparing themselves to others and their “successes”. And yes, it is is very sad when creatives don’t want to lift other creatives up and instead choose to disrespect them instead.

That’s what I love about you, Seth. You speak from your heart.

tgarrett said...

Thank you Seth-This is a very important discussion-in fact just this week a friend of mine received an email from someone saying they loved her work and were using it in their jewelry line- they never asked and when she responded and said that was not ok- she was called a bitch. It is a sad reality check that some people don't see that it is not ok to steal designs or to learn a technique from an artist and turn around and offer classes in that same technique with no credit to the source let alone even asking first.I am just not understanding how in these people's hearts- that they can be ok with stealing. So yes we need to call them out- when we see something that we think is not right contact the artist.


If you're your
authentic self
you have no Competition. Scott Stratten

Jackie P Neal said...

hear hear Seth!
It is hard to believe that in our wide world of creatives that such things take place, as I feel like this is our space to fill with love and positivity to share with the rest of the world. Especially in times like the ones we are in.~heaven help us all~
I always believed we are the ones who "lift others up" with our art;be it fine artists,crafters,mixed media artists,musicians,sculptors,actresses s'/actors,on and on...
As for the copying,I am always grateful for the creatives who are so generous with their artwork that inspires me to create my own.And yes,if a special technique or product or someones influence comes directly from is used by me,I am always more than happy to share back to the original,as I want others to gain as I have.In the same respect,I could only hope this same courtesy would be extended to me.

Happy you have started this conversation so it may stop the ugliness from spreading any further,Seth. Thank you!
peace & love,Jackie <3

Sue Young said...

What a wonderful post, Seth. You do speak from your heart, and that makes what you say even more valuable to everyone.
Thank you for voicing this issue. Thank you for being you! XO

Karla Yungwirth said...

Thanks for taking the time to write such a heartfelt message! Very well said!

Corrie Herriman said...

I couldn't agree more Seth. I too feel sad about copying and putting people down. There is absolutely no need. We can all live together and support each other and if you do use a technique or method from another artist just link back to them ! It is so easy !
Corrie

Anonymous said...

Thank you for taking the time to share this with all of us. I think it's an important message and you hit it spot on. I'd love to sit and pick your brain one day. I like your way of thinking. Thanks again for sharing this.

Debi Adams said...

Thanks Seth for addressing this topic. I have experienced some of what you say on so many levels these past few years but thankfully, I have had a great support network of kind, like-minded people that have been encouragers and cheerleaders. This is art. It’s a journey and it’s for anyone. Truthfully, no matter what the arena, respect should always be at the forefront of what we say or do. Doing a check up of my own intentions today.

Beverley said...

I never know if negativity is born from jealousy, inadequacy, fear. Whatever it is, its nasty. As a kid a common saying I rarely hear now..... "start your brain, before putting your mouth in gear"
I belonged to an art group, and had the leader tell me I couldn't sell my work for as much as hers. My work is abstract and apparently a few squiggles don't require so much effort as realistic work and therefore not as valuable..
I went to an Artists Books exhibition, stopped and asked if I could photograph work, the artist said to me I was the first person to actually Ask - but why wouldn't you?
I don't get why appreciating the rich diversity is so hard. How very boring the world would be if we all liked the same things. You don't have to be rude just because you don't like something. What is the saying.... "better to keep your mouth shut and be thought an idiot, than open it and have it confirmed".

Annie said...

Beautiful post Seth. I agree, I may not love everything I see, but I try to find something supportive to say because if someone is making art out of love, than I can support that, as for someone stealing my work, I can say I would like to see them try, I can't even do the same painting twice, so many layers and done in the moment, not something I have to worry about, but taking an idea and making it your own and outright stealing an image are very different things, sad that it goes on. I am grateful for people like you in this online community. xoxo

Liz-Anna said...

Great post, Seth! I also see quite often where people attack others for copying them when the work is similar but there is so much in the art world that we are all influenced by and it becomes a part of our own art language so there are bound to be similarities. I thought about this when I was trying to choose a shop name on Etsy. I had so many amazing names that I felt were completely unique and every one of them had been thought of by someone else. It can be like that for art as well. Sometimes it is blatant stealing but sometimes different people had an independent but similar idea. I know that isn’t what you are referring to here but I just wanted to say it because I’ve seen it happen on FB and when I looked at the pieces in question I though the accuser was being a bit presumptuous. Speaking of presumptuous, I have papermaking tutorials on my blog and several times I have had university students tell me after the fact that they used them in their thesis. No asking permission. If asked, I am happy to share my knowledge and I’m pleased to hear the information was useful to them; not asked, I feel differently.

Caterina Giglio said...

If you are naive then I must be the Queen of Naivety ... LOL.. this was one of the reasons that I decided NOT to teach classes. Offering yourself as a teacher is such a sacred trust and although I have a pretty thick skin after years of looking for galleries and submitting to rejection, but for some reason the copying thing and the negativity is far more devastating. While I realize that people that do it are insecure and fearful, I just wish they knew how awesome it is to be a cheerleader for love and kindness..

Anonymous said...

Thank you Seth for bringing this important matter to our attention. While I have not experienced negativity, I know others that have. I have always tried to encourage those who are creative, to give hem a voice. I know how gracious you are in encouraging students in your classes, or even other art work done by students.remembering all your praise for the paper collage I did of NYC.
Keep sending your messages. People will listen. Pat q

Glenda Miles said...

I feel this shift towards finding Respect at the core of creativity and collaboration as an essential way of working together.

The way I see it . . we all co-create in an abundant ocean. Some watch awestruck at the shoreline, some prefer to dip in their toes, some sail magnificent designs, and others dive right into the magical waters. It's hard not to be influenced by another in the great tide of ideas + inspiration. To pirate another's work is buying into the false idea of scarcity; which is a myth and the worst possible thing to do in our industry. I see a lot of similar creations but also see individual touches. When I'm at the ocean {usually diving in!} I strive to immerse in the plenteous waters and take what serves me and then apply my own style. I have faith that we CAN be both Respectful AND Generous with our unique gifts.

Julie Ann Lee said...

This is such an interesting and thought-provoking post. I have always found the world of crafting and blogging a very inclusive, positive and encouraging one - I've heard about negative things but I've been fortunate enough not to have experienced anything really distressing. I have met some amazing artists who have inspired me and helped me. This world has been - to me -an oasis from the wider world with all its aggressive competition and back-biting. We must value what we have because it is precious, lifting each other up and giving confidence and inspiration to those we meet. Although we have never met and I have never taken one of your classes, Seth, I have only ever heard good things about you as an inspiring and encouraging teacher. There is room for many styles and all of them have something to contribute. Thank You for this timely reminder to maintain a high standard of kindness and integrity in our creative community.

Sharon Y said...

Seth, Chapter Two is just as thought provoking as Chapter One. More uplifting, inclusion, and support please! Thank You everyone for joining in the discussion. I myself have never been the subject of copying (that I know of), or negative comments but see that happening. It’s a risk for us creatives to put ourselves out there and share our work. Art is so personal, and like you said there is room for everyone and every type of art. The most negative experiences that I have seen have been on social media. I find it so difficult to understand why someone feels the need to criticize others work. It makes me angry and sad. Many times I have seen FB posts turn into arguments between the posters and the meaning of the post is lost and I’m sure some of the artists are discouraged from sharing again. If you can’t say something nice, then just scroll on by. On the other side I have seen some amazing connections happen online and in classes between those who choose to be supportive, open and caring. Keep it going people. Care, share, and encourage!

Barbara Moustafa aka RustyMermaid said...

Well said. We definitely need to support each other more as artists.
I create art digitally and create for book covers and CD's as well as printing it out for wall art. Many times i have been told by my traditional art colleagues that digital art is not really 'art' because its made on a computer.
I have also just found your FB page so I will look forward to more enjoyable discussions.
Cheers Barbara

Deborah said...

Great post I have had to put people out of my life (even my own family) that are negative about everything. When I got cancer and had to walk down a ugly road to beat it I surrounded my self with only positive loving uplifting people. It’s what got me through it and cancer free. I know I love reading and watching your videos because you are always positive kind and caring. Good luck with all your new adventures and surrounding your self with loving kind positive people !

Marjie Kemper said...

It always saddens me to hear about people tearing others down. I truly believe there's room for everyone and I think those who do the naysaying (and worse) will experience the same down the road. It would be great if we could all hold up the famous expression that a rising tide lifts all boats, but that seems to be a naive thought.

N Yonehiro said...

Seth, your words ring true for many. I believe that it is more than a matter of changing the culture to support each other. Going thru professional art training (school) is very competitive in nature. Then without the advantage of maturity they go out into the market and try desperately to make it. What some never understand is that people who buy art are like horses. They can smell your fear and desperation for acceptance. As we age (into) the culture the process becomes our own. We look around and wonder what the hell some people are thinking? Yes they can copy your widget, but then they are just widget makers. Do I feel sorry for them? Nope! I will be watching you, calling you out, and I will take a little joy in knowing that those people will never know the nirvana of inspired work. Did that sound harsh? Good! I wanted it to!

Jeanette Blake said...

my wish for 2018 - let this be the year we DO respect ALL others,and treat other accordingly. Simple as that.

Jo Murray said...

We are all on the same ladder, just different rungs. It is often difficult to not use some aspects of work demonstrated to you, but copying is a definite nono. Yet I see it done, over and over. Respect for someone's signature work should be a given, but often I see unmistakable 'copies' for sale.

Gwen Lafleur said...

Thank you for bringing this up Seth - it's been a great discussion so far!

I've seen a lot of that "less than" mentality between scrapbookers and graphic designers, fine arts and crafting... when I was taking classes at SAIC in Chicago, it was all about contemporary vs representational art and how you couldn't really expect to have a future as an artist if you were representational. (Of course, there's also a whole separate and yet related conversation around education and training vs self-taught and on the job type learning... there are huge biases there too, unfortunately.) I've been the subject of a few comments - nothing really hurtful, mainly backhanded compliments about the amount of time I must have, how my work isn't really their thing (good! I don't want it to have mass appeal! lol,) and the occasional nasty remark that's based in jealousy, so while those can be hurtful, I can also understand them and let them go.

I think the quote from Maya Angelou is applicable here... you can't use up creativity - the more you use, the more you have. I believe sharing and inclusiveness use the same principle - the more we do it, the more creativity will be in the world to inspire us all! The fact that so many are out there exercising and growing their creativity and bringing art, beauty, and imagination into the world in so many formats should be celebrated, no matter the vehicle. Exercising creativity in our daily lives has so many benefits - including those for our minds and bodies, that anything that would discourage that truly saddens me. That there is anyone out there trying to express themselves in that way is beautiful in and of itself and should be encouraged. My $0.02, at least :)

As for copying and credit, it's something that I've been very aware of as a designer and teacher. As an artist, I'm not super worried about it. I've heard Michael deMeng say that he has no concerns about sharing exactly how he does what he does because even if you repeated it exactly, your work wouldn't look like his. I really agree with that - the artist's hand will always show itself in some way. As a teacher, I recognize that I shouldn't share anything in a class or a tutorial that I'm not ready to let go of, but I would hope that when I do that there would be enough respect for the work that goes into those things to give credit. I have had someone come to one of my classes and then turn around and teach it at a different store a few weeks later. (At least wait long enough to make me think you had time to put your own spin on it! lol.)

That said, I've also been in a position to regret NOT giving credit. I'd taken a class where I discovered that the techniques were all things I knew already, but when I later shared my own spin, I neglected to give credit for the inspiration - the reminder that I did know those things and that I should pull them out and use them in my work. I've always regretted that oversight and have since tried very hard to keep from repeating that mistake since I believe that the inspiration is as, if not more important than the techniques themselves.

I do hope now is the time that we can stop comparing and belittling and start sharing, respecting, and including everyone. Hopefully this discussion will be just the kick in the pants we need to make it happen :)

Heather Thompson said...

Well Said, you are an inspiration on so many levels.

Mary said...

Excellent post Seth. It is unfortunate that negativity is part of the artistic dialog. I think social media, with its immediacy and constant need for new content, has created an environment where people want to be the new "it" - the person everyone is talking about. Chasing fame is not what art is about, so it brings out the bad in some people, thus all the back biting and name calling. However, I am so lucky to know so many supportive, helpful and creative souls who just keep plugging along, doing their own thing (you for one). And their art is so much more amazing for this.

Nancy said...

This is a wonderful reminder to be kind, always. As mom said her father said, "If you don't have something nice to say to someone, don't say anything at all." You are a generous teacher, sharing your skills and art, an inspiration, thanks.

Eric said...

Great post, Seth, and great responses in the comments. I wonder if part of it is the creative culture that we have cultivated in our society. As a former public school art teacher, I've see how this creative culture gets instilled at the earliest ages - how certain art forms are held in higher esteem than others - how certain artists are taught and others are ignored - how there is often a competitive vibe amongst students. But the biggest thing I think that has impacted that creative culture is that teachers for the longest time have formulated very specific projects where there is a known and expected project as the outcome. They focus on teaching very specific projects - something that I call canned creativity. Unfortunately, many people have come to accept that as the model for teaching art. I have also seen this to some extent with classes offered online and workshops offered at art retreats and in studios - the artists teach students how to make projects that the artist has designed. In essence, a lot of art classes are about students being copycats. And the same can be said of many of the art how-to books. And, even when we as artists don't intend it that way, many students take it that way. So when we have students creating very specific projects and not engaging in a process for creating and integrating new ideas and techniques into their own art, we unfortunately get artists and students who see nothing wrong with stealing ideas and copying someone else's art because that's what they have seen and experienced. I think this lays the groundwork for that lack of respect. Just my two cents.

CMiller said...

Great post. I agree that encouraging and support for artists, and everyone, for that matter, is so so needed. So much negativity and judgement only leads to more.. I deeply believe that I need to "be the change" I want to see in the world. So I really refrain from judgement, critical comments, etc. (Constructive feedback when requested is a different thing.) ������ Shalom!

whyte said...

I've been involved in many discussions like this over the past several years. It's been my observation that a lot of copying and stealing is not intentional, it comes from lack of information and education, and it's up to a profession to provide that information if it is an issue within. Yes, there is bold, intentional, brazen copyright infringement by those who know better. Unfortunately copyright infringement laws place the burden upon the victim to prove and it is very hard to prove. A lot of creatives fail to take copyright registration seriously because it is not necessary, but it certainly helps to legally pursue those who maliciously break the law. Without going into detail, registration is fairly easy and in the example of artworks, photography etc, can be done collectively. I think a lot more has been done to educate the average creative about copying or reprinting another's work without permission or credit, but I do think there is a lot more work to do.

I like eric's comments above......it could be my imagination but even just 10-15 years ago, the ability for anyone who enjoyed any creative art had little resources outside continued education in colleges or trade schools, sometimes in specific publications. Now, with the ability to use the internet for online classes, YouTube, blogs.......all the sharing of information, people who had no venues for learning now have an entire world library to source without receiving some of the additional information about responsibilities that accompany that availibilty. I have personally had 2 entirely different careers outside of art in my lifetime, and what I found interesting was the assumption that our clients, customers, and constituents in related fields should understand what we do. They do not. But somehow we think they should. I thought my first career entailed poor education as a profession and that we were unique in that fault......then I moved to a second field and career and found the problem to be exactly the same, just a different profession.

We need to take a creative career just a seriously as the most esteem profession we imagine. I think most creatives can be a bit too mellow, not want to cloud freedom of expression and bliss with legalities and rules and regulations because it feels contrary to why we are creative in the first place.

As far as putting down others, that lesson begins in child rearing or the lack of, and is not exclusive to artists. I find that today, respect is the virtue we most have lost amongst us humans. Period.

Kim Collister said...

Thank you Seth for such a wonderful and important blog post.
The comments here are very uplifting to read. We all started somewhere and I am very
grateful for all the artists that inspired me and continue to do so daily. I hope that I can always be encouraging, respectful and
Inspiring to others in a positive way like so many artists (yourself included) have been for me. I love this art community and in a perfect
world, it would be nice if copying, stealing, etc. never happens, but putting it out there, addressing it, and making people aware of the importance of respecting the artist and their work..hopefully it will happen less often.
Respect, encouragement and support is key. Thank you Seth!

ncurryartiste said...

Definitely a conversation worth having. I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s thoughtful comments and insights. I agree with many points and have experienced some of what you’ve pointed out. I wouldn’t be the creative I am without the inspiration from others. Respect is the very least I can offer back.

Eileen Hull said...

YES! Great post Seth- there is plenty of creativity to go around. And it’s so much more satisfying to encourage, lift up and share the joy with fellow creatives than look at it as a competition. Nothing gets me more inspired than collaborating. I’m with you my friend!

Julie Short said...

What interesting comments and points of view there are here Seth! Thanks for starting the conversation.
Eric makes very valid points particularly about the formulaic art classes - please make sure there's a Goodie bag with that too!
I have found through my teaching that the "do it just as I did" mentality has become the every day. I know that when I offer classes where I'm kicking up the adventure I lose participants. I persevere because I see the shining light of confidence and self valuing that occurs for those who do jump into the deep end. Yes, I have the skills and knowledge to guide and encourage and to value different points of view.
It urks me that when I am in a class and yes I do take some, to hopefully stretch me, that my confidence is seen as a signal to ignore me and attend to the clinging vines, particularly if they are buying mountains of product!
Whyte also has it spot on when she suggests that we need to take our creative career seriously and present the best we can every time.
Taking the time to research as much background information as possible, acknowledging others who are inspiring within the field should be a given.
Unfortunately it is not - am I the only one to begin to watch a YouTube presentation and cringe at the awfulness of it? I do not want to see artists licking their paintbrushes or babies crawling through the presentation table.
I believe we should be aiming to develop an ocean of creatifs filled with all sorts of art experimenters and makers. We could have a wonderful place where everyone is valued and feels happy and safe. Think a wonder of the world - The Great Barrier Reef of Australia, where the diversity is astonishing.
Rampant consumerism appears to be on the rise. The same small group of "talents" are featured and promoted by sometimes very large amounts of advertising dollars. Competitiveness for the $ is driving a skewed experience and that's sad.
Have you noticed there isn't too much shouting out for others and yet that is what needs to happen, if we are to be here for the long term.
This year I'm stepping out, I'm collaborating with artisans who are not in recognised art fields. We're aiming for quirky, interesting experiences. I'm excited by the possibilities.
Positivity and change are something we each can strive for. Respect needs to be a given, no matter who you are or what you do.
I appreciate the way you tackle issues and put it out there Seth! An original and unique art warrior!

cecile graven said...

maybe the competition is more harsh in the USA ? I have seen documentaires about the American ways of learning things and I did think that competition instead of sharing was very much in it.
I am no member of a painting group or so, I do work alone most of the time. So maybe that is about not having negative feedback.
I have noted dedain in 'fine artists'for mixed-media-artists and scrapbookers and so on, but I noticed that only the not very talented ones voice there dedain. So they are people to feel sorry for.
About giving due to the artist who inspire you, well, I think I do not often do that. Not because I do not respect their work. But because always my head is buzzing with images and/or techniques I do want to try or combine. And when I finally come to do it I often don't remember where the inspiration did come from.

Squiddy said...

So many aspects you and the responses tough on, it feels like a whole new aspect of the #metoo syndrome. After a lot of tertiary study, where everything you wrote had to have a full bibliography, I see my own art as being totally collaborative - I am a cross-crafter (these days called a mixed media artist) mixing knitting, embroidery,crochet - trad domestic fibre arts - and bringing them in to the "modern" mixed media world of the "collager", now incorporatinging more bits from others eg one artist's art expressed in stamps, using a piece of paper from a Jeffrey Archer novel (or whoever), mixing with another's stencils, adding in someone's version of mica powders (probably the ones I got 20+ years ago before others jumped on the bandwagon and brought out their copies), mixing it with thoughts/concepts I've been taught in classes, choosing to go in a particular stylistic direction that is "in the style of". And I am grateful for the wealth of resources the internet has made available to me, to help me express some muse-inspired moment. So, like the good student, when I post in fb or on blog, I credit my (hitherto unwitting) collaborators, so that they might know their creations aren't just languishing unused, under some heavy credit card bill; and in the hope that someone will be inspired by an aspect, and know where to go to find it for themselves to use.

MaryOklahomaThoma said...

We must be prepared for the trolls and expect some will not be fans. There is nothing new under the sun is an old saying but it's relevant to this conversation. If someone is determined to act like an ass, there's little anyone can do but feel sorry for them. You cannot change others behavior but you can change your own response. Life is full of ugly acts. Overwhelmed the enemy with goodness. Be thankful for your good sense to build up not destroy. I am thankful for the influence of my mother's good character over my life and I can readily see not everyone has had the same. Thanks for giving kindness and support a platform.

Scrappy Diva said...

Thank you for this powerful post, Seth. You have said what has been in my heart for ages, but never expressed. Each of us does the best we can. Positivity and support helps us grow. Kindness is free. Those who tear down and belittle are ignorant of what it is to be an artist (whether fine artist or crafter). Inspiration is one thing, copying another's work is not only disrespectful, it's stealing! We all share and learn from each other, which is what our art community is all about. Hopefully, in 2018, we can turn things around and show greater respect for each other. BTW, everyone's comments have been wonderful!

linda said...

thank you mr seth
your post is spot on
people wonder why i'm not any social (facebook etc) site
and that i don't post my art works online
it's for just the reasons you talked about
there's a real big difference between helpful pointers
and out right that's not art etc
i'm a mixed media artist and i know that there are
artist out there who don't see the worth in that style of art
i feel sorry for any one who has been belittled
thank you again
linda h

Debbi Baker said...

And this is precisely why I am looking forward to my third annual "Seth fix" in July. You are an inspiring, amazing artist (& tutor) and just an all round great guy!

Karenliz Henderson said...

Spot on with everything you've said here. We should all support and lift each other up. Naïve, maybe look at the world we live in but I'm trying to believe.

Before the holidays last year I received a very nasty comment from someone who has always supported me in the past. It shocked me. I emailed asking why but only received a nasty email in return. I sat back and tried not to judge thinking they must be going through rough times. But again another comment. It actually through me. I found out at the same time I saw this post that this person was teaching a class and handed out instructions for the project. Those instructions were a project copied from my blog. In fact she copied my post word for word and took out my name. Someone in the class questioned it. That person follows me on Instagram.

As an artist I love to share how I do things and love it when I hear I inspired them to create. There is nothing that I create that I haven't learned from online classes, youtube, blogs, etc. What bothered me more was the nasty and hurtful comment from someone who was confronted by the store manager and was embarrassed by what she had done. She was angry at me for something that wasn't my fault.

It's amazing how words can hurt. I have a tough skin and comments on my blog in the past haven't bothered me. In the art community I've always felt supposed, respected but when disrespect comes from another artist its hard. I can't wait for your next chapter!

zandra said...

Totally, agree. I am of the old saying, if you have nothing nice to say then don't say anything at all ;o)

Unknown said...

Amen!!!

Candi Harris said...

Bravo & thank you for posting this. Most artists are highly sensitive people, & belittling & cutting remarks are just cruel. So many seem to have forgotten the rule of "If you don't have anything nice to say, say nothing at all," or they were never taught it to begin with. How much easier is it to not say anything or scroll past something that doesn't appeal to you? Even knowing that remarks like that are born from pain & jealousy doesn't make it less painful when you've poured your heart & soul into something. I also strongly believe in giving credit to the people who have taught you, whether it's in person or online. If you've created something based on another person's distinctive style, give that person some recognition and share their links or give a shout-out to them so others can learn from them too, & you can repay them for the joy they brought you. We are all in this together.

Wen Redmond said...

Yes I think you were right Seth, this unfortunately not only happens in the arts, it happens in any sector- whether it be politics, education – you name it. I think one has to reach a certain level of maturation or self actualization to not need to cut other people down or to minimize them or to make them less. Good topic

SuzanneWW said...

As a crafter and mixed media artist it has taken me many years and some life coaching to be able to say "I am an Artist" without making excuses for my work. I agree that regardless of your medium all people are creative and need to be supported in their efforts, regardless!
Thanks Seth for a great post and for all the comments that followed.

Roxanne said...

This is such an important discussion, one that you and I have talked about at length, and I would love to read more. I love the comments here. And the topic of Respect.
It hurts when someone takes your ideas and doesn't give you credit, whether it is your teaching, your art making or your the way you share your creations.
To always put your own spin on your art is so important, we all have unique stories to tell.
Thanks for this discussion and to everyone who commented!

kelli may-krenz said...

Beautiful post wise soul!
I have been bullied my entire life. Younger by classmates, older by other artists I do not even know.
I believe with my whole heart that overcoming such hard mentally numbing events starts with finding the hope, goodness and knowing of our hearts to rise above. Respect is such an easy gift to give. To ourselves and to others. Once we pour this easy flow of respect out it just keeps coming. It is so much easier to always choose kindness, love and being a leader of good.
I often wonder why there are mean, disrespectful ones out there who find me - then i know that it is in the teachings of what i never ever want to be showing up to always remind me of who I am.

Adoring you. Adoring your soul filled stirrings that open conversations.

Biggest love, Biggest respect and Always JOY
Kelli May-Krenz

Bev. Wilson said...

Seth: Thank you for this post. I find the type of unkind competitiveness you describe frustrating and rather appalling. The highbrow attitude of some who claim THAT they and their art are in some kind of higher category is pathetic. Thank you for how you receive us all as creatives worthy of respect, friendship and support. You lead the way. We are with you.

Thanks, Seth.
Bev.

StampsandScrapbooks.com said...

Yes, Seth! "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle." There should be MORE support for each other and more lifting each other up. I've met so many artists who do this - you included. It is heart warming and actually makes you want to do MORE! Keep spreading your goodness. The world needs more of YOU!

Julie Prichard said...

Artists for Respect here:

http://thelandoflostluggage.com/artists-for-respect/

Peg Robinson said...

Thanks Seth. You are right on. Build better communities.

suzieq23 said...

I like to practice the "Rule if One". Everyday give someone a compliment, do something nice for someone and learn something new. By practicing this rule it makes you feel so good about yourself and others.

A Pink said...

I'm not sure I can add much more to what has already been said other than to say I echo the words and thoughts of so many who have shared.
I hope that 2018 will be a year of Respect and Integrity for each other in every avenue of our lifes and long may it continue thereafter.
Thanks for spotlighting so eloquently Seth .
x

Misty said...

You said a mouthful Seth, and all of it is true and new
thoughts are encouraging. Yes we are all in the same pot of paint,
so to speak. So why tear one another down. Let share, work together,
and encourage improvement and growth in each other. All art forms are
someone's passion. All art forms have the desire to be expressed and
developed. Everyone works and travels at a different speed so lets
develop tolerance as well as kindness.

Julie Cruickshank said...

Just read your words Seth. And they speak to the heart and to the conscience. It is so easy to make off-hand remarks without thinking, and then hurt someone who may think about those words for a long time. It seems to be snobbishness to want to down play another type of art, or an effort that someone has put forth be judged negatively. I for one, do not ever want to be that person who hurts another so thoughtlessly. Because negativity hurts the person who says such things as well. A drawing away of friends perhaps. Negativity has a lasting effect on our self image. Hardly anyone asks themselves, "Why did I behave in that way?". We sometimes act as if we are the be all and end all to every situation. But we are insignificant if we act like that. I would truly wish to be remembered by thoughtful words, and small kindnesses to others, rather than be remembered as a bully and someone determined to find fault in others. For it costs us nothing to be kind.

Johanna Garwood said...

I'm an Interior Designer by trade and I learned a long time ago that everyone sees things differently. If someone does not like your work (or colour scheme) that is their choice but it does not mean that your work is not good. I showed a friend this morning my Inspiration board for my on-line Artsy Cafe with Holly Dean and my friend said she found it cluttered. Agreed, to her it is, to me it is chock full of things that makes it different each time you look at it. As to copying it is like anything else, if you don't want someone to do it to you, don't do it too others however if it is done to you remember Oscar Wilde — 'Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.'

Katie Coleman said...

About copying, how do we learn to create and to use all of those amazing supplies if we don't do a certain amount of copying? We are not all born with the innate gift to create; eventually the hope is that you find your own 'original'.

Paula said...

Thank you for this great post Seth and well said! The depths to which some people can sink has apalled me. It hurts, because it is so personal and it seems that many of us, teachers and artists have suffered in this way.
We teach so that others can learn, we are generous because we are kind and Art is about sharing but when somebody takes all they can (and more) and then hurts us by teaching those techniques as their own or then belittling what we do it is exhausting, hurtful and makes us question how and why we teach.