Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Copy Zone

My newest Creative Contribution to the MMCA Marketplace, has just been posted. It addresses the issues of originality and copying in the world of mixed media art. Click here to enter "The Copy Zone" and, if you like, leave a comment to add to the discussion.

You can find the links to all my previous Creative Contributions on the sidebar of my blog under this icon:


Holly Dean Artist said...

Before I read your blog, Seth, I had been going through favourite quotes of mine. A couple fit this topic well!

"Everything has been thought of before. The problem is to think of it again." Goethe

"Use what language you will, you can never say anything but what you are." Emerson

This last one reaffirms what I believe and one of the comments you made in your article. No matter how we are inspired by other's work or ideas, we can only create what comes from within us. No idea is new. It's what we do with it ourselves that makes it our own.

Have a great day Seth!


ArtPropelled said...

You hit the nail on the head Seth. When an artist knowingly and blatantly plagiarizes they are crossing the line..... especially when they sell the idea as their own.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

My thoughts on this are over at the article---as I was involved in an artist blatantly taking sketches I had done and painting pieces exactly like them, except the canvas shape differed.
I don't know that any of us create something *purely* new and unique; I think if we have dignity we do our best to make our work be our own and block other influences---to have our own marks and visual language in our pieces, to build a body of work recognizable with our name.


Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

This is one subject I have struggled with, even creating a discussion several months back on my blog about it. I write a lot of tutorials. If I have come up with the technique, I say so. If not, I give credit where credit is due. I even link back to that person's blog and the post I got it from. I also let the person know I'm going to write a tutorial on it. I write tutorials only if and when I believe the original technique has not been sufficiently covered, or I have changed it enough that it no longer even resembles the original, although it was inspired by the original.

I don't sell my art, but if I did, I would surely want to make sure what I sold was as much mine as possible. However, I visit a lot of blogs each day, gather information, ideas, concepts, and the like. I also read a few "how-to" art magazines. At the end of the day, what filters in might look like someone else's art, but it's usually something that has come through the filtering process louder than anything else.

Another thing about me. I freely share my techniques, where I suspect I could make a bit of money by holding classes. I read others have tried my techniques and so far, each person has credited me with the idea. I may wake up some morning, go to a random blog, and learn they have copied everything I've ever done. Although I'm flattered that people try and credit me for my helpful posts, I would be hurt to see someone had stolen my time and ideas and taken them as their own.

Thank you SO much for this post. I really enjoyed your copy zone!

LensVerse said...

Just read your essay over at MMCA. I like the questions you bring up and the photographs that accompany it. Having been on the advertising arena for a while, you quickly learn there's nothing new under the sun. But there can be original ways to interpret it and express it. Blatant plagiarism must eat away at an artist's conscience. So I don't think there's really a getting away with it, or else, in my humble opinion, you are not a true artist. There's also another thing that comes to mind when discussing this subject: patterns. Patterns, in different venues, have come and gone at different points in history. Maybe they represent an expression of our collective subconscious, or are forced onto the masses by the "powers that be". Fads, trends, whatever... sometimes we don't even know how these things get started. Similarities will always exist when thought processes go down the same path. (It happens quite frequently in advertising. People from opposite parts of the world have come up with the exact same ad for similar products.) But we cannot forget that ART has soul, and that, I believe, is impossible to recreate or copy.

Anonymous said...

I too just read your essay at MMCA...you do raise some interesting points. I do think we all are quilty of "copying" to a certain degree. I know I am when I trying out a new technique or product but I also know that I'm doing this for my own experiences and not for an "end-product". I also freely admit to being influenced by everything around me be it life or other art...but I don't see this as "copying" as long as my own expression is what comes through in the end. I suppose that without strong and unique self-expression you do have copying...and unfortunately there is much of this out in the world.

I don't get hung up with the differences between "craft" and "art". One needs skilled in their "craft" to make their "art" happen...and again I go back to my thought that true art is when there is strong and unique self-expression....

Priti Lisa said...

Bravo Seth!
Art comes to those who want it. It is a gift. And there is room for everyone...Nothing is original. And nothing is sacred. If the interpritation is authentic, then I believe it is ART.
(I still believe in hugs and kisses)

Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives said...

You have raised an interesting question...why even enter the copy zone...when you see great work I find myself moving in a different direction with my mark making but it is still my sacred mark. We are here to create and we create who we are. Imagine and Live in peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Bill said...

Now I'm really confused. It's so easy to cross the line with digital art. Well, I'll have to think about it tomorrow. I should have been asleep hours ago.

I still believe in hugs and kisses, too. Unlike the person who commented earlier, though, I'm going to refrain from sending them to you. If my wife found out, she'd slap me up along side the head.

fairyrocks said...

You rock !!
Great Article, it is hard to be original. I always try to name my inspiration jumping point.
It is just courtesy, kind of like letting people know it was your Grandmothers family recipe, not your own LOL

nancy neva gagliano said...

as usual, great article, and loving the follow up conversation it's stimulated here!!

tgarrett said...

Very good article and a subject important to me- as an art educator this came up a lot- all the copy things one sees in some of the magazines makes me sad- when people don't allow themselves to express their own ideas and thoughts- the work lacks that spark of authenticity.
Oh and the art and craft debate- age old- I teach in a university art department and hot air from those discussion can fry you. I say just go to your studio and make stuff!

Bridgette Guerzon Mills said...

Interesting article Seth. As one who does art with bare branched trees, I actually have had a few people contact me worried that they were copying me. My reply was, "I'm not the first nor will I be the last person to be inspired by bare branched trees!" I feel that if someone is copying just because they like the look, then it's just going to fall flat. If the imagery one is using does not have personal meaning and it is just an imitation of someone else's work, then the artwork will just not resonate. With anyone. Period.