18 June 2007

I'll show you mine...

if you absolutely positively promise to never make something that looks even the slightest bit similar in any way, color, shape, material, fabric choice, bead type, embroidery thread, or molecule to it.

Huh?

The discussion has come around again about copyrighting one's work. Mostly due to the lawsuit going on over the Gee's Bends quilts. Now before I go any further, let me say that I agree that they should be suing. The people that have run rampant with their work and not given them their right due should be taken out back and smacked silly. (I'd like to say something harsher but will keep it clean.)

But as always, the conversation over this has spiraled into side discussions about how to avoid having people take advantage of your work/copy your work.

I'm no different, I struggled for a long time about whether or not I wanted to really show my work. Entering juried/traveling exhibits was step one. When I kept getting accepted, I figured a website was an okay idea. So that was step two. So then I started answering calls to be published in books/magazines and got into a few. So completes Step 3. (There are a lot more steps on my List but I'll share those another time.)

But I sit back and I wonder this...how do I know if someone who has seen some of my work in a book/magazine or on my website has made copies and is selling them or giving them away or using them for Fido to sleep on?

Easy answer? I don't.

Would I be pissed if someone was selling copies of my work? Sure. Who wouldn't? But the thing is, it'll never be the same as mine. Never. Ever. Period. More then anything people who copy other people's work disappoint me. Kind of makes me sad that they can't even be bothered to take the time to try to think of something original. I saw a lot of this when I was teaching and it really got to me after a while. And I'm not referring to following a pattern. I like patterns, got a few around the studio. I'm talking about people who copy work that has no pattern published for it.

So do I go and put a copyright on all my work? I guess I could but I'm not going to. Probably because I don't have the energy to. And I think that mostly people like taking a look at my work and then move on. There are a lot of artists out there who are far superior then me and some who aren't. I'm just one in a huge mix.

So I guess I'll keep showing you mine...and hope you enjoy what you see. :)

1 comment:

Cara said...

I hope that my art makes enough of an impact to inspire others. To inspire them to do whatever it is they do.
As for me, I like to look at other people's art. I like to look at my cats. I like to look out my window. I like to ride my horse and look out across the bay, to watch the buckeye tree go through the seasons, so see the budgie flying with the wild finches.

Everything around me inspires me. I could never ever promise to look at another's art and not be inspired. But I won't copy it. That would be boring. Technicians copy, but I can't. My ideas would interupt. I would get distracted. Things would not go as I planned and I would have to do something different to compensate.