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Monday, June 29, 2009

Imitation is Flattery???

Well hopefully someone noticed that I didn't blog tonight when I normally do. I've been wrestling with something all day and didn't blog about it first thing because I wanted to give myself time to cool off first. I'm sure you can tell by the title that I received emails from people telling me that a certain person has started copying my jewelry. I followed the links and sure enough it's as close as you can get since they are vintage materials that I use. I emailed her and of course this began a back and forth discussion (I'm using that term loosly here) about what exactly a copy is. How since I painted on glass then I must have copied off of the first person that painted on glass. Ah, but to me this is not the same thing. I'm not saying that because she put vintage items together that she is copying me. I'm saying that because she painted a face on a small piece of glass and then put it together exactly like mine. All us painters paint angels, witches, mermaids, etc.. that is not a copy. It is when you purposely try to make yours look exactly like the other persons. And I'm not talking inspiration here. Because I think there is another fine line where someone can be inspired by another artist. I obviously have been inspired by mixed media jewelry artists...but I purchased their books so that as an artist they are making money from their designs! Even though my designs are not like any of theirs they have inspired me at some point. Beth Piver is the first artists that really inspired me in this area, along with Susan Lenart Kazmer. You can see the influence of them both I think in my work. But the key word is influence. My dad has always told me imitation is the best form of flattery. But why doesn't it feel that way?? Where do we draw the line and write in our descriptions, inspired by (fill in the artists name). I've noticed that the polymer clay group seems much better at this where artists like Christi Friesen are concerned. Pc artists put in their descriptions design inspired by Christi Friensen. Her how to books ask you to please state this when using her designs because copyright laws state that you must make three changes to not be considered a copyright infringement. I don't want to play art police. I want to inspire people. I want to encourage them. I want them to find their creative wings and soar! I want them to find their own creativity. So that they can soar and I think that is the key. If you are always imitating and not doing what is in your own heart can you really ever soar?

It's late and I never intended to go off on a rant about this stuff. Because it's just too much negative energy for me and I really like to keep things very positive. Anyone who can bring this much negativity into my life is certainly not worthy. What I had really wanted to blog about is my mimosa tree! I love love this tree and when it blooms I think they look like pink flamingo eyelashes LOL! Here's a pic of one of the blooms!

Here's hoping tomorrow is a better day! Good night everyone! xo Michele
PS: yes I did list two new items on ebay LOL ;o) check them out if you get a chance!


Lisa Lectura Creations said...

Hi Michele! Your altered art jewelry is simply fabulous! I'm sorry you were upset with someone copying your exact work. Your creations are one of a kind, just like you.

Creative Blessings,
Lisa :)

Micki said...

Aww sweetie i'm really sorry this has happened to you, i've been in a similar position myself and it's not fun at all *Hugs you*

On a completely different note, I really like your new background on your blog and that plant looks gorgeous!

Micki x

luthien said...

hey michele :)
oh dear... i know how you feel. i'll probably feel wretched as well if it happened to me. i guess this artist will just have to reflect and decide for herself whether she would want to be an artist or just a copycat. i just hope that she's not a friend of yours! just continue doing what you do becos your fans know your work and they love it :)

on a different note, your new background is absolutely stunning!
take care luv :))

Michele Lynch Art said...

Thank you Lisa, Micki & Luthien :o) You all made me feel better :o)I know that I can't change people's sense of what is right or wrong and this particular lady has done this to two other artists that I know of so...chances are she's not going to stop. It's a shame, we'll all never know what artistic talent lies in her own heart.

Thanks on the background! If you look at the top left of my page you will see the link to the graphic designer that does the blog templates. She has some really beautiful ones! I love her work! I still need to do a lot of updating on here. I want to get everyones blog link on the front so that hopefully you all will get some new people to your blogs through mine. Everything just takes so much time, doesn't it?? Have a great day! xo Michele

Sadie Lou said...

Hi There!
I'm so sorry this happened to you. I'm a little bit of an advocate in this subject. If I see outright copies of someone's work--I notify the original artist and provide them with links too. So far, since I have been selling online since May of 2007, I have called out 5 copy cats. One of which was copying The Black Apple (Emily Martin) and selling her rip offs on Etsy! The nerve!
This is the ugly side of putting our creations out there for the world to see--I think the fact that you contacted this person shows passion and justice--I hope this person stops copying you and doesn't move on to copy someone else.

Michele Lynch Art said...

Hi Sadie! Yup this person not only is selling artwork that looks like mine on ebay but also on etsy and artfire. I didn't see the ones on etsy or artfire I just received links and pics. I'm not familiar with the seller you're talking about Black Apple, but now I want to see her work ;o) I think that anytime you have someone's work that is very distinctive like Christi Friesen or I'm assuming Black Apple that it's easy to spot when someone starts to imitate the artist and usually the spark is not there because the heart of the original artist is not in the piece.

Michele Lynch Art said...

Omg the black apple is fantastic! Can't believe I never saw her work! I don't get onto etsy much...guess I need to start!

FrumsGlass said...

A blatant copy is not flattery. I love the flamingo eyelash flowers of your mimosa tree.

EhKho said...

Hey Michele!

Try not to stress, I know easier said than done but you know it makes sense ;)

Hugs Irene xxx

brandi milne said...

It's ruff out here, in the art world! Inspiration vs. Stealing is sooo tiring. Most people want to say it's flattering, but to what extent? I say when they put their "inspired work" up for sale, then that's when it's crossing the line. ...sorry to see you go thru it!!

Michele Lynch Art said...

Thank you Sue ;o) I know you know exactly who I'm talking about so you know it's a blatant copy.

Thank you Irene! Good to see your shining face! I'm now stalking your blog ha ha! xo

Michele Lynch Art said...

Thank you Brandi! Yeah I'm not really feeling too flattered LOL! You're right once they start to sell those designs or claim them as their own then they have crossed that line. Thank you for the support, you all have made me feel much better today :o))) xo