Friday, January 9, 2015

Inspiration vs. Copying

Have you ever had that artistic moment when a burst of creativity yields a super cool piece, that you then want to run with and make hundreds more?
 Did you ever have the thought soon after "Oh man, this is too awesome...someone is going to copy my stuff...they're gonna make millions off my design...I'm screwed...this sucks...sigh."

Yeah, me too. Well...maybe not verbatim, but you get the idea :)

Many of us have had our artwork copied (or stolen, as many can attest). And I can not tell you the mental process of a person who does this without remorse. What I can do is point out the difference between out-right copying and being inspired by someone's work enough to form an independent concept of your own.

Here is an example. The cute little critter below is made by Amanda Louise Spayd. I saw him on Pinterest about 6 months ago and quickly pinned him to my inspiration board. I was inspired to make something because of this photograph.


Now here is my finished product of that inspiration, "Bartok".

As you might be able to tell, Bartok is NOT an exact copy...that would look like this...


Hers...                               Mine.

That's called copying.

Which is NOT the most sincere form of flattery.
When the finished product is reproduced detail for detail, and a profit is made to the copier and not the original artist.
 Even the photographs might be practically identical.

Instead, one might take certain aspects of the adored piece and create a personal style.  I took details I liked about Amanda's piece and started there...
-I liked the color scheme, neutral and natural.
-I liked the well defined eyes that grab your attention.
-I liked the expression...it can say many things without changing.
(and it's flippin cute!)
-I liked the horns but knew of a technique I wanted to try my way.

Now when you take those inspirations and apply them to my Bartok, I hope you can see those attributes in my piece without thinking "Hey, isn't that the same thing that Amanda made?"

 If you have to wonder if your finished piece looks a bit too much like someone else's original...maybe you need to start again and make it more your own. It's called practice, and there is nothing wrong with it. We all had to start somewhere. So let's keep it original people. :)

Special thanks to Amanda Louise Srayd for allowing me to demonstrate my point through her piece :)