Wednesday, April 11, 2012

How Not to "Be Inspired"

From the comments on this post, I realize that people are taking this post in a way that I didn't really intend it. I never said that I was a good writer.  What I'm really trying to say here is just that artists should respect one another.  That's all.

Pinterest is, for the most part, really wonderful, in my opinion.  (Holy commas, Batman!)  But there is one big problem.  It's not necessarily a problem with the site itself.  It's a problem with some of the people there.  Some people seem that everything on the site is there for them to DIY it.  As an artist, I have a problem with how some people go about this.  For example, when you see my pin called "my new spring line" and then you repin it as "jewelry ideas", I can't help but worry that you are the type of person who thinks that they can make that exact same thing for less.  There are people, like me, who need to sell their products in order to make ends meet and keep from being homeless.  So if someone like you sees my jewelry, which I might add is very reasonably priced, and then proceeds to make the same exact thing,  I don't think that's okay.  It is my personal opinion that that is disrespectful.  I wouldn't do it, because I wouldn't feel like it was okay.  Sure, I don't have a copyright on my designs.  And I understand if you think a technique is cool and want to try it yourself.  But there are right and wrong ways to be inspired.  First of all, if you click to the source of the thing you want to make and it's a tutorial about how to make the thing, that's different than if it is linked from a shop where you can buy the product.  One of my biggest pet peeves is when a person sees something cool and then thinks, "That's so unique.  I should make that same thing and sell it for less than them."   It's not a legal issue at all, but it is a matter of respect. People take more time than you might expect to come up with their ideas before they even begin to make something.  You need to take that into account.  If you are truly using someone else's product for inspiration, then maybe you use a small aspect of it in your own design.  You do not simply make the same thing in a different color.  That is like copying someone's essay word for word, then changing the font and turning it in as your own.  It's still all the other person's work.  You just made one simple change which does not make it yours.  I know that are lots of other things to say on this topic, but that's all I'll say for right now.

This is clearly my own work now, because I added lipstick.


  1. This is an interesting concept because it has been happening in art for centuries.. and unfortunately, the only way you have any legal clout is by copy righting something, but even then.. whose to say someone out there isn't doing something similar to you (or me or any other artist) and they have no idea that you even exist-- it is innocent. I met this artist once time who uses this kind of rope in his art work, it is very cool looking, and he copy righted it, well SEVERAL years before I even met him, I was doing something similar (not as well as him) but I asked him what he thought about his "original idea" when he saw that I was doing that when I was 14.

    As far as stealing your ideas go, if someone does that, find a way to be flattered by it and offer them free shipping or something. I have taken ideas from other artists and put my own twist on it... I didn't like how they made something, so I made it how I liked it. I have to make a living too, and if someone if charging me X amount, and I know I can make it for Z amount & like it better, I am going to make it how I like it/ :)

    All is fair in love, war and art! :)

    Plus think about it this way, Marcel Duchamp pretty much said Eff you to the art world by defacing or recreating popular pieces and nailing urinals to trees-- anyone could have done that, but he did it the best or worst (depends on if you love him or hate him) The art world is dog eat dog, and us small artists unfortunately get shit on by the ones that can afford to get their name out there, even if our ideas are better.


    Ryan @ Thismustbetheplaceryan

  2. All very true, Ryan. It mostly just irritates me when people pin my stuff that I've worked hard on to their to make board or something, when I'm already charging less to buy it than it would cost them to make it. I can do that because most of the supplies I have right now are gifts from family from over the years, and I don't charge them for the supplies that I get for free. It's doubly frustrating to me because it would be so easy for them to buy a ring from me for just $3, which wouldn't even help me a lot with rent but I need every little bit that I can get. And I am so worried right now (I try not to be but I am) because if I don't make money in some way, which finding a job still isn't happening for me, I only have enough money left in my savings to pay rent for five months, less if I don't find a new roommate, and then I'll be homeless. I know that they don't know that and it's not like I can force people to buy my stuff but when they would rather pay more to make it themselves than it would cost to buy it from me, I can't help but be frustrated.

  3. I think Pinterest is more of an inspiration type site rather than a place to self advertise. You can't really stop anyone from making their own version of something. I mean, I do it all the time - I get craft ideas from all sorts of places. I wouldn't use it to try to sell your stuff. That's just my 2 cents.

  4. I hear ya, I know it's frustrating.. A job will come :)


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