Friday, July 11, 2008

Is Imitation Really the Sincerest Form of Flattery?

When I browse through the piles and piles of magazines that I have, I will suddenly come across something that deeply moves me. I immediately think "ohhh I want to make one of those!" Of course, I then think ... "but if I make my variation of those and put them on my website ( for sale am I somehow stealing from the original artist?" "If I make that treasure is it really 'my' art?" "Do I forfeit my right to consider myself an artist?" These questions plague me.

While I bounce thousands of thoughts 'round and 'round in my head about this ethical dilemma I have, I remind myself that all of the great masters (painters) started out as pupils of someone. Perhaps when I see someone elses creation that puts happiness in my heart, and I learn from that style and create my own images or projects in that style or form, I am simply a pupil of the original artist. Or perhaps I am trying to justify my desire to make beautiful things that someone else has already created. I wonder if there are any artists out there who would care to comment?

(Please note that I fully understand and respect copyright and trademark laws. I KNOW how frustrating it is to have your ideas swiped from your pages, copied down to the letter, and then re-sold. That is certainly not art, nor is it the type of work I am discussing.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was happy to see this post as I run into the same questions myself all the time. I see something and want to make one of my own and do it my way but because I didn't originate the idea, I don't feel that I would ever have any right to sell it if I were to get it made.