Saturday, March 7, 2009

It's NEVER "OK" to imitate...

An artist, by definition, is a person that creates and practices art. The word “create”, is defined as the act of producing or defining existence. There are many, many ways to determine whether someone is an artist, it has to do with your personal point of view, with how much you are educated in the subject, or simply how much you like what you are looking at. You can label someone an “artist” by simply looking at something they made, and liking it.

Often, artists use things to become inspired, it can be something as simple as a feather falling to the ground, dancing with the air… or it can be another piece of art made by another artist; this last example, brings me to another word, “copying”. Copying, by definition, is an imitation or reproduction of something already created… and this is the subject I would like to address today.

Where do you think we can draw the line between “inspiration” and “imitation”? One can only assume that common sense will always prevail when it comes to this subject. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. All over the Internet, all over the world, there are thousands of imitators; we see them every single day. As an objective person, I would assume that an artist is protected by copyright law, wouldn’t you? However, copyright law is very vague, it is not written to protect someone’s work, but to have channels to convince whoever is taking your case that you work is being copied… a very unfortunate situation of you asked me.

I was raised being taught what was right from wrong, it’s called Morals, sometimes I forget that not everyone was raised this way, not everyone has the same values to know the difference or the same self respect to follow their artistic instincts and create something unique and personal. These people are desperate to call for attention, to be acknowledged as an Artist, and they go through great lengths to try to get that very privileged title, some of these acts are copying or imitating someone else’s work.

These desires prevent them from seeing the “big picture”, the reality is that, bottom line, they are simply copying someone’s work, they are nothing but a creatively challenged marketing expert. They assume that people don’t notice… but people do notice, people do talk, people do KNOW... and this will not be tolerated.

The fact of the matter is, that imitating someone else’s work is not only unprofessional, and a tragedy to their portfolio and reputation, but it is also stealing. They are stealing someone else’s ideas and claiming them as their own for acknowledgment and money.

It takes a very long time for a true artist to come up with a personal, unique design, a lot of things to take in consideration, think of it as a great gourmet recipe from scratch versus something that comes from the freezer isle in the supermarket. This is the comparison between both.

This piece, is intended to explain and help visualize to you, the customer, and you as well, the freezer isle in the supermarket copier, that a piece of art, a true piece of art, takes time, love, and a one of a kind mind at a precise moment that captures something amazing and it is placed into a canvas. It cannot be duplicated; it can only be terribly imitated and will never be the same.

What you can walk away from this article is that, if you are a customer, looking for art, please take in consideration how devastating it can be for the entire artistic community when you purchase an unauthorized copy of someone else's work, and for you who claim to be "artists" by using other's work, simply stop, and think to yourself the kind of damage that you are doing to yourself and your fellow real artists, you have the potential to use your talent, don't underestimate yourself, create your own work, you will see better results anyway. Thanks so much for reading.

This post is dedicated to all my wonderful artist friends that are copied, copied, and copied some more every day. You girls ROCK, don't ever forget that!

**All images used with artist's consent, Copyright 2009, all rights reserved***

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