Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A desire to Inspire?...


Hello friends....things are busy here my end {I will share more on that soon!!!}, but I wanted to take the time to stop by and put this out there. This is something that is affecting me right now, and is weighing heavily on my mind....so, as with almost everything in life - I thought that *talking* about it, putting my thoughts out there and asking what you all think, would, inevitably make it if not better, then at least something to debate and think on in a hopefully useful way for all of us.....
Okay, here it is :: What do you do when someone crosses the line between being inspired by your work and blatantly ripping it off? Where is the line.....what IS the line??

....as a community of Designers and Artists {online or otherwise} this is surely something that you have all had affect you at some point, or thought about. It is something that I have always been very interested in {what makes someone copy, besides the obvious of course?}....what does it mean for the person being imitated, the person who does the imitating, and what impact does/can it have on your business?

I think the Internet has actually been a wonderful tool for protecting Artists and Designers. Just think...every image you take is now digitally dated {so you can prove when your work was made}....every blog post you make is dated accordingly too....every time you upload something on flickr say, you have a note of who has 'faved' it, who has commented....you have emails, you have StatCounter. There has never been a more 'protected' age for proving when your work was first put out there {something that has been historically so hard to prove!}....never has it been more accessible to the THOUSANDS of people who see it and identify it as *yours*. This is a comfort to me actually, but when someone chooses to ignore all that anyway....it becomes an irritation almost like sand in your shoes....always there, always niggling. Always wrong.

For me - I have been working on my collection [or look] for years now....it is something very deeply rooted in a lot of work and research - I am sure this is exactly the same for a lot of artists and designers. Your work is often very personal. It takes a long time, and a lot of work to get to a place where your jewellery [or anything] has a voice that is quite uniquely your own. It also demands that you are aware of what else is 'out' there in the design world {so you don't step on any toes, and also, set yourself apart and create a niche for your designs}....

...the trouble is, when something/someone is imitated, a buyer won't always know the difference. There is no water mark for that. They won't know what is 'real' and what is a 'fake'. This is something that crosses over so many industries....film, music, clothing, designer brands, merchandise, electrical goods, plagiarism in writing....so far reaching, so deep rooted.

This, is what can damage your business. That association to the copied work. The fact that someone might look at it and think it is yours....or have you and your work come to mind. That is what you don't want. Ever.

*Now - I want to say this too ...genuine design cross-over is not really what I am talking about here....it is something more deliberate and knowing. When something is knowing and deliberate, is it cunning [negative]?? ;))*

....So - I guess the questions now are endless....what would you do in a situation where you found your work [and your livelihood] was compromised? Do you confront, do you rise above it and do nothing? Talking is where I want to start I think....dialogue within this blog community is something so VERY important to me....something very unique and something that should be protected [like so much else]. This we can do at least.

My gut feeling is that copying on any level is just plain wrong. Being inspired by someones work...that wonderful feeling when you want to make, want to try to be better, find their work uplifting and irresistible, see something that opens up a new world to you to explore by yourself, makes you want to explore a new road...is not the same as lifting it's essence and having it for your own without even considering taking a walk down the road of exploration.....

Nothing that came easy was ever worth having...perhaps that is really all I want to say. If I say it enough I will believe it too I'm sure. ;)

...what do you all think on this subject?...I hope you will talk about it with me....

Happy[ish] Tuesday to you all...
xox

Abigail

36 comments:

mav said...

oh dear. i hate to say it but copying is happening everywhere. it totally blows. my take is completely my own --- i leave it to karma. if i see that someone is copying my style or my idea i just have to believe that i know mine is the real deal ... if someone wants to buy fake OR if someone wants to copy those someones are going to feel the wrath of bad karma. it just has to happen that way. i believe it.

the other thing is that in our open design/art/blog world shouldn't we be able to talk to the people we think are copying us and say, "hey. this looks like mine and mine has been out for way longer."??? but it's tough to do that.

i am sorry if this post means that you have found that your work is being copied. i wish i could say that it was not going to happen but it does. period. keep your head up, sweetie. and don't be afraid to talk to those you feel are copying. the worst that can happen is that they think you're a jerk -- the best that can happen is you can feel vilified.

hugs & love, maria

sk8ordiehard said...

It's very unfortunate that people can rip-off work. It still shocks me when it happens, and the list of people I admire who are being ripped off is growing longer. Sometimes I wonder if the plagiarist is really all that innocent, or if their true desire it easy success and recognition.
I feel like confrontation is a great way to achieve resolution, but at the same time, wonder if the person who is doing it is so dishonest as to actually do it, will they really care if their dishonesty is exposed? I think they would probably get defensive. That sounds extremely cynical. It's complex for sure. Best of luck resolving the issue.
I remember a response to Ann Wood's similar incident was to contact shops selling the fakes and let them know the artist is also a fake.
Above all, you can be the better person (you already are by being the original designer) and call the person out with tact and grace.

smosch said...

Don't know if you can say what the line is, but it's always obvious when someone has crossed it. And most often they don't reach the level of the original. Losers ;)

Rebecca said...

I read what another artist had to say about this once. Basically she said that it's terrible but as an artist you don't just create one thing and stop. You might have a style but you are constantly growing and developing and changing or your customers stop coming to you. So the people copying you can only copy what you have already done, not the new stuff. They will be selling yesterday's news. Just keep growing as an artist and they will always be a few steps behind you, and your customers and fans will know the real deal.

Now if you are truly talking about counterfeits.... someone selling work claiming that it's yours, take legal action immediately.

jen said...

Abigail,

I am so sorry to read this post. Unfortunately, I have a feeling who you may be referring to – I have come across several designers in the last few months whose work made me think “beautiful – but it looks like Abigail Percy’s work”.

The line is a hard one; as a designer myself I began a certain concept line over a year ago now – when it first launched in Spring 2006, it received a lot of attention and love from the blog world. However, within a few months you could go onto Etsy and see 30 designers doing this same thing – while a few had their own interpretation of the concept, some of the pieces looked EXACTLY like mine. It was actually brought to my attention by my customers. I was deeply saddened and not sure what to do. At first I thought of emailing them but it was like they stole my idea and my energy to defend it – I felt depleted. But I shifted focus and feel better for the change.

I think in your case, with such an established following and fiercely loyal clientele, you have every right to broach the matter with these other designers. Your line has firmly established itself in the online design community and I would be shocked if they had never come across it before. I would contact them via email and save everything – all of your letters to them – all of their responses as well so if this ever gets bigger than it is – you have further documentation that you did the right thing – and you were here first.

Lastly, as you find more success in what you are doing {and you will continue to do so as your work is absolutely incredible}, you will most likely encounter this issue again – just take a deep breath, take a moment to feel sorry for the souls who don’t have enough creative energy to do anything unique and move on… it is tough, but so not worth your time in the end.

xo and well wishes… jen

mav said...

thinking on the issue even more and reading what others wrote ...

it's hard to know what is copying and what is just similar inspiration, isn't it? if you KNOW it's copying then of course it makes sense to say something. if you just think it's similar then just remember that there are audiences out there for everything ... and you are a special artist. if you keep growing your audience will follow and will grow. it's all about intention. that is where karma comes in, in my opinion.

thanks for making me think about this today. it has been on my mind as well ... hugs, maria

lottie said...

I think that when people plagiarise, it is often because they think they can get away with it, that they think no-one will speak up and tell them what they are doing is wrong, particularly in the UK where people are often very reserved and shy away from confrontation. Perhaps staking a claim to your creative property is a good thing to do, hopefully provoking embarrassment and shame in the offending party. Then again, I think that what goes around comes around and that karmic justice has a funny way of meting itself out but it might just take a while longer than direct action. I’m really sorry that this has cropped up for you.

ColleenBaran said...

Yes, that is difficult. I've been thinking about this lately too.

Due to the possibility of the communal consciousness /group mind / zeitgeist / etc it makes it tricky as intellectual property and the ‘urge to hope for the best’ allows for small changes to be made to claim an idea.

But when people who you Know has seen your work- complimented you on it online or in person- and Later start making things extremely similar to your original work it is hard not to think somethings up.

I have noticed that some people honestly don’t know that they are copying. Even when they take your idea and reuse it. They truly don’t see the difference between ‘sampling’ and ‘mixing’ elements of other peoples work and having the idea evolve from within themselves. From years (or even bright shiny seconds) of independent experimentation, a before sleep thought, a project half formed for years and finally enthusiastically made, etc.

And that people don’t realise how hard it is to be an independent artist and do not realise that taking an idea is taking revenue from the original maker. I’ve even had people (yep, People, more then one) actually ask me exactly how to make things I’ve made so they can Make their own! Rather then buy one!

Sigh...

The difficulty does comes when you have worked for years on one project that you know you have never seen elsewhere and then you see it, cheaper & less carefully made, on somebody else’s site/shop.

I feel that it is best to move forward. I have made a few things that felt especially clever at the time (if I do say so myself!) and then thought I ‘How will I top/match this?’. But despite the odd dry spell there Are always new ideas.

And I believe in karma too.

ali said...

i am so sorry to hear about this. i imagine it is a very difficult thing to face, on so many levels. i'm not sure what advice to give or comfort to offer, since i have never dealt with something like this myself. all i can say is have faith in your work, your designs, your style...no doubt the techniques you use and your design process have taken years to develop into what they are today. this adds a certain value to your work which can never be imitated, no matter how skilled the jeweller. your work is stunning and being from scotland myself, i love that you are a scottish designer :) those who know your work will shy away from copycat pieces. i do feel for those customers who are unaware of the issue, though, and perhaps speaking to the designer/s in question would be the best way forward. and if this is truly a case of obviously deliberate copying, i believe there will be some form of karmic intervention somewhere along the line, too. keep your chin up, no matter what you decide in the end.

Dror said...

Dear Abigail,

I'm sorry that it happend to you, is that why you start that post? As software designer and architect I saw it happened to me, many years ago, and I used the term 'stealing'. Someone steal my concepts, my design and my solutions. I was very very angry.

I think that the digital everywhere and the internet make copy things easier but they also enable inspiration and blur the borders between self idea, inspiration or copy.
After browsing Flickr for enormous quantity of photos, do I really know if the idea I have is genuine? And it's also possible that more than one person think and make the same object.
And this leads me to the next point. I think that one can see the difference between the copy and original concept and implementation. The artist soul signature is something that no one can copy.

When I started to learn goldsmith I copy some designs I saw on Flickr and Etsy, but I did it as exercise only. I didn't sell it and I won't do it ever. I won't do the other what I do not want him to do to me.

All the digital proof you wrote about are worthless, do we really have the resource of time and money to deal with someone who 'copy' our work? I tried to speak with the person who steal my work but it he didn’t listen. In the digital days I think that email may do the trick.

Abigail, your works are so special, your spirit is written on them, no one can take it from you.

Abigail said...

Thanks so much everyone - it is really good to read everyone's different takes on these things, and so important too to take them to heart and think long and hard about issues like this.

I was right in that talking does make it feel better....and I agree with a lot of you here about karma and moving forward and conserving energy! Especially at this time of year!! ;))

Thank you SO much for your support
xox

Abi said...

As somebody who stumbled upon your etsy shop (and in turn your inspiring blog and flikr) I can only express how sorry I am that you are experiencing this.
I have recently returned to blogland after a long absence- in short somebody was taking images of my work, photos which were taken in my own studio and using them on their own site as their own work. I only discovered this was happening after a client informed me that my bags were being imitated. I have also been undermined further by several people seeking instruction to make work like mine.
There is a very fine line between inspiration and copying- I truly believe that when one is inspired by something, similarities are subtle and rare. Copying, or blatant imitation of work, moreover your IDENTITY as an artist within the industry is so wrong.
Contronting someone is never easy- or something you ever hope you will have to do to a fellow artist or maker (although to call someone who copies your work an "artist" is going a little far i think). Please know, as i am sure you do- that you have the suppport of your clients and admirers of your very real, individual and skilled work. I hope this is resolved soon
Abi x

clk said...

Abigail, you know how i feel about someone attempting to imitate your work - it's a big load of crap. And what goes around comes around.

To the best of your ability, focus on your work and let the universe take care of the copy cat.

You are so incredibly talented and I hate the idea that you feel robbed.

Hang in there and keep making.

xx

ps let me know if you need Isla to make a phone call - she's got a fierce growl. xxc

Mhari said...

I think you've handled a difficult situation really well with this post. Anyone with any sense knows an original when they see it and an imitation can never be as good, your work has a definite style and presence that can't be faked. Inspiration comes from varied and often similar places for different people but it shows when a piece of work is not personal or unique and it's embarrassing for the person trying to pass it off as their own. It is a shame that some people think being creative is as simple as copying something they like. I hope it all resolves itself anyway and I know it's a cliche but you should take it as a compliment! x

Lu said...

I've run across a couple of these sitautions myself... i usually post a comment on their site or whatnot saying how similar i think our work is..and i'm curious to find out more about their inspiration... this sometimes cuts down the copying b/c they realize you are "watching" them.

Other times, it's weird b/c you realize they've been doing it for almost the same amount of time that you have....flickr is good like that in that you can see when people have posted their pics...and you have proof of when you posted your work as well.

It's definitely frustrating when you see that they are obviously copying...and here i have to just say, make your comment to them just to let them know you are aware...and bet on karma, like everyone is saying.

Also have you thought about putting a copyright statement on your photos or work/postings? sometimes this wards of prospective copycats.
ie:

©2007 Abigail Percy
All copyright and reproduction rights are retained by the artist. Artwork may not be reproduced by any process without the express written permission of the artist.

Katherine said...

Hm, interesting that you post this as I recently saw a blog/Flickr account that reminded me of your work (and not just the jewellery!). It must be very upsetting but also a tough one, is it straight copying or inspiration? Mav's 2nd comment sums it up really well. If you go to something like the Country Living Fair there is a lot of samey stuff, but I suppose that's all inspiration from country-style.

It's all very grey, I think I like what Rebecca said though. And if you want to know who the 'other' person I saw was, email me at chatiryATgmailDOTcom, I don't want to put it in the comments because I could be totally wrong.

Casey said...

Oh dear... I'm so sorry to hear that you are going through this! I've seen a lot of designers with similar styles lately (not just in the jewelry field) and have felt at a loss to figure whether they are blatantly copying, or just happened to be inspired by the same things? Ugh. Such a conundrum!! And what frustrates me even more is I don't always realize it until after a few weeks of browsing the "copyists" work and realizing it is similar to an established artists work! (Double, triple "UGH!" :p)

I think people can be inspired by another's work; I know I am! Golly, even your beautiful metal work inspires me (and has since you started your blog), even though I cannot do metalsmithing. But even though sometimes I may imitate another's work or idea, its usually in the exploration of learning something through the experience rather than trying to deliberately ripping them off. And I certainly would never put something up for sale (knowingly) that was a explicit copy of someone else's artistry.

In a way, the internet is a great tool for sharing ideas, inspiration, thoughts, techniques... But there is an ugly underbelly of the web where people don't feel any prick of conscience about copying someone's style or work. And this extends so far out of just the same materials or way of putting together an object! Photography, web design, etc. is regularly copied. Unfortunately, I don't know what can be done about it; having never been confronted with this awful and lamentable situation!

I'm sending out lots of virtual hugs and good wishes your way. I think I may know what you refer to, and it saddens me. Please know we're all out here rooting for you!! :)

paola said...

Hi there,

I hope you're addressing this from a theoretical standpoint though I have a horrible feeling you aren't.

I just wanted to respond from a store buyer's point of view. It seems to me that most cases of copying are to make a cheap knock-off of any existing product which is easier to sell to the mass market. And I think most buyers (store and consumer) can spot the differences in quality a mile off, in terms of the materials used and the level of detailing. You can see it all the time in those 'Get this look from the High Street' features in mags.

I don't actually think there's much cannibalisation between the two price points. People will buy the cheap version because they can't afford the more luxe version and so they're not your natural customers anyway (your 'audience' as mav says). People who can afford the luxe version will continue to buy that because they appreciate the quality.

So your choices are

a) to play in the lower-end market with a 'diffusion' range

b) to ignore it and just let that particular market do its thing and focus on your own audience

c) to challenge the plagiarists

In the latter case I've come across this a couple of times with people stealing text, word for word, from our website.

In both cases I've fired off a tersely-worded email to the offender threatening to get our lawyers involved (don't tell anyone, but we don't actually have lawyers, though I suppose some could be found).

In both cases they came back blustering (one even accused me of copying her) but because I was able to say I had datable proof which my lawyers would be seeing immediately, they both stood down and changed their text within 24 hours. So your datable online proof might not be worth it in a court of law, but will help you to confront the offenders.

If, on the other hand, a shop is carrying designs which are similar to yours I would also email the owners. I would take very seriously anyone informing me that I was stocking products which had been plagiarised from someone else.

In the quality end of the market where your jewellery sits, originality is an important selling point.

As for where the line is between inspiration and rip-off, I think you probably know that already and if you feel that someone has crossed it then personally I think you should challenge them.

Sorry this is so longwinded and badly explained. It's difficult in a commments box!

wordybird said...

this has been very much on my mind the past few days. one of my favorite instructors had told me, without naming names, that someone was blatantly ripping off her work. she makes mixed media jewelry and has several elements that are distinctively hers. i happened to follow a link to a blog a day or so ago that HAS to belong to the thief in question. yes, i DO use the word thief because theft it is. i was absolutely gobsmacked. this individual evidently has NO shame. and yes, he/she is selling these pieces. my instructor supports herself solely
through her jewelry and artwork so this thief is affecting her livelihood. unfortunately, i think the best way to deal with people like this is to sic the lawyers on 'em. i wonder if there are lawyers who would take cases like this on a pro bono basis?

should we be calling these individuals out by name? it's already obvious that they have no shame - but should we at least be putting the word out in our creative bit of the blogosphere?

Sandra Wilson said...

Hi Abigail
Sorry to hear that you have had this experience. As someone who looks at a lot of contemporary jewellery - I often see a lot of similarities between peoples work at particular times and I think this is because we are all subject to the same kinds of cultural influences eg when there was a solar eclipse a few years ago there was a lot of work with domed discs etc I dont think they were copying each other directly just subject to the same kinds of inspiration. I often think its good to give people the benefit of the doubt unless it becomes a regular thing.

Rather than pursue something via copyright or patenting - its often best to send a curteous email - saying something like youre sure its not deliberate or malicious but are they aware of the similarities between your work. reminding them ever so politiely that maintaining your authentic visual voice is inetgral to maintaining a successful business. Hopefully that might just be enough to give them a jolt.

To get rather philosophical about it - ultimately we cant control other people - only our reactions to their behaviour! Dont let it get to you. Keep doing your thing - youre imagination and creativity will see you through whereas their output is likely to be fairly shortlived - as they will inevitably move on to rip someone else off!

shari said...

hi abigail.

i just read your post after a day at work and i'm so sorry. i know it must be very frustrating to work so hard and to create a style of jewelry that is your own only to find these designs are popping up elsewhere.

i agree with everyone. your work is so so special. you are a unique individual and it shows in your creations.

sending you a big hug tonight. xox

Catherine Chandler said...

Unfortunately, we also live in a world where there are so many artists that it's hard to keep track of who has made what, and what has been copied or ripped off. I remember really admiring a wonderful artist in Australia, as did many of my classmates. However, when one of them was in an exhibition, I realised that most of her work looked almost identical to this artists work. The artist was NOT happy, and I lost a lot of respect for my classmate. I tend to lose a lot of respect for people who copy others' work. There are many designers who I admire, but I would never re-create their work as my own. I would rather support them, and spend my time making MY designs. Others are not quite so considerate.

Luckily, there ARE laws in place to protect artists, but you definitely have to have documentation as to the creation of the idea and the piece to actually prove your case. Dating sketches, photographs, etc. is always beneficial. Keep an eye out, and alert other artists if you see copy cats of their work, and hopefully they will do the same for you.

lisa s said...

hi abigail,

i am late here too after a long day of being away from the computer....

what i want to say which i think is different than the other comments [i found my head nodding often] is that

BRAVO to you for writing this. you did it so well - it's not vindictive, it's genuine and questioning and does actually start a discussion [as these comments attest to]. that is really a feat within itself and a testament to your true creative self.

{i happen to agree with mav. bad karma for them}

big big hugs xo

ashima said...

Oh I can't remember the title of the economist article I read on this very topic but what I do remember is this and you will probably hate me for saying this, but remember I'm just messenger, and you know what they say you ought not to do with the messenger...

Copying renders a necessary component in fashion retail. Commodities such as computers and mobile gadgets become faster and easier to use making current ones obsolute therefore creating a need for consumers to buy new ones. Clothing and accessories does not have this working for them. What fashion has is that coolness factor that we attribute to design which is why we are prepared to pay premium for its originality and uniqueness. Counterfeits and rip-offs make a design financially accessible to more people and more importantly it renders a design old and obsolete which provides impetus for designers to create and innovate. Then we are back to the top of the cycle.

I don't do a good job of synthesizing this article and if I can find the copy in my house in the next couple of days I'll try and post that as well because I think it's a good counterpoint for conversation which I'm interested to hear.

Having said that, I do feel sorry that you feel invaded and betrayed. My feeling is that someone can copy your work but no one can copy the source of that talent which is completely your own. By that I mean, your sense of symmetry and balance and form. Your eye for beauty in finding the line in shadows. That is your own. That is why people continue to look at your blog and your shop, because we can't wait to see what you have next.

ashima said...

As promised, here's the article I mentioned before. It wasn't the Economist, but the New Yorker, September 24, 2007.

ashima said...

Let me try that again. Sorry I should have known how to link.

The article was published in the New Yorker, The Piracy Paradox

Midge said...

Oh I'm so sorry to hear Abigail. I'm in a bit of a similar situation right now myself and haven't quite decided how I want to handle it yet so I found this post particularly relevant and moving. Thanks for sharing.

My thoughts on this seem to be most in line with what: colleen baran, sandra wilson, catherine chandler and especially, paola had to say. A lot has already been covered in the reponses here, but I thought I'd add my two cents just the same…

While I understand the urge to let karma take it's course, I think in this instances it's important to recognize karma alone may not be enough to facilitate any REAL change. As artists we're often perceived as easy targets (on many levels). It's important that we defend ourselves not only to dissuade future offenders from stealing of our own work, but also to set an example and discourage this unethical practice on the whole in the field of art and craft to (hopefully) prevent it from happening to someone else.

My feeling is that copyright infringement is incredibly serious and if we are 100% certain of an offense, it should absolutely be dealt with by legal means when necessary. If we don't take ourselves and our work seriously enough to defend it, who will? That said, starting with an "introductory email" to the offender is a good place to start.

I don't know what the laws are like in the UK for this kind of thing, but as far as in the US it's very important to get an official copyright for your work with the United States Copyright Office. Here's a link for those interested: http://www.copyright.gov/

Thanks again and good luck with this. I'm sure we'll all be interested to hear how it turns out.

Melanie said...

dear abigail-
i have been a reader of your blog for a long time, and now for the first time a post a comment...
i perfectly agree with what rebecca says. you as a designer who has a work that clearly stands for your character and who's way of developping her style is traceable in your blog,you know, what the heart of your work is.
and this can and will never be perfectly copied.
unfortunately copyrighting jewelry is almost impossible, i know that because i am a jewelry designer myself.
ideas can be stolen easily, even easier when you share your inspiration and work as generous and frank as you do.
i think, if it does offend you a lot, talk to the person.
if you can live with it, than maybe use it as a stimulation to go further in your designs. because you're the original and only you decide which way your work goes, they can only copy what is already there.
my best wishes to you!
melanie

Janet said...

Interesting discussion. I am sad that you have had to bring it up as I can only presume it is coming up for a reason. I think that you have made your place in the market and you just need to stand in it and carry on. Unless you feel it is affecting your business in any way I would quietly get on with things. The chances are that somebody might be reading this now and be a little red in the face! Even though personally I shy away from conflict I think if I felt it was at all affecting my business or reputation I would have to confront somebody.
We are all inspired but only the true talent will survive and keep surging forward. Your work screams quality so stick to the high end outlets that attract those buyers.
Hugs though, go drink some wine! xxx

Amy said...

I'm sorry to have to hear about this through your lovely blog.

I read once about small companies and what they do, in comparison with the big guns. Small companies--they innovate. Big companies--they follow trends.

I do not condone actions where people plagiarise things--I had my work copied too and I was none too happy about it. But I second what rebecca and Paola said: they can only copy your work when it's finished. They don't care about the design nor the workmanship, they're just riding on your coattails. The people who buy your knock offs? They're not the customers you want.

I am inspired by a lot of things. But my definition of being inspired means that my heart is uplifted with hope and joy when I see something that's done with care. Isn't that the way it should be? Until the copier finds her own voice, they can't stand on their own--their ability to weather trends will soon fail them.

Being in Asia, where plagiarism is rampant, I have resigned myself that good design will be copied. It's just a matter of when. All I can do about it, as a designer, is to constantly innovate and bring new ideas to the table (not for their sake, but mine), and leave the wanna-be's in the dust.

chaffinch said...

this is such a shame - the down side of incredible creativity. other people taking for themselves, without integrity or a thought.

i had a quick search to see what some have typed about - shocked to quickly find, i'm sure what is refered to.

i'm glad you can see the positive in the web at this point. a good eye can see your work shining out.

inspiration leads intelligently but imitation is just an underhand, shallow pursuit. i hope during these darker days this doesn't get you down.

iona x

Fe said...

My comment is a bit late but like many of the others who have responded I feel quite passionately about this issue.

It will unfortunately always happen, it is infuriating and wrong. However, do not feel that others will choose this work over your originals,they will never achieve success when their pieces are void of soul. Your originals are special not only due to your design talent, but due to the personal energy and meaning you put in to your work.

It hopefully will pass, but if it persists and is serious I would absolutely do something about it. Don't be afraid to voice what you know is right.

Good luck!

UNIFORM Studio said...

Hi Abigail -I'm weighing in late on this I guess, but it's something I have been thinking about lately too. I have seen this happening with quite a few artists. It has happened with me as well but never where someone has been selling the work that looks like mine. It's always been something that they make personally for themselves. I don't mind this although it's still a bit strange to see a carbon copy of something you have made...

I agree with what Rebecca said in the comments about continuing to develop your work -it's true. You should be confident that you have good ideas and a strong process and just keep moving forward. I think eventually they will get tired of copying you or (unfortunately) move on to another artist to copy.

or we could start an online vigilante group and run them off the internet!:)
xoxo

Meg said...

I have been a long-time admirer of your work, it is completely amazing. I too have seen "similar" designs, but your work far outranks them in quality, craftmanship and orginality. Please keep up the wonderful work!

Anonymous said...

i have just recently discovered that someone who blogs for money has been ripping off my posts. she used to link to me, but i discovered she has been lifting some of my posts and lightly rewriting them then posting them -- a few days after i posted the "original".

granted, the information is out there, but she uses the links and research that i gathered when i actually wrote the post. it's rude. it's idea-plagiarism. it's lazy. and she's getting paid for my work!

i know that people who attempt to blog for money at these sites end up desperate for content, and i'm sure that's the case, but it is still very annoying. and i hope she does get the bad karma coming to her.

cathy laqua said...

1) your work is incredible and is appreciated world wide for its unique quality.. and beauty

2) learn and understand what your copyright laws are within your own country and protect your work by involving a lawyer and ask them to send a letter to this copycat person warning them that what they have done is an offence.

3) ad a post to your sight detailing what is happening regarding this issue so that any future copycats will get the message that you are serious about protecting your work.

4) if you stand your ground now then you will continue to protect your standard of work. Your work is you business and livelyhood

5) keep being creative.