i recently (and by recently i mean 45 minutes ago) had a revelation. i can't really be proud of an idea i didn't come up with. it seems so simple and obvious, but it took a few copycats to really make me feel it.
it does not feel good when someone takes your idea and uses it as their own. at first, i took it as a form of flattery. after all, they do say imitation is the highest form. as an aspiring artist i've been trying to get my name out as much as possible, with online forums and blogs and things of that nature. i'm on the internet a lot; networking, browsing, getting inspiration and seeing if i've inspired others. one of my favorite parts about elsie's online class is seeing how everyone has a different spin on the projects we make. its been a very positive experience for me, and i've met some very kind, talented people. when i saw that someone from the class had copied one of my journaling ideas, it bothered me, but i brushed it off. i figured that it was a a form of complimenting my work, even though she never mentioned she got the idea, and handwriting, from me.
when i saw this today, it was the straw that broke the camel's back.
the image on the left is mine, a blurb i did for my myspace page about a year ago. the image on the right is from someone else's blog. this blatant rip off of my handwriting (as well as elsie's) made me feel really icky inside. it makes me very upset to see someone coping my handwriting and passing it off as their own.
i won't deny that i too have been guilty of using others ideas in my artwork, but it wasn't until now that i truly realized how wrong that can be, and how hurtful it sometimes is. i've been inspired time and time again by elsie, i love her style and think she's an amazingly talented artist, and in the past i have not given her proper credit. i've gone through my past artwork on my flickr and cited her appropriately.
i want to take a break from posting my art for a while. after elsie's class is over, i also am taking a creative break. i want to get away from the internet and give myself a chance to truly be inspired by life, and not by what other people are doing. if i've learned anything from this experience, and from elsie's class, it's that i don't want to be like anyone else anymore. i want to define myself as an artist, not by whose art inspires me. i want to make art for fun again. for my family and friends and myself. i want my ideas to come from me, not anyone else.