Wednesday, December 17, 2008

the internet can be a cruel, cruel world.

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.


SteveFranklin said...

You have so much potential. I can't wait to see what you come up with.

I'm so glad you want me along for the ride.

I love you.

Ami said...

I've held my tongue on this for quite some time because I do believe you have potential as I have followed your work for a little while now. But it appears that almost everything of yours has some Elsie origin. Your style of painting, the subjects of your paintings, your handwriting, the way you add stitching and scalloped edges etc, your poses in displaying your art, even down to adding asterisks in your flickr titles. It's really quite silly. I fully agree that you have talent and if you truly focus on creating from your own mind you will do great things. You can call these people out, but in the end it is you who is profiting from someone else's ideas and style. And really, when's the last time she made a fuss about you?

Not saying it doesn't suck any less...just giving an outsiders perspective.

molarbear said...

Hi. I'm very proud of you for making this realization and I am also looking forward to see what you make in the future. I wuv you.

SteveFranklin said...

eww... ami! stalker status!

there's a million girls copying elsie and i for one am glad mal realized she was doing it too and wants to make her own art.

doesn't make ami suck any less, just offering an outsider's perspective.

Just Tab said...


I think we are ALL guilty of using other people's ideas whether intended or not. Afterall, isn't that sometimes what inspires us? I think your art is amazing and wonderful and so YOU. Don't let anyone make you feel bad because anyone who knows you is aware of what a sweetheart you are!!! I love ya girl!!! And Steve I agree, Ami sounds like she has a bug up her butt!!! Pull that sucker out girl and relax!!

Anonymous said...

hmm...I am confused, since when is it a problem when an ARTIST (meaning you Mallory) wants to grow to a fuller potential? Mallory I have known you on a professional level and have thrown projects at you with as little as 30 min. to finish. Did you run to the computer and copy something? No you made something beautiful and filled the assignment without consulting Elsie or anyone else. Do NOT deny your natural talent for pleasing composition, color combinations and aesthetics. Elsie Origin? girl (meaning Ami) consult your history books, kitschy style, "hammy" poses, unique hand titling (ah graffiti) and hello stitching has been around for a long long time. To admire an artist and be inspired by work they post is a natural path of all artists. Why else do they call them Art Periods? Art period n. A phase in the development of the work of an artist, groups of artists or art movement. Look it up. Sorry Mallory you need some strong defense here you are an artist in your own right accept it, accept people are going to be INSPIRED by YOU, an artist! Enjoy this growth period even embrace it. hugs chica.