Wednesday, July 21, 2010

oh nooo another copyright post!!

Copyright - oh it's a story beat to death but a very real issue all artists face. The better your work the more likely you are to face it.

We all learn by imitating what we see.

We all learn by imitating that which we find to be to our liking.

I keep an inspiration folder, filled with jewelry pieces of designs I love, artists I admire, some with intricacies I hope to master myself and some in mediums I have no intention of ever mastering but the work just awes me. I find inspiration in the graceful lines, the clean designs, the color combinations used, layering of techniques and just the sheer mastery of technique.

I aspire to be as good, to surpass. While these pieces inspire me to constantly do better, to master my craft, the thought never occurred to me to outright copy them. It is in my nature to create my own, to have my personality stamped upon it.

It is because of this that I struggle with the idea of selling a creation I have made after using a tutorial to learn a technique from some one else. If I follow the directions I learn the technique and make their design. If I don't follow the directions I haven't learned the technique I was after. It normally takes a couple attempts to really get the technique down. I recently bought a tutorial from my friend Bobbi of My Wired Imagination. My oldest daughter fell in love with the design and so I made that ring for her birthday. It took a couple attempts to consistently produce not just the pattern but the correct size - but who needs five of the same ring? Not me!

So the rings have sat here for several months while I went back and forth as to whether I would allow myself to sell someone else's design. I looked at the descriptions of others work, those that I recognized as having come from tutorials, books and magazines, and some I recognized as copies of other artists work, some of those artists whose work is being copied are friends and acquaintances of mine. Surprisingly, not one of them, mentions the fact that it is someone else's design. My ring, my design, my this, my that. hmmm. Why? I suppose it's human nature to claim one's work as exclusive and you never see department store - manufactured jewelry - with an inspirational credit. Business is business right? Well, no, not really.

One of the best parts of buying hand made, hand crafted items, is the story behind it. The inspiration, the learning process, the person behind it, is what makes it unique - that story is what makes a hand crafted piece personal. Giving credit does not take away from the piece but instead adds value. I want my creations to have value, to have a story, a history. So if after hours of contemplating the beauty of one of Erin Patton's, Evra Och's or Iza Malczyk's pieces inspires me to create I'll say so. If I've made a piece using a tutorial I'll give credit to the designer. It will after all still have my personality stamped on it, hand crafted by me, and it will have a history, a story to tell.

'Til next time!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy

It's been a busy couple of weeks and very productive, even if at times it didn't feel that way. I told you I had started using my iCal to better manage my time. Except for the oversight to send that e-mail reminder to exercise, it's been working out very well.

I've gotten a great deal of my supplies inventoried and costs broke down to simplify pricing. I'm networking more efficiently. Taken photos and actually got a new item listed, though I still have quite a few to go. I even found a pair of earrings I thought I had listed but hadn't, while cleaning some of the silver jewelry I've made. I've finished applying the texture in the laundry room, got the first coat of primer on, all but the wall behind the freezer - it's stocked full and much too heavy to move. My daughter has been busy priming her walls, she's outgrown the plaid and mural, has chosen new colors and is ready to get going on the new look. The front of the house is coming along and I should be able to start laying rock soon. We've got calls in to insurance companies for quotes just in case our current insurance decides too little too late on getting the rock and balconies up.

Best of all, all my Beads n Blessings prizes arrived safe and sound! The Tronex cutters are amazing! I can't thank my friend Jodi of Jewels by Jules, enough for recommending them to me! She has a new book coming out this winter - So be sure to swing by her site to take a peek! I am so excited for her! The only problem with all my pretties arriving is I have so many ideas I can't seem to settle on one to get started on anything! Might be time to get back to work on some of the unfinished projects, at least until I can narrow down the new ideas! Top of that list is a pair of earrings for my friend Ne, I've had the wire cut for some time now and they really need to be finished before her birthday!

My iCal is telling me it's time to get some work done on the house! So I'll leave you with these links.....

'Til next time!