Tuesday, June 26, 2012

We All Started at the Beginning

I was fiddling around on Pinterest the other day and stumbled onto a lettering poster drawn up by Jessica Hische. (that's the really cool thing about Pinterest, finding artists you might not have otherwise) The original page the poster had been linked from was no where to be found, so I poked around her site a little. Looked at some of her work, peeked at her graphics, and finally took a little read in her blog. She hasn't been a prolific writer, but steady and what posts she had written were worth the read.

This POST in particular caught my attention. It's a topic I've addressed here before. One many have addressed - obviously, the topic of copy right has touched every artist in one way or another.

Where I struggle is in this, I know we all start at the beginning. I know imitation is how we learn. It's how I learned. It's how I taught 4th grade art. Do as I do and you will create the same thing, and they did. They were amazed they could create, it opened a whole new world for them and I was thrilled to have opened that door. Just as I'm immensely flattered now to know or realize I have inspired as I have been.

"When you’re learning, it’s not wrong to copy people—to learn from them the way that they learned from others before them. What many young artists have a problem realizing though, is that the work you create while practicing and learning is completely separate of what you do professionally."

That last sentence of Jessica's, "practicing and learning is completely separate of what you do professionally" this is where it seems to go wrong, isn't it? It's how many of us get started, someone sees your work while you're learning, they fall in love with it and want to buy it. It kind of blurs the lines but the sale is such an ego boost! That someone would pay you money for something you created, is just plain cool! It's just as cool the next time, and the next time, and the next, that is as it should be.

But you should never pass off someone else's work as your own.

“There’s a difference between making an imitation and selling it.
At the Metropolitan Museum of Art, you’ll often find high school students with their sketchbooks out, camped out in front of the Giottos and Dürers. It’s a time-honored way of learning: see, try to reproduce, and discover......But the 17 year old with the sketchpad is entirely different. He’s not passing off his Velasquez as a Velasquez, and he’s not passing it off as his own — in fact, he’s not passing it off at all. It’s a learning exercise, and if it’s presented at all, it’s always with the appropriate context. (“I did this in art class, from the Gubbio Studiolo at the Met.”) It also reveals what young artists finds fascinating, what they struggled with, and what they learned. It’s been my experience that these kinds of acts are met with great encouragement and support from the professional community."

As well they should be and are. As I said before, we ALL started at the beginning. We ALL had someone we looked up to, someone who inspired. Believe it or not, we ALL feel a warm glow when we know we have inspired too.
So go forth, ooh and ah, be inspired and learn. practice, Practice, PRACTICE and then practice some more. Find the style you love, let your heart move your hands and create your own works of inspiration your own works of art.

Just in case the hyperlink didn't work - html does not always do what I think it ought to do..... the full link to Jessica Hische's blog post
Read, Go Create! We'll see you next time!

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