Thursday, April 23, 2015

Steal Like An Artist

Today, I am going to get up on my artist soap box just for a minute.  In this age of blogs, Facebook  Instagram, Pinterest and Flickr, etc, it seems that art work is out there ripe for the pickin'. 
 And yes, you would be right.
If you love someone's art, or style and you copy it and post it as your own---
well, this is not stealing like an artist. It's just stealing. And I do understand that some 
people just don't know that it's wrong. In the beginning, I didn't either.
But if you study someone's art that you love, copy it, figure out the process and work on that style long enough (this might take time) and begin to transform it into something that is your own--- then, and only then should you post it as yours. The original artist's flavor can still be there but in many ways it has evolved into something different--something that is more you than the original artist.  But even then you should give the original artist credit for your inspiration. All artists learn this way. We are inspired by other artists and even the Bible says:
"...there is nothing new under the sun."
Ecclesiastes 1:9
Ok, I will step down from my soap box and let you watch the video.
This is a highly recommended book for any artist new or old.
Thank you Jeanne Oliver for this recommendation.


Unknown said...

I always try to err on the side of caution when sharing any type of project that was inspired by someone else. Even if I don't get credit for originality, I figure it's an accomplishment on my part.

Sue @ A Colourful Canvas said...

That was such a brilliant talk by Austin Kleon. Thank you for sharing.

Vicki said...

Thanks for sharing this video. I realize that I have always done this. I have always collected ideas, photographs, poetry and artwork that I love. It is my library. It is mainly a place I go when I need a creative nudge. Although my style is uniquely my own, it is made up of bits and pieces of ideas, techniques and inspiration from thousands of artists over the years. It is sort of like recipes. I have thousands but I rarely use one exactly as it is written unless it is for cake or pastry. Otherwise, I tweak it based on my particular taste and those of my family. There really isn't anything that is wholly original except that which God created and we are better artists and people when we realize that. On the other hand, it is important to understand the difference between stealing like an artist and thievery and your explanation was excellent.

Unknown said...

When I go to museums, I come home with so many ideas about things I can do, related to what I've seen. But if I sit at home and open an art journal, not a single idea comes to mind. Inspiration is essential.

Rehj Hoeffner said...

While I understand and can empathize with what you are saying, if you think about it, who then is making that all important determination that a particular work of art has satisfactorily transformed from that of the original artist into that of the inspired artist? Just how long is long enough and who gets to decide this arbitrary timeline? In your opinion, who gets to be judge and jury? You? Me? Your readers?

What if my opinion as the original artist is different from the opinion of the artist using my work to inspire new works? For the life of me, I cannot figure out why artists don't see it as flattery when someone else produces a piece of work based upon another's ideas. It's the highest form of a compliment.

Sure, it would be nice, if everyone played by the same rules, but this is not fairytale land we are living in. This is the Internet, if you put it out there, then you are inviting copycats, artist thieves, etc. If you absolutely do not want your work being used as inspiration without credit or permission, then don't post it.

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