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Got the Blues…

I’ve got the blues today and I’m feeling a bit distracted. An issue arose the other day and I can’t stop thinking about it. What results from thoughts like this rattling in my brain  usually, is a   complete lack of productivity. What I need to do more than anything right now, is get to the studio and work. So, I am going to put down a few words  on the subject at hand, and then be done with it. 

As an artist, the issue of ripping off other peoples ideas is one that is discussed often in  both an academic setting and just among fellow artistic people over coffee or beer. This is not an new issue or one that will go away. Being a creative person means you have to figure out your philosophy about the whole concept because chances are, sometime in your life, your ideas will be stolen or borrowed (however you like to look at it). I think it’s just human nature- as sad as that may be. I have discussed this issue at great length in the painting & drawing classes that I have taught at the college along with having many conversations with my husband (who is also an artist and art prof.). The internet makes this subject so much more common and prevalent. I see it written about all the time on blogs & in tweets (on twitter). If you are an artistic individual who has chosen to have a website, blog, or FB account, where you ideas are out there in the world, then you have completely opened yourself up to being copied. I also truly believe that if you are a person that is very aware and “present” in the world, then it is very likely to come up with similar ideas to other involved & “present” people. Color, shapes, materials, and subject matter are things that often come in waves as a response to a person’s surroundings. So, it would be natural to find similar things explored among creatives. But out and out stealing is another thing. Everyone has their own way of handling this sort of thing and  I thought I would share my view on it. 

Ok, so what sparked this little post (that is turning into a long post) you ask? I just saw one of my thread drawings (debuted in April) completely copied by a well known designer & available at a very large department store. My first reaction was that I wanted to barf. I studied the images over and over again – sort of in disbelief really. You see, as a small independent designer, I always assume things are easier and better if you have money and an entire staff to help design your items and help you run your company. The idea of a designer “think tank” seems really exciting to me. I would assume that there would be no reason to search for ideas to “borrow” on the web. That being said, it happened – there is no question about the fact that my drawing & idea was used. Now is when I insert my philosophy and ignore my queazy stomach. Here I go- ….I am going to take the side of feeling flattered and extremely grateful that I have the ability to generate ideas at a rapid pace. Chris and I always talk about how it is better to be the person thinking & executing the ideas , than the person stealing them. I also have to remember that I always document my artistic process openly via Facebook or this blog with no control as to what people do with that information.  After all, this sort of thing only happens if it is a good design, right? 

So that is that. I’m done…. case closed. All that is left to do now is what I always do when I am frustrated. See below… 


Ah…. now that felt good! Nothing like a little boogying & a lot of laughing to get things in perspective. Now I am off to the studio to create and make more stuff. Thanks for listening! 

38 Comments

  1. Make mine Mid-Century
    22 September 2010

    Can't you see a lawyer about the fact your idea has been ripped off? It's disgusting … particularly since this person is profiting from your idea.

    I don't have a problem with people being influenced by your work and then they go on to create their own piece – but to steal your idea – that's extremely uncreative.

    Too expensive to see a lawyer, maybe?

    Flight of the Conchords is the funniest programme.

  2. Make mine Mid-Century
    22 September 2010

    Can't you see a lawyer about the fact your idea has been ripped off? It's disgusting … particularly since this person is profiting from your idea.

    I don't have a problem with people being influenced by your work and then they go on to create their own piece – but to steal your idea – that's extremely uncreative.

    Too expensive to see a lawyer, maybe?

    Flight of the Conchords is the funniest programme.

  3. Make mine Mid-Century
    22 September 2010

    Can't you see a lawyer about the fact your idea has been ripped off? It's disgusting … particularly since this person is profiting from your idea.

    I don't have a problem with people being influenced by your work and then they go on to create their own piece – but to steal your idea – that's extremely uncreative.

    Too expensive to see a lawyer, maybe?

    Flight of the Conchords is the funniest programme.

  4. Michelle from Holley and Gill
    22 September 2010

    Kristin, you are definitely the better person for viewing this whole situation in the way you have. I hope you are able to move ahead in either taking legal action or simply forgetting about it and moving on which indeed would be the harder choice to make.

    I am truly sorry that this has happened but know that there are many out there like myself who will be there to support you no matter what.

  5. Michelle from Holley and Gill
    22 September 2010

    Kristin, you are definitely the better person for viewing this whole situation in the way you have. I hope you are able to move ahead in either taking legal action or simply forgetting about it and moving on which indeed would be the harder choice to make.

    I am truly sorry that this has happened but know that there are many out there like myself who will be there to support you no matter what.

  6. Michelle from Holley and Gill
    22 September 2010

    Kristin, you are definitely the better person for viewing this whole situation in the way you have. I hope you are able to move ahead in either taking legal action or simply forgetting about it and moving on which indeed would be the harder choice to make.

    I am truly sorry that this has happened but know that there are many out there like myself who will be there to support you no matter what.

  7. Ez
    23 September 2010

    Hugs to you. Keep your chin up and keep your creative genius flowing. You've set a great example by taking this frustrating and negative situation and turning it into motivation to keep reaching ever higher.

    xo Ez

  8. Ez
    23 September 2010

    Hugs to you. Keep your chin up and keep your creative genius flowing. You've set a great example by taking this frustrating and negative situation and turning it into motivation to keep reaching ever higher.

    xo Ez

  9. Ez
    23 September 2010

    Hugs to you. Keep your chin up and keep your creative genius flowing. You've set a great example by taking this frustrating and negative situation and turning it into motivation to keep reaching ever higher.

    xo Ez

  10. KLT
    23 September 2010

    Ah, a lawyer isn't really an option. I don't know if I am more annoyed that the rip off is so badly done or the fact that the image was ripped off at all. πŸ™‚ Really, this isn't eating me up or anything-it's just unfortunate. I felt that it was something that I wanted to address philosophically. And, just in case the person responsible for this stupid copy is reading this blog- I wanted them to know that I saw it. This isn't the first time something like this has happened – just more obvious I guess. So, no lawyer for me- just funny videos for now. @Michelle, thanks! Definitely moving forward. My mind is too full to do anything else. I appreciate your support. @EZ, thanks to you too- yep, just a tiny little stumbling block in a day. On to bigger and better. πŸ™‚

  11. KLT
    23 September 2010

    Ah, a lawyer isn't really an option. I don't know if I am more annoyed that the rip off is so badly done or the fact that the image was ripped off at all. πŸ™‚ Really, this isn't eating me up or anything-it's just unfortunate. I felt that it was something that I wanted to address philosophically. And, just in case the person responsible for this stupid copy is reading this blog- I wanted them to know that I saw it. This isn't the first time something like this has happened – just more obvious I guess. So, no lawyer for me- just funny videos for now. @Michelle, thanks! Definitely moving forward. My mind is too full to do anything else. I appreciate your support. @EZ, thanks to you too- yep, just a tiny little stumbling block in a day. On to bigger and better. πŸ™‚

  12. KLT
    23 September 2010

    Ah, a lawyer isn't really an option. I don't know if I am more annoyed that the rip off is so badly done or the fact that the image was ripped off at all. πŸ™‚ Really, this isn't eating me up or anything-it's just unfortunate. I felt that it was something that I wanted to address philosophically. And, just in case the person responsible for this stupid copy is reading this blog- I wanted them to know that I saw it. This isn't the first time something like this has happened – just more obvious I guess. So, no lawyer for me- just funny videos for now. @Michelle, thanks! Definitely moving forward. My mind is too full to do anything else. I appreciate your support. @EZ, thanks to you too- yep, just a tiny little stumbling block in a day. On to bigger and better. πŸ™‚

  13. Anonymous
    23 September 2010

    Ok, I will say this: Can we please see you do the Kristin Angry Dance? ;p could not resist that one.

  14. Anonymous
    23 September 2010

    Ok, I will say this: Can we please see you do the Kristin Angry Dance? ;p could not resist that one.

  15. WolfeWoman
    23 September 2010

    This is a powerful response to what is usually a very disempowering and disheartening situation that certainly won't go away. I admire your wisdom. it took me a very long time to be at peace with my copycats. I like that you express the anger, too.

  16. WolfeWoman
    23 September 2010

    This is a powerful response to what is usually a very disempowering and disheartening situation that certainly won't go away. I admire your wisdom. it took me a very long time to be at peace with my copycats. I like that you express the anger, too.

  17. Brynne
    23 September 2010

    SoOO disappointing, dear Kristin! What if your fans write a letter to the awful company that made it?? I will!! Or can we go talk to the sales clerks so they know what they are selling? Maybe most people have no clue and need to! You are handling it soOo well. What a heart. I just cant help but feel like a mama bear wanting to fight for you!

  18. Brynne
    23 September 2010

    SoOO disappointing, dear Kristin! What if your fans write a letter to the awful company that made it?? I will!! Or can we go talk to the sales clerks so they know what they are selling? Maybe most people have no clue and need to! You are handling it soOo well. What a heart. I just cant help but feel like a mama bear wanting to fight for you!

  19. lesley [smidgebox]
    23 September 2010

    kristin, what a thoughtful post. so sorry that this has happened…
    i'm glad that the blog therapy seems to have helped, i often feel better when i share. you are taking the strong road, and i applaud you!! we all love your work and your amazing creativity. anyone who thinks they can rip that away is sorely mistaken. they are the ones who are lacking.

    xo

  20. lesley [smidgebox]
    23 September 2010

    kristin, what a thoughtful post. so sorry that this has happened…
    i'm glad that the blog therapy seems to have helped, i often feel better when i share. you are taking the strong road, and i applaud you!! we all love your work and your amazing creativity. anyone who thinks they can rip that away is sorely mistaken. they are the ones who are lacking.

    xo

  21. Layers and Layers
    23 September 2010

    am so disappointed for you as well. We all know when we are doing the wrong thing … we ALL know. Why we choose to continue down that road once the realization has set in is where the really bad stuff happens πŸ™

  22. Layers and Layers
    23 September 2010

    am so disappointed for you as well. We all know when we are doing the wrong thing … we ALL know. Why we choose to continue down that road once the realization has set in is where the really bad stuff happens πŸ™

  23. Anonymous
    23 September 2010

    I love the angry dance! But I'm also sorry to read about this. I hope this company/design team isn't trolling the web, looking for ideas from independent artists and artisans to steal. Pretty dang unethical, if you ask me. You're seriously amazing to write about it and be done with it, Kristin.

  24. Anonymous
    23 September 2010

    I love the angry dance! But I'm also sorry to read about this. I hope this company/design team isn't trolling the web, looking for ideas from independent artists and artisans to steal. Pretty dang unethical, if you ask me. You're seriously amazing to write about it and be done with it, Kristin.

  25. Karen Wallace
    23 September 2010

    Hello. I really appreciate your post. This is a hard subject. Warmly, Karen

  26. PurePixie
    23 September 2010

    HUGS!!!

  27. PurePixie
    23 September 2010

    HUGS!!!

  28. Melinda :)
    23 September 2010

    OK I can't be as nice as you. I would at least post the artist and company…you never know if they'd pull the item if word got out. I know another big artist did this when her designs were copied exactly onto doormats in a big catalog. Items pulled stat!

  29. Melinda :)
    23 September 2010

    OK I can't be as nice as you. I would at least post the artist and company…you never know if they'd pull the item if word got out. I know another big artist did this when her designs were copied exactly onto doormats in a big catalog. Items pulled stat!

  30. PurePixie
    23 September 2010

    HUGS!!!

  31. Kickcan and Conkers
    23 September 2010

    This makes me so angry, I see or hear about it nearly everyday now that I'm on the web. I think you have a healthy attitude to what's happened – boogy on, I love the Flight of the Conchords too πŸ™‚

  32. Kickcan and Conkers
    23 September 2010

    This makes me so angry, I see or hear about it nearly everyday now that I'm on the web. I think you have a healthy attitude to what's happened – boogy on, I love the Flight of the Conchords too πŸ™‚

  33. Kickcan and Conkers
    23 September 2010

    This makes me so angry, I see or hear about it nearly everyday now that I'm on the web. I think you have a healthy attitude to what's happened – boogy on, I love the Flight of the Conchords too πŸ™‚

  34. ringmaster
    24 September 2010

    do not like! you are one strong person the way you have handled this! they will get what they deserve one day!

  35. ringmaster
    24 September 2010

    do not like! you are one strong person the way you have handled this! they will get what they deserve one day!

  36. Daria
    24 September 2010

    I'm still embarrassed my reaction was angry, fury and rage – all quite barbaric, I must admit (well, I do live on the Balkans) – and it has still not passed completely. I'd really like to see them in court, loosing.
    I'm so proud you're my friend – you're wise and generous to cope with this situation so calmly.
    HUGS!

  37. Daria
    24 September 2010

    I'm still embarrassed my reaction was angry, fury and rage – all quite barbaric, I must admit (well, I do live on the Balkans) – and it has still not passed completely. I'd really like to see them in court, loosing.
    I'm so proud you're my friend – you're wise and generous to cope with this situation so calmly.
    HUGS!

  38. Daria
    24 September 2010

    I'm still embarrassed my reaction was angry, fury and rage – all quite barbaric, I must admit (well, I do live on the Balkans) – and it has still not passed completely. I'd really like to see them in court, loosing.
    I'm so proud you're my friend – you're wise and generous to cope with this situation so calmly.
    HUGS!

Got the Blues…

I’ve got the blues today and I’m feeling a bit distracted. An issue arose the other day and I can’t stop thinking about it. What results from thoughts like this rattling in my brain  usually, is a   complete lack of productivity. What I need to do more than anything right now, is get to the studio and work. So, I am going to put down a few words  on the subject at hand, and then be done with it. 

As an artist, the issue of ripping off other peoples ideas is one that is discussed often in  both an academic setting and just among fellow artistic people over coffee or beer. This is not an new issue or one that will go away. Being a creative person means you have to figure out your philosophy about the whole concept because chances are, sometime in your life, your ideas will be stolen or borrowed (however you like to look at it). I think it’s just human nature- as sad as that may be. I have discussed this issue at great length in the painting & drawing classes that I have taught at the college along with having many conversations with my husband (who is also an artist and art prof.). The internet makes this subject so much more common and prevalent. I see it written about all the time on blogs & in tweets (on twitter). If you are an artistic individual who has chosen to have a website, blog, or FB account, where you ideas are out there in the world, then you have completely opened yourself up to being copied. I also truly believe that if you are a person that is very aware and “present” in the world, then it is very likely to come up with similar ideas to other involved & “present” people. Color, shapes, materials, and subject matter are things that often come in waves as a response to a person’s surroundings. So, it would be natural to find similar things explored among creatives. But out and out stealing is another thing. Everyone has their own way of handling this sort of thing and  I thought I would share my view on it. 

Ok, so what sparked this little post (that is turning into a long post) you ask? I just saw one of my thread drawings (debuted in April) completely copied by a well known designer & available at a very large department store. My first reaction was that I wanted to barf. I studied the images over and over again – sort of in disbelief really. You see, as a small independent designer, I always assume things are easier and better if you have money and an entire staff to help design your items and help you run your company. The idea of a designer “think tank” seems really exciting to me. I would assume that there would be no reason to search for ideas to “borrow” on the web. That being said, it happened – there is no question about the fact that my drawing & idea was used. Now is when I insert my philosophy and ignore my queazy stomach. Here I go- ….I am going to take the side of feeling flattered and extremely grateful that I have the ability to generate ideas at a rapid pace. Chris and I always talk about how it is better to be the person thinking & executing the ideas , than the person stealing them. I also have to remember that I always document my artistic process openly via Facebook or this blog with no control as to what people do with that information.  After all, this sort of thing only happens if it is a good design, right? 

So that is that. I’m done…. case closed. All that is left to do now is what I always do when I am frustrated. See below… 


Ah…. now that felt good! Nothing like a little boogying & a lot of laughing to get things in perspective. Now I am off to the studio to create and make more stuff. Thanks for listening! 
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