TL;DR Advice Summary. Screw other people’s opinion about whether you ripped an idea or not. They don’t know what’s in your heart, and even then, art is a business, it’s competitive, and barring any infractions of actual executable law, all is fair in love, art, and war. This statement though, is not an excuse to take the easy path and skirt the line of inspiration and conceptual theft.
** PS. I’ve actually bitched in a public forum about the myriad of similar concepts I see on a daily basis as I am the art director for Teefury. By virtue of the job, I see TOO MANY SIMILAR IDEAS, but the complaint is more about my annoyance with that part of the job than actual annoyance towards specific artists.
*** PS2. There wasn’t overt accusations that I ripped art, but the topic of “ripping” and accusations are prevalent in the art industry and was a topic I wanted to touch. The STFU title is more to attract readers (GOT YA SUCKAHS!) than it is true irritation at the few persons who compared my new work to others.
MORE ADVICE AT THE BOTTOM.
I personally do my best to remain righteous based on my own value system, but I am aware how easily it would be to succumb to the temptations of an easy path. For years, I’ve lamented that my most rigorous efforts in the creation of original art have yielded very little, and that those original ideas are easily surpassed by the appeal of generic pop culture references and products catered to the mass market. Yet, I still aspire to create original images that take considerable effort and creativity, so that I do not lose faith in my own ideals of what makes art Art, which is the purposeful effort and endeavor for self improvement, a genuine rebirth and a recreation of one’s own vision in order to experience the sublimeness and transcendence of true creation, as if it were a way to connect to an originating Creator if there be one.
Now, for the STFU.
Recently I created a Cthulhu-Kraken-Octopus porthole image, and it was immediately compared to two different pre-existing images.
First, I was linked to Missmonster’s Kraken watch. It’s very apropos that I was linked to her watch, as the night prior, I wrote informing her that I was working on a design that *might* be somewhat similar to her product.
Then I was linked to a more similar concept by David Lozeau.
Either way, one of my biggest pet peeves is when other artists or zealous fans of other artists post comments and links to other “like” images and products by other artists, because it does several things:
1. It insinuates plagiarism.
2. It overtly devalues the effort, creativity, and the credibility of the artist being accused.
3. The commentator, by whistle blowing or taking a position of authority, is indirectly saying that they do not participate in being inspired themselves.
4. It causes the creation of art to be muddled with ambiguously defined and varying moral/value system beyond defined laws.
Although Lozeau’s design is a very similar concept, unless my mind is failing me, I had never seen Lozeau’s design. Rather, I’ve had the desire to create a porthole image since participating in Shirt.woot’s Trompe L’Oeil Derby #29 in Febraury 2008.
Specifically, I have had Supersprite’s Coeur de la Mer in my idea bank folder for a long time. Obviously, it’s a generic enough concept that it can simultaneously biogenesis in the mind of many artists.
Even in 2008, my entry for the contest I Heart Mr Potato Head (based on viral internet news of an octopus that adored his Mr Potato Head) is somewhat a precursor to the integration of a Kraken-Cthulhu-Octopus thingy as a focal point.
Combine those inspirations with my recent find of an Etsy product, a wall decor porthole with a tentacle, you can easily see the combined ideas coming together to create a new image. A new image BTW that took alot of m■■■■■f■■■g time, effort, and skills to make a■■holes!
These are my conclusions.
People will always compare. There is no escaping this fact as an artist. Get used to it. I’m used to it, but I wanted to take this opportunity to express my opinions on it, and extract some worthy advice for artists regarding the subject .
No one is original. If that is true, than all that matters is effective marketing, and possibly good execution. If the marketing is excellent, then good craft and execution are not as important.
Generic ideas are plenty and simultaneously come into existence. It is the one who markets it the best, not the first, who will become the victor.
Example: Recently there has been some viral news in the art industry about Urban Outfitters stealing the design of some Etsy jewelry designer. In short, the designer claims they are the originator and that their design was stolen and was rebranded as an Urban Outfitter product. UO however has stated that the designs are too generic, and in fact, the ideas have existed prior to the creation of the accusing artist.
IMO, it’s easy to get butthurt when you’re so vain that you think you’ve come up with a wholly original idea, but let’s face it, everyone’s inspired by someone else, and to get butthurt about getting ripped is more about you inability to market and be successful with your own art than the one succeeding in marketing it. So get your ass out there and market.
As Voltaire once stated, “Originality is nothing but judicious imitation.”
As Picasso once stated, “Bad artists copy. Good artists steal.”
As Olly Moss once stated, “Bad artists copy. Good artists steal. – Olly Moss”
As I stated centuries ago before anyone else did, “Originality is nothing but judicious stealing. – jimiyo”