Tuesday, December 9, 2008

copy cats......

every once in awhile someone emails me or tells me that they saw my work in a local restaurant or a magazine - which turns out to not be me - just someone who does work that looks similar. this is not uncommon as i have taught many workshops to people who want to paint like me. and at the end of the workshop, well, there are many works that look like my work. that's the point f the workshop.
still it is kinda unnerving to see my work by someone else when i don't expect it. like in those magazines i publish in. i have to admit my heart goes still for a second. for that second, at least, i feel my livelihood threatened. is someone stealing my thunder?
this is a bit of a paradox or quandary. i am happy people like my work enough to take my workshops and to learn from my work because they are fans, but then i shouldn't feel slightly cheated if someone turns out a nice piece that gets published in my style even if mentioning me as their inspiration.
jenny doh, editor in chief of somerset studio magazine once told me to never to worry as i will always be known as the "watermark" of my own work. that most people will know that i was the first, the original, the barometer.

so it goes with the territory.

i get a twice weekly newsletter called "the painter's keys". (worth reading, you can get it for free).
the present newsletter is about learning by copying. is it legit? should artists who copy masters or other artists be able to sell or market this work even while crediting the artist? robert glenn calls doing this "tacky".
i don't feel that strongly against it.

in the article there is a quote by Louis Armstrong that makes me feel better.
"A lotta cats copy the Mona Lisa, but people still line up to see the original."
and Louis Armstrong - well, he seemed original.

well, there i go copying - i'm copying the quote that robert glenn quoted (and copied) in his newsletter.......i guess there really is no such thing as a true original. not when humans have been on this earth creating since the beginning of mankind.
does that bother me? nah.


melani de groot said...

I love your work and if I could I would have copied it because it is beyond stunning and the copy would be ok i suppose but it would never beat the real thing

lisa bebi said...

i checked out your paper crazy website. i see south africa is well into the art of paper products and altered art.
congratulations for that.
i also checked out your web designer as i thought they did a great job.

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