Thursday, December 8, 2011

Influences and asking permission

At work we are putting out tons of work for the Christmas rush. I have my work plus I am putting out "cutsie" work for a fast and easy sale. I have a friend who was making the cutest mittens and I wanted to try them out myself. So I called her and asked permission to make some. She was gracious and said of course, but to try and make them unique to my style and not exactly like hers.

So I played around with it came up with a style totally my own.
If she had said no I would have been OK with that, but because she asked me to push myself and make them unique I was able to create without feeling like I had stolen her idea.

There are times when you want to hold onto an idea and that is fine. I have not taught my Pod bead yet. I wanted to take time with it and explore all the possibilities of it. But now I am ready to start teaching it. I have a feeling that other artists will take my idea and come up with something totally unique to them.

There have been plenty of times when I have asked permission from artists to play with an idea of theirs. Everyone has been gracious and said "go for it". Eventually I would change and adapt that idea and make it my own. When I had achieved the final look I asked permission once again. Then I felt I could sell it and show it to others.

As an artist it is always best to ask permission first. Many times the artist will be fine with it, but if you don't ask first it's not cool. 
I think ideas are not possessions. There are many times where two artist have come up with the same idea purely on their own, not knowing the other had the same idea. Can one really lay claim to it? Not really. It is better to continue your idea and just move forward.

It is when you have knowingly seen an idea and copied it without  giving credit to the artist or asked permission that causes hard feelings. Always thinking of the artist first is usually the best way to go. The old saying "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you" really is true.


  1. Good advice. I am thinking about that a lot right now. Would love to see your cute mittens!
    Enjoy the day!

  2. absolutely - we are all sponges, eager to try things out... and are heavily influenced by others... but it is only right and decent to ask if there is re-creation involved...