Saddened by Copycats

First I apologize for the lack of posts lately. Blogging has been put on the bottom of my priority list lately... just not enough time. Some fun projects have been happening around our house lately, but more on that later. I didn't intend on having this my first post of the new year but I thought it needed to be shared.
Over the last year or so I've read several blogs where artists and designers were telling about their artwork or designs being stolen. At first I was thinking, oh they are so well known, they've sold thousands of products so it was bound to happen. I definitely felt bad for them and knew it was wrong of the person/people to take their idea without permission, recreate it and sell it. NO ONE should copy someone else's work and sell it!!! Well I don't consider myself as a well known artist or designer, but I recently found out that several shops had taken my designs, recreated them and were selling them as their own. First I was in shock, disbelief that not only one or two but several shops were using my designs that I had spent several hours creating. Sure my designs are simple to REcreate. Lots of artwork is easy to recreate, it's the initial idea, coming up with a layout that works, that is eye pleasing, in some of my designs fonts that work well together... the beginning process is not so easy! After I get the general idea I want (after doing many sketch-ups), I fine tune the design by kerning, paying special attention to white space, making the overall "look" as professional as possible. I like to think my 4 years of graphic design in college taught me a few things. I know it did. Problem is very few people see all the initial work put into designs or any kind of artwork. Many see the final piece and say they can make that and go on from there. Now if you are recreating the art/design for yourself to enjoy, I say go for it! It is a great way to save money. Enjoy the process of creating it and hang on to it, it could be a great keepsake. The WRONG thing to do is to take someone else's idea/design/art, recreate it and sell it as your own! This is stealing! What you can do is learn from the artist, get ideas, then add in YOUR OWN ideas to make it into your own artwork. Art/designs should not be recognizable to someone else's work. Remember that the originator put a lot of time and thought into their work and are most likely hoping their effort pays off.
These designs were made by me for my Enduring Arts shop and should not be seen other places. (Unless it is an off-line shop that is selling my work.)
Slightly tweaking the font or changing the color is not a big enough change to make it your own.
There are hundreds of ways to make sayings entirely unique by changing the layout of the words
and making big changes to fonts.
With so many pictures online, it seems that it is becoming harder and harder for people to think for themselves... to come up with their own ideas. I'm hoping imagination isn't something of the past.
[Thank you to the shops that have kindly removed the look alike designs from their shops.]


Christie Cottage said...

It has happened ever since there was the internet. Sad, but true

Then now with Pinterest, they have a place to save them until they are ready to create. Some of the projects even say "to Do" or to make.

I have even gotten convos from people asking me the dimensions on things or where I got this because they are going to make them and sell them.

Have a wonderful day!


Jodi Ulschmid said...

That is horrible that people straight out ask you for the info so they can create things themselves. Goodness! Is it because people just don't understand copyrights? Yes, Pinterest makes it worse. So sad! I suppose it will only get worse.
Good luck to you!

Jennifer {Studio JRU} said...

Oh no... so sorry to hear you are dealing with this, Jodi! It is so true that people just don't understand all the time and effort that goes into the thinking and planning stages. Were they actually printing your designs?! I have seen a lot of my art in pinterest folders that say 'to make' and even 'to print'. :( And art/craft shows. I have heard people talking right in front of me about going home and making it themselves. Have even had a few people ask about my materials. Good grief!

Jodi Ulschmid said...

Some people are unbelievable Jennifer! It must not even cross their minds that it is wrong. I wish their was more awareness about the issue of copying... maybe it would help a little? And yes, some were printing my designs, others putting them on wood. :(
Life... it is always a roller coaster.