Well, I suppose I should address this.
Over the past few weeks, I've gotten a really large number of emails and messages about various places on the internet where versions of my artwork are popping up, obviously not made by me.
Some are "inspired by" my work, some are "homage" to my work, and some are blatantly attempts to re-create my work. I thought there might be some confusion about the difference between things that make artists feel flattered, and things that make them annoyed/take legal action, so I decided to create a handy guide, below.
"Hey! I really like this artist's work, and I think they are awesome! I'm an artist too! Would it be okay if I --
...make one too? Yes! Go get artsy!
...learn from that artist's work and hone my own skills? Yes! That's a great way to improve!
....take a picture of it and put it on the internet, crediting the idea's originator? Yes! Get excited!
....give it to my mom/boss/uncle/boyfriend? Yes! People love creative gifts!
|It doesn't work that way.|
Would it be okay if I...
...sell it? No!
...even if I credit the idea's originator? No!
...even if I only sell one of them? No!
...but I put the idea-owner's name on there, that makes it okay, right? NO!!!
Just because I say "Walt Disney thought this idea up" on my website, doesn't mean that I can legally (or ethically) make my own Mickey Mouse dolls and sell them. Even if they're good. Even if people LOVE them. Even if I just do it once. It's still wrong. It wasn't my idea, therefore, it's not my property to sell.
Good ideas are HARD. For every good idea, you probably have to discard a lot of bad ones. Sometimes the best way to know an idea is a good one, is to see how easily other people pick up on it and decide to do it too. It's flattering, but not really in a way that feels good.
If you're good enough to re-create someone else's efforts, you're probably good enough to come up with your own ideas. There is room for all of us. Let's all be creative together, but not by being willing to take money out of the pockets of someone you claim to respect, because you can't be bothered to come up with your own creative solutions.