Perry Moffitt

July 20, 2012

Art and the Artist

Filed under: Uncategorized — perrymoffitt @ 12:10 pm

I had been hanging on to this little post for a while, waiting for it to “gel” for me.  But Rachel over at Stitched in Color brought up what I think was a level headed arguement about the very idea that I have been pondering, she calls it Copied or Inspired.  I am going to delve into a little thing that has been bugging me for ages- the “ethics” of inspiration. Stepping on to my soap box;

I find inspiration is sometimes hard to collect all in one place. I mark magazine pages only to throw them in the recycling in a cleaning frenzy.  I used to mark favorites on flickr but the sorting was non existent. I couldn’t split my quilting favorites from my gardening favorites. I used to fill my amazon cart in the months before Christmas but not everything is for sale on amazon. But then came Pintrest.  This amazing pintrest site is so inspiring and makes it so easy to collect a group of images or shopping lists that you want to reference later.  I have found myself  returning to my quilting board when I need an idea for a project and the presents-for-my-kid board when I know we are heading to a birthday party sometime soon. It hasn’t changed the frequency or variety of blogs that I read. And maybe once or twice a week I pin something from a blog I read.

In the past few months I started noticing blogs or flickr users that don’t let you repin. That’s cool. It is their photos  and/or their creations. Or pictures of their family. I totally get it. Even though this rant sounds like I don’t get it. But I do.  But one bloggers public statement, who I will not name,  has gotten stuck in my craw. This blog has featured 6 or 8 images a week that had  inspired their work.  Images that provide inspiration to make the crafts that make this persons living.  The frequency of the reposted photos make me doubt that permission was ever asked for, although the source was always referenced, much like pinterest. Here is the thing, having spent years posting other peoples work, this artist proclaimed the reason they were making all the photos of their work unpinable was because they found their photos on pintrest boards titled DIY.  The artist said (more or less) that the idea of other people making projects based on their work made them resentful of all the hard work that had gone into the design of them. Seriously? This artist posts, on their site, hundreds of images of art or craft or sources for years and then they decide that their personal work is too precious for other peoples inspiration and they are above being an inspiration for others? It just seems so unfriendly.

I just typed and retyped that last sentence 6 times to find something politically correct to say. Anyway, out of curiosity I went to see if I had pinned anything from this blog, turned out I hadn’t so now I am unsubscribed. What can I say, I think inspiration is important. If you don’t want your art to be public that’s fine. But saying you don’t want it to be public for fear of someone else replicating it is bizarre to me.  I think seeing pictures of someone’s work and recognizing that is it something you would like to look at again some day is a MILE and a day from infringing on someone’s copy write or livelihood.

And on the same day I read about that, I saw the below article. I always imagine the world of artist is friendlier, but then there is this fight that happened recently in the quilting world. Copy writing and what does it mean…

http://generationqmagazine.com/2012/03/notions-copy-wrongs-and-rights/

It makes my corporate desk job look a little more appealing for a while, dreams of being a full time craftsperson fade in the light of these two things… but somehow airing the uglyness makes it sting less.

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