They say (I don't know who "They" is, but a lot of quotes sure do come from "They") that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
It starts young. A sibling repeating everything the other says until the other one gets fed up and yells "Muuummmmm.......She's copying me". Then the cheeky sibling says all so quiet, but just loud enough for the other, and mum, to overhear "She's copying me". And then it goes on...."what?" "what?", "Stop it" Stop It"....you get the idea.
Then it's folders up between you and your desk mate so they can't see your work. Somehow, magically they still can see and copy your answers, and end up with a better mark. After all your hard work.
Then in high school, you are asked to complete an assignment, with factual information. I for one remember sitting there with the encyclopaedia Britannica (These days I think you just copy and paste from Google) and a Thesaurus trying to replace some of the words so it looked like my own work. Then, when there was blatant copying, just sticking in the good old footnote. Thinking back, I am sure the teachers would have had a good giggle at some of the words plucked from the Thesaurus and inserted into year 9 homework.
In fashion, you are expected to copy the trends straight from the catwalk. The designers literally do see this as flattery. But not once it hits the bargain stores, then it is just so last season. (Well at times I am more than happy to remain so last season and find the odd bargain at Kmart)
Copying is a part of life you can't avoid.
Now let's bring this back to stationery (or any creative outlet really).
Our little friend the internet has made it extremely easy to take a stack of images, and create a mood board, inspiration board - whatever you want to call it. The mood board is a great tool and I am glad to get these as part as a brief. It helps me get inside the clients head and know that we are on the same page in relation to the colours, look and feel of their event.
What I don't like, is when a client sends just one image, and asks me to copy it outright. I have a standard line in reply to that request. And I have to send it more often than I care to think about. My line runs along the lines of "whilst I can take inspiration from, I cannot directly copy...blah blah blah".
It takes time (hours and hours - more often than not) and money for someone to create that work. It takes sleepless nights thinking about how to come up with the perfect design and how to make it work. It takes time away from their families while they do this. Then it takes time for them to photograph it, or pay for a photographer to do so. Then it takes time for them to post it on their website and social media. They have put in the blood sweat and tears to come up with that design and promote it.
I am certain that many people have even also put my images on their mood boards. Asking others "can you make this". In an ideal world, I would like to think that the person being asked has kindly replied back with a similar line to mine, BUT, I know this doesn't always happen. I wasn't born yesterday and there are people out there who are not as honest. They are maybe even grateful that they have not had to do the hard work themselves and just make a quick buck from someone else's design.
I often find myself asking, why don't you ask the person who created it in the first instance to make it? Is it cost? Is it location? Is it the turnaround time frame? Do you not trust that I would come up with a design you like? Which brings me back to why you are not asking the original designer in the first instance. Either way, I won't do it. Not copy. No way.
Our little friend the internet also makes it easy to come across works that look almost identical to our own. In reality, I guess it is likely, that two poeple could plausibly (I sound like the Mythbusters now) come up with a very similar design, and not even know about it. Great minds think alike" and all that. Another saying by "They". Just a thought.
And in a more sinister way, our little friend the internet also makes it all too easy to take an image (one that has had the blood sweat and tears mentioned above go into producing it), and pass it off as your own work. I cannot believe that dishonest people try and do this. It's lazy, it's certainly NOT creative, it's immoral and it's fraud. And out little friend the internet has made this easy to find out. It gets my back up. BIG TIME. Sometimes I will send an email asking them to remove the images as they belong to me and copyright and all that. Most times they do without me having to ask a second time - I like to think it's because they know they have done the wrong thing.
"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery". Thanks for the quote 'They' - but it doesn't feel that way sometimes.
P.S. A little bit of a rant tone here today. Not my original intention. Now love and happy thoughts and happy creating. xx