Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Inspirational Tips: Comparison Shopping or Celebration? You Decide




I'm sitting here eating a Milky Way (SOOOO happily enjoying it, I highly recommend having some chocolate today) and wondering about something.


Do you think it's good to check out the work of artists who are creating similar art? Do you think it's possible to celebrate them or do you think it causes a negative, "you can't help but to compare yourself" effect on you and your work? Do you think it's better to simply study artists that existed before our time, artists who seemed to follow their own vision with unwavering certainty?

Personally, I try not to comparison shop although I'd be lying if I said I didn't do it every now and again. I prefer to celebrate all artists, even those doing similar work, because I love when people express themselves. I grow as an artist when I talk to others about their work. Studying artists who brought their vision to life inspires me to believe more deeply in myself.

I'd absolutely love to hear your thoughts and chat about this....

22 comments:

Hypnotransformations said...

I think looking at other artists work inspires me to be more creative and unique in my work. I make pottery and I love spending time looking at others' work. Most the time I am gets me going to creat and to see what I will come up with.

Natasha said...

Hypnotransformations - how are you?? It's so great to see you here...I agree with you and loved one thing in particular that you said. You said it "inspires me to be more creative and unique". I used to worry constantly that someone's writing or art would influence me ...I wouldn't know where my ideas ended and their began but I have found it's just the opposite...when I look at others work I am like you - inspired to be creative and tuned into my own voice....great comment and great work!

Susan said...

I don't feel anything negative when looking at work similar to mine. If the item is "better", I just feel that I haven't acquired that skill level yet. Browsing does inspire me. I truly appreciate the different levels of craftsmanship. I can look at something that doesn't appeal to me personally, but can acknowledge the creativity and skill that went into making it.

FunkyMonkey Girls said...

I got inspiration from them and try NOT to copy their ideas but tweak them to go with my flow of creativity. I think that has been a big bone of contention on many blogs lately...

Funky Monkey Girls,
Jolene

Natasha said...

Susan - how's it going? So good to see you!!! Once again I love this comment and you touched on something so important - appreciation. I think when we can appreciate the work that another artist put into a piece, the creativity, the time - and appreciate, celebrate, find joy in that piece we absolutely grow as artists AND we strive to learn more and become better - one helps the other...thank you for such a thoughtful comment...

loving these great comments from great artists wooohooo!

Natasha said...

Funky Monkey Girls - how are you?? How's the new place?? Are yu settled?? Copying ideas is just bad business and bad karma so I totally agree ...you reference this being a bone of contention on other blogs, what exactly do you mean?? I got this from reading this author who was talking about staying away from others work because we just compare and then feel bad...I'm interested to hear more

FunkyMonkey Girls said...

I have been reading on copyrights, inspiration etc on Andrew Thornton, Kate McKinnon, Margot Potter and some other ones I can't think of at the top of my head.

Everyone is in agreement about inspiration but I am wondering if it is in the water about many of these artists writing about people "stealing" their styles, copy their work etc without giving proper credit etc. It is good reading. If you go to Andrew Thornton's blog he has a screen shot set up from various views and thoughts from various artists discussing this...

My new house is awesome and I have bob cats and kittens in my backyard:) I have one picture up in my blog. My kitchen is almost done painted and then the living room:) Soon, I will be able to put stuff up and set up my studio....my dad is sleeping there because it is darker there at night. He is werid, what can I say:) LOL

Funky Monkey Girl,
Jolene

ps if I mispelled names I do apologize, I am awful at spelling and trying to get better. That is what happens when you don't hear vowels as a kid....hearing loss.

FunkyMonkey Girls said...

Here is the link to Andrew's post:

http://andrew-thornton.blogspot.com/2009/06/on-copying.html

I know that I have to be careful because subconciously I could have picked up that idea from someone, to make it, list it and find out that I have "copied" someone's design or technique without giving them credit. I believe that is what I am trying to state...sorry, the brain is full of fresh paint fumes.

Funky Monkey Girl,
Jolene

Frenzy23 said...

I get jealous, but at the same time I love seeing fellow fiber artists' work. I find it inspiring when I get in a rut. Sometimes seeing new ideas can inspire new ideas of your own.

Laura Pugh said...

I have mixed feelings about checking out artists who do similar things. In my heart, I want to encourage and be happy for others and I try really hard to do that. However, I do have an insecure little kid living inside who can't take the pressure of "competition".

There is another part of me that doesn't like to look at similar art because I don't want to feel like I'm copying ideas from someone else. I know we all are inspired by other art, but my worst nightmare is to be accused of stealing an idea from someone.

Bottom line...I do like to look at what other artists are doing, but sometimes I just have to keep my head down and keep working on my own stuff.

AlpHa Buttonpusher said...

I think everyone wants to be special,but learning from others doesn't hurt.

lifeartdesigns said...

Hi you guys,
Very interesting question Natasha. I am always looking at other's work. I find it inspiring and many times, it will help me get over a block if I'm having one. But then sometimes, you will see something someone has done with perfection, something you've been working on developing yourself. That can be deflating. But, I think it is rare that there is really an origional idea... And there is also a fear for me that I will accidently use something I saw later, not realising it is a memory and not an idea. But I really like to look at other's work because of the inspiration and sheer pleasure it brings. I also think it helps to provide a sense of were you are in your craft and art and what skills you need to work on further.

Rowena said...

I like to look at other artists for inspiration, and sometimes, I will take some element from their work and incorporate it into mine... but I also like to think that I am secure enough in my own style that it won't be a copy. I'm not quite sure I've seen anyone who has work that is very similar to mine... maybe similar themes.

I don't think I would be happy if I were to find out that someone has copied me, though. And I wouldn't copy anyone else. Aside from the ethical issue, it just doesn't feel right to do someone else's style, I mean, it's like it won't come out of my brush. It feels like breathing the wrong element or something.

Natasha said...

FunkyMonkeyGirls - this is a really interesting topis ...thank you for sending along this link...I totally get what you are trying to say ....I'm going to check it out...thank you!

Frenzy23 - I agree with the inspiration factor...there was a time when I felt jealous as well but I realized for me that always meant I wasn't working...I was procrastinating...I am a recovering procrastinator ...when I work hard at my own vision I appreciate others work much more....

Laura Pugh - the pressure of competition - I think that is what gets people....the pressure of comparison was something that always got me so I had to remember to keep working....when I can focus I have a clearer head and more open heart...the only person who ever holds me back is me....

AlpHa Buttonpusher - well put...it's true that we want to be unique and we are ....we forget that ...we can try to make the same things but we never will ...a copy would never be as good as the original...we can learn but ultimately we still need to do it our way...at least I can't help but to do it my way

lifeartdesigns - miss you SO much welccome back friend :) I agree with that worry about - is this a memory or an idea - but I also agree with something Rowena said which is ...if you attempt to create something that has been done, that is a memory it doesn't feel right. I think there is a flow when YOU have an idea and it feels wrong when it's not your own...like your subconcious sets off alarms. I agree that looking around helps give you a marker, it helps to show you where you have to go to learn more and I dig that...

Rowena - I agree with you and just commented above about it feeling wrong when it's not yours. It's funny I am always so careful not to copy others that I didn't think about being copied - I would be pissed flat out because you work so hard to create something that a mindless copy would be upsetting ... we all have or find our own styles and if we work hard to share them we can't help but to let ourselves fall out onto our creation so we need not worry we will copy others if we are true to our heart and art

FunkyMonkey Girls said...

Ever since I copied Andrew Thornton's link here, he has received on his personal e-mail horrible, evil e-mails from people. I sincerly hope and could never imagine anyone that posts on here would be capable of doing that to a fellow artist.

Andrew's post is showing other artist's viewpoints and his post is very neutral on the subject. I am very disappointed to know this happened to this very kind man. I just thought y'all should know.

Funky Monkey Girl,
Jolene

Rose Works Jewelry said...

I like looking at what other people do. I learn a LOT. Plus sometimes it gives me ideas for things I can take in a totally different direction :P I also like looking at art work outside my fields - I get a lot of ideas there as well!

Natasha said...

FunkyMonkey Girls - I have sat here for the last 10 minutes trying to think about how to begin my response, my comment here. I can think of no right way to do this so I am just going to jump right in.

1. Your comment was released to the viewing public on this blog at 10 this morning. While the time posted reads 4pm yesterday - that's not EST. It means you sent it last night around 7 - 7:18pm to be exact and it sat in comment moderation till this morning when I was back on this blog. So, I'd be interested to see when he started to get hate mail.

2. How long have you been on this blog? The ONE thing I do pride myself on is trying to create a safe place for people to share. People have shared some seriously personal things here and I have YET to see ANYONE ever leave a horrible hate message for anyone...I think it's a COMPLETE disgrace for artists to attack one another. This world should be big enough for people to have different opinions and to share them without fear....unfortunately the WORLD is filled with assholes who believe they are right on all things thus we have wars and so on...but here? How long have you been visiting? How long have you been reading? I SERIOUSLY can't imagine that at 10am tons of people read this blog and then ran over to write hate mail.

3. I am an Etsy seller who has spent time in the forums. I've seen endless copying posts and seen people attack quite viciously. I'M NOT INTO THAT! I DO NOT SUPPORT THAT CRAP!

I wanted to have a discussion about an issue we all face - an adult discussion but apparently that's not possible.

I think the comments here are a fair representation of the people's views ...I think these are standup artists who say what they think in a thoughtful AND respectful manner.

I am DEEPLY saddened that the integrity of the artists who participate and share here has been called into question.

I am so INCREDIBLY ANGRY for the first time since launching this blog that I ask that NO ONE AT ANY TIME share links anymore. Period.

I am beside myself and like most folks here have been busy working all day and have not even had a chance to visit this man's link. I'm sorry he was attacked by whoever else is out there. I will not be visiting the link at all.

Natasha

FunkyMonkey Girls said...

I read it at work and I am on Pacific Standard time so right now it is 10 minutes after 1400.

I am not accusing anyone that blogs on here about doing that, I just found it rather ironic that his orginal e-mail was on his blog for a couple of days without anything from him stating anything was wrong and then I post something and bam, he gets evil e-mails.....I just thought the timing was awful that is all, that is why I wrote that comment.

I sincerely hope that no-one thinks that I was attacking anyone on here but like I stated before I found the timing interesting...

Funky Monkey Girls,
Jolene

Amanda Fall - PersistentGreen said...

Wow--I was going to comment on the original topic, but was a little blown away by this issue about the outside link.

As Natasha said, this is the safest place I can imagine. I've seen so much spite and back-stabbing other places, but not even ONCE here.

There's just no way any of those emails could have been from one of us.

Natasha said...

FunkyMonkey Girls - Again, I am sorry that he was attacked. I think that's awful. I agree with you - the timing was terrible. However, it is my sincerest hope and belief that no one here would ever do such a thing. I think we all appreciate art and artists too much to do that.

It is my hope that you will still continue to play here as I enjoy your comments and sharing.

And it is my hope that no more nasty emails or anything are sent to this man or anyone who shares their opinion. I believe the world is big enough for all opinions.

FunkyMonkey Girls said...

I will definately stay and play here because it is so wonderful and postive. If you need your brain cleaned...go to my blog to see my bob cat family, I have pictures posted:)

Funky Monkey girl,
Jolene

Frenzy23 said...

I'm so shocked that that would happen. I have always felt this is a safe haven for artists and thinkers and writers and anyone who wants to appreciate such things.
Hmph. I'm off to look at kitty photos :)