Thursday, June 12, 2008


Um...just seeking a quick piece of advice...what do you do if you notice someone's work has become precariously similar to yours?  I'm all for nurturing new talent and I love to see upcoming illustrators drawings but when you see increasing similarities in styles/themes etc is it wrong to feel slightly put out?  I'm sure this happens in every field of work and I feel slightly guilty at the fact that I have to write a post on it...but I wasn't really sure how else to approach it! Sorry, its not meant to be a rant, accusation or anything along those lines...just a little note from a little blogger :)


Meg said...

do you have a picture of their work?

Megan said...

This is a tough one. Recently, I've noticed someone who has been emulating a series I've been working on for a few years. As of yet, it's not SO similar that I want to say anything (i.e. she isn't depicting identical objects in her pieces)... if I WAS to see something, I'm at a loss as to how I'd do it as well. I would hate for it to be a coincidence and say something.

I've noticed two blogs (not related to mine) with similar work to each other as well. I know full well who of the two is the "originator" of the "theme" they are both painting, but I don't feel it's my place to say anything, you know?

I guess I'm not being very helpful.

I do know of one creator of plush toys who had her work (badly) copied and she confronted the people. They were international "companies" and they actually took down the items they had for sale.

I also know artists who've confronted folks only to be ignored unless threatened with a lawsuit.

I'm sorry you're dealing with this! I'll stop rambling & finish by saying that at the very least, I'd keep an eye on what this person is doing just in case something REALLY obvious happens and you feel you have to say something.

sandra said...

i'm so sorry to hear about this :( i experienced a similiar thing a while ago and confronted the person and the problem finally got solved. hope things get better for you too. good luck. you're a star.

Little Nutbrown Hare said...

Copying, or emulating, is a fact of life and it is always going to crop up somehow if you are creating something. If it makes you feel better, you can try to speak to the person. I find that the best way of dealing with situations as such is to take it as a validation of what you're doing and continue to evolve your work.

katie said...

sadly i think it's part and parcel of being a creative person - if you're any good, someone will try and rip you off! it's always clear who is the original/best, though.

Katlandia said...

A lot of times themes in art follow trends... so you will find similarities between works, still, if some one is copying your style completely it is unacceptable.
To quote Jenny Hart: (in this article she is speaking about licensing but I thought it was relevant) "1. Copyright is a use-it-or-lose-it thing. You have to actively express and enforce your copyright in order for it to mean anything. If you let your designs be reproduced hither and yon for resale without ever attempting to control it, the law will not allow you to wield that control in a pick-and-choose fashion. This is why restrictions have to extend to everyone or no one at all."
The full article is here:

You shouldn't feel bad about being concerned. (sorry for the drive-by commenting after your latest post)

Kati said...

Buh. That has to be incredibly infuriating. Perchance is it a certain purveyor of plush, ornament-like items? Because I SWEAR I saw something so similar to your designs it made me do a double take.

My friend Yana approached the person directly and, when that failed, had to resort to public shaming. Which isn't to say that's the right or wrong road to take but sometimes generating public outcry is the only way to end outright duplication.

e.darcy said...

I remember feeling this way in school, when I left a painting I did in the classroom and the next day found someone copying FROM my painting. It really pissed me off-and so I confronted her about it.
It just turned out that she was a fan of what I had done, really liked how I did it-and was trying to replicate it because she wanted to be able to do it.
I was still a little peeved, but then I had to think... isn't this what they teach us in school-in any art class? We look at the great masterpieces and we copy them. trying their technique-trying to find our groove with theirs... Of course the whole idea is to get the technique down and build onto it, or use it with your own style-but I found myself saving pictures, looking at other peoples work-and trying to copy it, because I loved it so-and wanted to learn to do it (even though I never ever will be as good).
It's infuriating, I have to say-but then look at it from a little sibling sort of way-that someone admires you, your work, looks up to you, and aspires to be like you, have your talent. (though-they should always give credit where credit is due!)


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