Once in a while I get an urge to make art. Not jewelry art, but digital or collage art. Sometimes I draw inspiration to get creative in this area when I discover a new artist whose work I want to collect. This happened recently when I came across the work of Kelly Tankersley who sells her work through Etsy at 88editions. I’ve chosen one of her prints for my new home and can’t wait to get it framed and displayed. I’ll publish pics once it’s all done.
I love what Kelly does because she ‘owns’ the piece from beginning to end. She makes her paper, she takes her photos, she prints her images and she finishes her works. It’s very organic and personal.
So this naturally brings me to a favoured topic of discussion about ‘inspiration’ from other artists. I’ve written before about copying and what I think about that. I’ve seen a few artists and makers on Etsy recently who put a warning/request/command with every item they list for sale asking not only do people not copy but they they also do not use their work for ‘inspiration’.
And quite frankly, I find this very odd. Not least because it isolates the potential customer from the seller/work from the outset. Not good for business. But also because it implies that if someone is inspired by that artist’s work, they are somehow taking something from the artist.
I’ve never agreed with this stance, because I believe that real creativity is something that cannot be duplicated or mass-produced, just as it cannot be dictated or controlled. It is a living, breathing thing that is within the artist. Copying is static and usually dies a quick death. Copying is also protectd by the laws of copyright. Inspiration is not protected by law because it is not something that you can prove or control.
I don’t mind telling people about someone who inspires me. I am not saying I am inspired to duplicate their work. I am inspired to express what I have inside me. I suppose you could say, inspiration awakens what you already have. It doesn’t ‘give’ you creativity – that is something you either have or you don’t IMHO.
For example, I made this digital collage the other day because I felt all inspired to express myself in a way other than jewelry.
This is my point, I suppose. When I see the work of Kelly, and other artists I admire, I dont’ want to make what they make (because I am happy to buy thieir work), but I am inspired to have a crack at what I like to do.
When I read this post over, I do feel that it is a bit rambling and maybe I’ve not expressed my point well enough. I welcome any artists or makers to draw inspiration from my work. True and genuine creativity will blossom when something touches your heart, and if my works do that then I am proud to have ‘given’ something to another person.