Copyright

All artwork produced by an artist is automatically subject to copyright. 

Generally speaking, if you make an exact replica of another artists work then you are stealing what is their intellectual property. Artists work extremely hard for many endless hours behind the scenes sketching, thinking up new ideas, researching if their 'idea' has already been done, troubleshooting and working out ways in their head or on a sketchpad of how to make their vision a reality. 

It is realy upsetting therefore when you see work created that is an exact replica of what was an original and unique piece. It is kind of like admiring someone who runs marathons. You wish you could do that but don't really fancy the hard work and dedication that it involves. So, you buy the running gear and grab a lift to the finish line.  

I have had this happen a few times now and I just wish a conversation had taken place before they had started. 9/10 times an artist will allow it if it's a one off either for yourself to practice an artists particular style. Always remember to credit the originating artist during every conversation and social media post. That is only right and fair. What should never be done is to steal a design for profit or reward.

When I started I would take inspiration from artists whose style I loved. I would study it and attempt to replicate their cuts and emulate their style...

BUT

1) I didn't profit from it.

2) I never copied their piece exactly, it was the style I wished to emulate.

3) I quickly learned that as I got into my own groove I would find my very own style which I have.

I have seen the design I created for Sebastian the Hare Sculpture replicated (on another animal) but it was so obvious it was a blatant copy that it leapt from my screen and socked me in the face...it was that similar, similar enough that other people commented and tagged me in it. I have to admit each time this happens it makes me feel a bit sick. 

I do tutorials on Patreon the whole point of which is to teach methods and inspire. The key word here is to inspire. Be inspired to take what you learn on Patreon or from the completed work you see on my various social media posts to come up with your OWN designs that you can use my guidance to create. 

I was once approached to make a Rooster mosaic, I immediately recognised the image I was shown as being one by the very talented Solange Piffer. I told my friend I would ask permission first if she would mind me replicating her style. Solange very generously said yes so I made the piece and credited her. It was a one off and I promised I wouldn't make another and I have stuck to my word. Solange was extremely good about it, as most artists are if you ask FIRST!

Just because 'it's on the internet' doesn't mean it's a free for all. There are plenty of templates that are free of copyright out there and apart from anything else you'll feel much more free and accomplished if you have come up with your own ideas. Inspiration is everywhere and whilst you can't copyright the 'thing' that is being made (for example a bird or a cat) it is the way it is drawn or depicted and the finished style that is specific to the artist. 

I read many comments on my facebook page either someone tagging another saying "Look at this! It's a great idea, you could/should do this!" OR "I'm going to do this" OR "You should teach this in your workshops" NO, NO, No you shouldn't, at least not without reaching out to me personally first. 

I know of so many artist friends that this has happened to. Mosaics ripped off and recreated as their 'own' idea and companies printing mosaic designs onto phone cases, bags and tshirts for profit without any form of consent, credit or payment made to the artist. It's never flattering, it's upsetting (putting it mildly) infuriating (mostly) and a kick in the teeth. 

Unfortunately artists rely on the public platforms to survive. We HAVE to advertise our work, we HAVE to share it with the world and we HAVE to for the most part, feel like our time and effort is absolutely worthless. Things need to change but I don't have the answer apart from this...Trust your gut, if it feels wrong don't do it or that should be an indication that you need to be contacting someone prior to embarking on your project. When artists teach their secrets in workshops and tutorials they will often have you sign a contract of sorts to state that you will take what you have learnt to improve your skillset to make your own original art with the advice you have received. 

The Issue...

The Solution...

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