Saturday, November 14, 2009

Creating in the Style of . . .



I love these pieces.  I created them, and they speak to me on some very deep level about motherhood and the beauty of children.  But I have a problem with them.  I worry that they aren't truly "mine."  You see, each was created in the style of another artist.    "Homemaker" was created in a class taught by Judy Wise through Artful Journey. I modeled my collage on a couple of her pieces, called "Nonnie" and "We Were All Angels", found in the June 4 post on her blog, which you can find (with some scrolling) here. "House of Love" was created using an article by Kelly Rae Roberts in the magazine Cloth, Paper, Scissors. Edited to add: I found a link to one of Kelly Rae's prints that she has for sale which uses the same technique that I used for House of Love.  You can see it hereI have also made other work, which I love, based on classes I have taken with Connie Andrews.

So, I worry if these pieces are somehow not my art. Kelly Rae Roberts has written her opinion about this issue.  It's a very reasonable opinion, but it still worries me because I'm not sure I follow all her rules, and I think of myself as a very ethical person and artist.  I just know that I internalize what I learn, and I'm sure it comes out in what I teach and sell.  So, I don't work in her style anymore.  Tim Holtz has never published anything on his philosophy, but I have corresponded with him by email, and his approach is "go for it."  As long as you don't reproduce his class handouts, he's all about teaching and putting the ideas out into the universe.  He figures nothing but good can come of it. I find it all very confusing and a little disturbing.

My children are adopted but they are "mine" to their core.  I wish I felt the same about all my art.  Thoughts?

14 comments:

bevs97 said...

If they are for you, and your family then I think it doesn't matter who inspirired you. They are yours. If you are making money from something then that's a different issue, but art for you is yours, no matter what inspired it.

Tracy said...

I agree - go for it! So long as you credit where your inspiration comes from, I dont see that it is a problem at all. I am sure that most people would be thrilled that someone wanted to copy some of their artwork!

Cindy Jones said...

I viewed the other pieces of art you noted on your blog.You have not copied the work. Your art is truly yours. You received inspiration and created your art from the inspiration. Please don't worry. Worrying destroys an artist. You are a true artist and deserve to revel in your art.

humel said...

I understand where you're coming from with this, but my thoughts are:

Your art come from you, and from all that makes you who you are. That includes the work of other artists who inspire you. Others can trace your influences in a similar way to how you can trace a family likeness, or how you can see people's life experience on their faces. It's just part of what makes you 'you'. The fact that you're even worrying about it shows that you are, as you aim to be, ethical as a person and an artist :-)

Francine87544 said...

I can't add much to what the others have said. You created these. If you used some ideas from others, give credit and link back to the original. Both you and your 'mentor' should be happy.

Deb said...

What a great post, Maria. I love the pieces and I think the beauty in them is the fact that they are done of your own hand. The fact that you give credit where credit is due speaks volumes and honors the original artist. You have nothing to worry about so enjoy what you have done here! :o)

sm3wkl said...

I love YOUR artwork. Yes, it's yours. You might have been inspired by others but it still came from your heart. I looked at the other posts you listed and you did not copy what they have done. Also, you are giving your inspiration credit by noting their websites. I don't think you have any thing to worry about. Keep creating!

On another note....I really love the house art. I'm in the process of adopting (the long waiting period) and this piece really speaks volumes to me.

scrappyjacky said...

No artwork is ever 'completely' original.....even the greatest artists have been inspired by other art work they have seen.....you have been inspired by others.....but what you produce is truly your own.

Alison said...

What is it they always say? Make it your own! You have only been inspired by these other artist and then you truly have made them your own pieces of art. Enjoy them!

Amy said...

I'm thinking that part of the evolution of an artist is to emulate others - I find the notion of anything being truly unique a difficult one.
When I scrapbook I know that I have been influenced by many people - I suppose you can see that in my pages, but I never set out to copy a design ..... templates are another issue because they are already designed for us.
I think by trying many different styles we come closer to producing what is uniquely us.
Very thought provoking .....

Carrie/scrapchick said...

Pretty pieces.

Interesting topic. I don't see where you feel you "copied".

I see her point in the making money issue & inner voice.

I guess I look at it like if I wrote a book and sold one and then they made & sold a million copies that would suck, lol. So to me all art should be viewed in the same way.

MaryC said...

Goodness! You worry too much. Your art is your own. Inspiration is everywhere. Plus, I love the pages you shared in this post. Awesome.

Maria Ontiveros said...

Thank you all so much for the interesting discussion. I guess my worry comes because I do sell my art (although I love these pieces so much I would probably never sell them) and I definitely teach techniques I have picked up along the way, and I guess they're technically "for profit" classes because I charge for them. I say "technically" b/c I don't really make much. LOL!

And a special note to SM3WKL, I couldn't figure out your email or blog to respond personally, but I want to wish you all the best on your adoption process. It truly is a miracle the way things work, and you end up with the kids that were meant for you!

Rinda

kelly rae said...

maria,
i totally agree with everyone here. your work is clearly your own and i'm not seeing any imitating AT ALL. i learn new techniques all of the time from others and then mold them into my own style. you are doing the same. keep going....!
warmly,
kelly rae