the art of copying

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Looking closer at things you create and what you're inspired by is an easy example of something such as a remix. You clearly take what you like, and make it your own. Being an artist, this is something I've been doing since the beginning of my drawing career - pausing scenes of tv shows I loved and drawing them. I took photographs I loved and did the same. I tried to draw like my inspirations and emulate their work as closely as possible to help learn their style. As Belshaw said, "we learn through imitation" - which is absolutely true. That was how I improved when I was a lot younger. I even copied a Rubens sketch a few weeks back for a class assignment to help learn from the masters. However, a significant part of copying and stealing ideas and reinventing them of course comes with prices if you emulate them too closely and give no credit.

All the time, specifically through Instagram, a lot of my friends have had their artwork that they posted stolen, and try to be passed off as their own. People would do what I do with copying, but give no original credit whatsoever. In terms of copyright and such, of course that isn't allowed. People who even attempt to pass things off as their own and blatantly copy is something so outlandish and surprising - I don't even know how or why people try to do it when there is no difference. It isn't a bad thing to copy explicitly in terms of art etc, but just give credit when it is due. It isn't the most difficult thing to do.

Copying and input of self is so important for today to be looked at as inspiration or to be copied down the line to help something better come out of it. From the greatest inventions came imitation, like the first Xerox computer led its way to the everyday Macintosh. Steve Jobs was always transparent about his evident copying, and was never ashamed of it. Because of copying and transformation, we have just about everything that exists today. But when people can copy something word for word, stroke for stroke, and give zero credit - do they truly think they can even get away with it?

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