Saturday, January 20, 2007
I have been working on some fun new beads!! Here is a little sneak peak for you... these and lots more are going to be partying in the Bead Box this week! Aren't these FUN!?! I am going to have lots of brights in lots of shapes and sizes, cool huh? Ron says I should be keeping these and making jewelry, but I am going to share :) then maybe make extra for some of my own designs.
We are all huddled in the house today trying to keep warm. It is freezing cold and snowing here, so it's hot cocoa, baking cookies and movie watching for us. The studio is only 25 degrees, but I am gonna brave the frigid air to make beads this afternoon. Ron said something about bree, crackers and wine this evening too... looking forward to that!!
Class last night went great. All the girls left with great new bangles... gotta give a shout out to Melinda, Danielle, Mary and Lesley... HEY GIRLS!
Lesley shared an interesting tidbit of info with me that I want to talk about. (Hope she doesn't mind, I don't think she will.) She told me that while at a craft show a few weeks ago she saw a jewelry vendor selling "Berry Wine" bracelets and "Sandy Lantern" bangles. Lesley has seen my designs and recognized them right away. She asked the artist if she knew me and had taken my classes. Lesley said the artist turned bright red and was rather embarrassed. So, Lesley suggested she put out something that let buyers know they were my original designs. She said when she went back by the booth later,the vendor had put a small sign out.
So it got me to thinking... I can't remember if we have talked about this before or not... but I am sure some of you wonder where I stand on the whole issue of "copying"... duhm duhm dum (insert dramatic music). The topic of copying is a highly highly controversial one. In many jewelry/art/bead forums the mear mention of the word has people taking sides, starting fights and ending friendships. As an "author", I have to realize that my designs are going to be reproduced, my tutorials are going to be tried by people and yes... people are going to sell it as their work. Personally, I would never do that to another artist. If I try a tutorial, or I get inspired by another artist's work, I give them all the credit. I do not sell projects that I make from tutorials. I used them as a learning tool! After I complete a project, I take the new things it teaches me and I work those skills into my own style/designs.
In a perfect world, here is what I would like the people who use my beads or make my tutorials to do...
If you use my beads... let the buyers know "These beads were made by Kerry Bogert". If you have a website and have item descriptions, that is the best spot to let people know I made the beads. I would love a link to my website, but that would be a bonus. You pay for your beads so really, what you do with them is totally up to you. Just don't try to claim you made them yourself ;)
If you are using my designs... let buyers know "This design is by Kerry Bogert and was in such and such a magazine". I really feel strongly that since you haven't "paid" for the rights to the design, that you need to be linking to my website in this instance. Now, if you have done like I do, and you used the tutorial as a spring board for your own piece... it's all up to you. I would appreciate a "inspired by" tag but that is gonna be your call.
Now in rare instances, I have come across bead for bead copies of things I have made. For me, that is a big no-no. And when I need to, I let the maker know that they have come to close for comfort. It has only happened a few times, but it does happen. (And I am sure more then I know about.) For the most part, I am a very down to earth designer. I give people the benefit of the doubt. I know I didn't invent everything, and I know if something inspires me, it can inspire others too. So who's to say that what I think is original isn't original for someone else too. I hate to cry "copier", I really do. I have been accused of "coping" before, when I absolutely had not... and I did not appreciate the accusation. I think that contributes a lot to the stand I take now. I don't want to assume the worst in people, as was done to me. So I try to stay open minded. And, I am sure as I continue to grow as an artist, even the bead for bead copies won't bother me. It really should be considered flattering, I suppose. Someone likes what I do enough to make it for themselves. Just like I did 4 years ago when I was thinking I could make a necklace I saw at Target for less money. We all start somewhere.
I am a firm believer in "sharing the knowledge"... I hate information hounds who won't tell you so much as the time of day let alone where they found those cool spacer beads. Those of you who send me emails asking questions know that I am always more then happy to share sources for things, techniques for making stuff, and if I don't know the answers... I try to point you to someone who does. I don't worry that if I tell you to get the ceramic spacer at Mykonos.com that you will go out, order them, then buy solid color discs, make two dozen of my "Fling" earrings, and sell them all to the highest bidder. I think you would be surprised just how many people do think that way. I think it is a terrible perspective.
Anyway... that is my 2cents on "copying". Any questions?