"creativity is a community not a competition"

So. Yeah. Okay. I’ve slacked on blogging… It happens. But, as my favorite youtuber Qaadir would say… “that’s not even what I wanted to talk abouuuuuuut!”

This is a post that has been in the making for a while. I’ve talked to designer friends/artists/photographers and fellow bloggers to get a well rounded idea of how most feel on the subject of creativity and originality.

About a month or so ago I received some emails from blogger friends pointing me to a few people they felt were “copying” my ideas and passing them off as their own. As any artists knows this happens a lot and we just move on. I looked at the links and shrugged it off as common creative thoughts. Those who know me, know I float in a world of oblivion and disinterest sometimes. But it did spark some interesting conversations with bloggers and friends.

I’ll start by saying, my list of bloggers and artists spans many realms. Photographers, writers, musicians, stay at home moms, actors, scrapbookers, crafters, and professional bloggers. The opinions I received came from a lot of people whoms perspectives I respect. And I was surprised at the areas everyone agreed.

Okay original ideas and design. We all take inspiration from things/websites/magazines etc. Then do our own spin sometimes. But it seems more and more people are desperately trying to be the “original” at everything. I’ve seen this in the music scene, I saw it on an unhealthy level when I was briefly involved in the scrapbooking/crafting industry, in photography, in blogging, in the moms that make cupcakes for every non special occasion at my childs school. It happens. It’s in our nature to compete. However, why are we really trying so hard? (ps I hear you haters who are saying you don’t try… It’s okay no one is gonna call you out while you’re reading this in the privacy of your home;) promise.

However, for those of us who “keep it real” as Sasha would say, we know about staying up at night thinking of new ideas to stay on the cutting edge. Our artistic minds are what drive us. AND THAT’S OK!

Do not take this post as some bitter rant about those who try and be creative but let’s all be honest.

The new “trends” floating around are very deritive of something we have already seen many times. It’s the person with the most visibilty who gets the acclaim usually, even of they got their idea from faving a million flickr photos and just changing a few things to make it their own or some obscure creative’s blog whom has no readers.

How many musicians have you met that think they were the first to come up with AMAZING music?

Or I can’t tell you how many times people have said someone copied their work when they were not the original either. It just makes me laugh. That we are all so pretentious to think we are the only geniuses around:)

My friend Lila (who is a nationally published interior designer living in Boston) said “I have been completely uninspired by home decor blogs claiming new DIYs that I have had sitting on coffee table in magazines from the 60s and 70s Better Homes and Garden mags since I was in design school.”

My favorite is Chad, my local blogger friend who is the best person ever to talk to about different teas. He pointed out the new trend in blogging (because he’s into that analytical stuff) is to take others peoples work and blog it as inspiration on your blog, creating the illusion that the person doing the post is the artist. He does NOT like this concept at all. We disagree a bit here, because I think sharing the work of others is okay as long as they are credited and you have your own voice.

Derivitives are everywhere. Look around. Vintage is the new modern. True vintage lovers had it as a lifestyle about 5 yrs ago. Now it’s a fad everyone is a part of (including myself… I love old things!) again, nothing wrong with it.

Recently I did an Alice in wonderlandish inspired shoot and got so many “how original.” sarcastic comments. I know it’s been done but I didn’t care and did my own version.

My opinion? Who cares at this point? It is extremely hard to be THE original anymore. We are all creative… All trying to inspire and share…all trying to leave our mark. For someone…anyone.

Just don’t say you aren’t trying so hard, when you really are… We all are. And it makes you seem foolish:)

Now I’ll end by saying I do believe their are originals and we are all uniquely creative in our own ways, but I think it’s better to be to be supportive, not competitive.

I love blogs and websites and facebook and twitter and all things associated with sharing inspiration. Take it all as you will. As a point on ponderance or more ammuntion to leave hateresque comments on my blog at 2 am Im getting used to them now;)… Either way… this is me taking one foot off my soapbox and putting it back into my own chaotic craziness of a world.

Oh of course I couldn’t leave without posting photos could I?

These are again taken with my iPhone app hipstamatic:) and the others are from said Alice in Wonderlandish shoot.

Happy Friday friends!

Blog posted here.

"creativity is a community not a competition"

"creativity is a community not a competition"

"creativity is a community not a competition"

"creativity is a community not a competition"

"creativity is a community not a competition"

"creativity is a community not a competition"

"creativity is a community not a competition"

"creativity is a community not a competition"

"creativity is a community not a competition"

"creativity is a community not a competition"

"creativity is a community not a competition"

"creativity is a community not a competition"


16 Comments to “"creativity is a community not a competition"”

  1. I have to agree with you.
    I have seen a lot of what you’re speaking of in belly dance, more specifically Tribal Fusion. Rachel Brice is “the name” and it seems everyone tries to emulate her. Even I have “borrowed” some of the things I love about her style. But the important thing is to make it *your own*–i.e. use it as inspiration/influence but not to make a duplicate, if that makes any sense.
    As for photography, I had a friend (who is an amazing photographer in his own right) say I had a lot of Annie Liebowitz’s feel to my black and white work. Which was a huge compliment for me as she is one of my favorites.
    I do, I suppose, understand the other side of the coin. Artists who hand make one of a kind pieces in clothing/jewelry/etc only to have them knocked off by someone for cheaper and lesser quality. Taking a storyline already done and writing a new work in different words–I often fear this as a writer of short stories and who has 3 unfinished novels still in process.
    Good topic, btw. (and I LOVE ’20s and 30s style)

  2. I wish I had more time to comment; I loved alot of your points and how well you worded and voiced your opinions. Love your photos by the way.

  3. Great topic! I have to disagree with your analytical blogger friend too. . .I love visiting blogs that have posts of other artists’ work as inspiration. It’s kind of like they do all of the work of searching the net for these artists, and I can go to one place to find a wealth of new artists and inspiration. I do agree that they definately should credit the source. Lovely photos! The colors are so rich.

  4. here i am at 2 something in the morning…but only to leave you some love.
    the photos are fantastic.
    i love your new tattoo.
    have a great weekend.

  5. Thanks for the post and for keeping it real! It does seem kinda like some areas of this blogging world are awfully competitive in an ugly sort of way. Bottom line, we all want to be inspired, share our inspirations, and be inspiring to others. Thankfully, as we navigate this sphere, it is possible to find in it a supportive community.

  6. What sucks is when someone blatantly takes something u designed, does an awful, but recognizable cloning job and changes one thing. Now, calling it there’s. Oh say like your brand logo. That is what sucks. When someone calls themselves a creative designer, but uses someone elses logo as their own? Makes me wonder how fake their business is and how many people they sucker. Sad.

  7. Creative people find their audience. Non-creative “copy cats” (so to speak) find their audiences too. No worries. I’d rather have 10 authentic “fans” who really connect with what I’m doing than 100 people who like it because they are supposed (it’s all the rage) who then have some bizarre expectations of me based on things that I am not and will never be. Make sense? Love you! TEA OR ELSE (not a threat but I wanted to sound like a tough guy).

  8. I love your take on this. Several colleagues of mine and I touch on this subject often. We have new up and commers that eager to learn technique and workflow of some working photographers. While some will say “absolutly not, these are my techniques, I have spent a lot of time and money developing them” others will be completely open about their process. One of the best pieces of advice I have ever received is to look at others as colleagues and not competition. I can tell you exactly how I take this image but unless you are in my head with my eyes, it will be different.
    I constantly look at others work, especially when I need to get the creative juices flowing. I look at some of my favorite photographers for inspiration, and a lot of the young guns for motivation.I truly belive there is a line betwen copying and being inspired. It can be very fine at times. Thanks for this post. It was a joy to read.

  9. Lot of truth here!

  10. I *Heart* this post:)

  11. I am in complete agreement. I will most definitely second what Amber said! Crediting the sources are vital, in my opinion. And Holly, I can relate…having your work taken from you is not the most pleasant thing to experience. 😦 Kim, you’re exactly right when you say, “Creativity is a community!” A community respects others’ contributions and recognizes their skill (of any level). It’s no longer a community; however, when one picks other’s work and puts their own name on it.

  12. you just so perfectly conveyed what i think alot of people are feeling right now. you’re brilliant like that. πŸ™‚

  13. I think the title of this post says it all. Great post.

  14. As always very nice post having excellent contents about creativity. I have been searching for genuine content to be published on my blogs. Some of the points I will take from your this post about creativity. Thanks a lot for sharing all the things with us.

  15. i totally feel you on this and wrote about this a few weeks ago. “there’s nothing new under the sun” so to speak. we’re sort of drawing inspiration from everything.
    love the blog. single mother myself. ❀

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