You’ve probably heard this scenario a dozen times before.
An artist creates a certain style of work that really resonates with a certain group of people. He or she independently creates a new niche market for their particular style of work. The artist is able to license his or her work and consequently create various streams of income from their original creations.
Some artist see this. Visions of fame and fortune dance in their heads. They too want to live that dream. So they make the bold decision to copy this particular artist’s work because they half-heartedly believe that they can vicariously experience the same success.
Call it insecurity.
Call it desperation.
It happens more often then we’d like to think. When it does, millions of copycat, paintings, drawings etc. crop up all over the internet. Sure, there are slight variations, but for the most part, the subject matter and compositions are exactly the same as the original artist. Yes, if you practice enough, and you are relatively good at coping someone else’s style, you may indeed sell paintings. However, you will always be considered an inferior version of the artist that you’ve copied. As if living with that truth is not enough, you also face the possibility of being taken to court for copyright infringement. Even well known artists have encountered serious legal problems for using another artist’s work without their permission. Artist beware. This is not the way to go.
Although cultivating your own unique artistic style in a never-ending sea of sameness seems like a scary often difficult task, it is an important factor in setting your work apart from the millions of other artists whose works populate the internet. The truth, is that it takes time and considerable effort to figure out who you are and what you want to say with your art. Research to find out which galleries to approach and which social media to use in order to target the ideal audience for your work is also time consuming, but it is well worth your sincere efforts.
Don’t be a part of the art glut. Don’t ride the coat tails of someone else’s genius, hoping that you will discover yours along the way. You are your own artist with your own unique voice. When you discover who you are, share your awesome talents with the world. Compromise often leads to regret. You can only suppress you for so long before resentment sets in and the joy you used to gain from creating is gone.
Feel free to share your comments. I’d love to hear from you!