What's so wrong with drinking other peoples milkshakes...besides germs?

If you haven't seen the movie "There Will Be Blood" or at least the funny as hell SNL skit then the whole milkshake thing might be lost on you...but it basically just refers to the jacking of milkshake. You know stealing a sip from my shake when I haven't even offered you any...get it?

Anyhoo, what does all that mean? Well permit me a wee rant. I am a crafter from way back. My day job as a graphic designer allows me to apply my love for making things to a more structured environment. Whether for work or play, I love what I do. What I don't love is when I visit random blogs only to see custom copyright watermarks splashed across photos, cards and various other pieces of art. When did crafters start doing that? Some of the best designers in the world don't even do that. Not only are those watermarks commonplace, but so are the kind little blurbs asking that blog content not be copied, used, borrowed, sold or whatever.
Am I wrong for thinking that is ridiculous? I mean do people really think I might want to "use" the picture of their husband shaving in my scrapbook.

To be fair, I understand the desire to protect one's work. But I'm from a different school of thought. Especially when it comes to art. I think it's virtually impossible to be proprietary. I get the attempt, but really aren't we here to learn from and inspire each other. In my line of work I have heard the word "stolen" more than once. But, unless I am 1000% sure I came up with it first I just naturally assume I got it from somewhere. We all get something from somewhere and unless you're living in the Big Brother house, you are being exposed to all matter of stimuli that is then filtered and often finds its way into your work. Should Marc Jacobs sue Jane Doe because she totally ripped off his design and made a greeting card based on one of the outfits in his spring line? Okay, okay I'm being facetious... I get that things are a bit more nuanced than that. For instance I don't advocate plagiarizing. I guess I'm referring to things of the handmade variety...you know like scrapbook pages, cards, rubberstamping projects, etc.

Now don't pummel me with arguments to the contrary...I don't dispute there are many good points to be made in support of the proliferation of watermarks. This just represents one girl's thoughts on the subject and since this is my blog or "milkshake" rather...feel free to take a sip:)

35. Imitate. Don’t be shy about it. Try to get as close as you can. You'll never get all the way, and the separation might be truly remarkable. We have only to look to Richard Hamilton and his version of Marcel Duchamp’s large glass to see how rich, discredited, and underused imitation is as a technique.

-Bruce Mau


keith said...

i totally agree, sometimes people just need to get over themselves!

Anonymous said...

I totally agree. It kinda bugs me when I see the little sidebar asking viewers not to use any of the content etc. I sometimes think, " Yeah, like I would really want to use your stuff and pass it off as my own, right." I don't know, maybe I am being naive, but I agree that if you put your ideas out there they are there to inspire others. Heck look at Target, they copy everyone(thank goodness) but we all know it came from another source. I guess what I am saying is that in this world it is pretty difficult to say, "I own that idea", or, "I created that." We all inspire each other.
I do, on the other hand, understand photographers who watermark so that clients cannot print photos directly from the website without permission or purchasing any first. Imitation is the highest form of flattery after all.

Aimeslee said...

I tend to agree. That's why I won't have anything to do anymore with Lisa Vollrath. One time a few years ago, I innocently and good-heartedly advertised an event she was pushing on my blog, using a well-linked photo she had on her blog. She came down on me like I was gonna be sued into perpetuity by her. Yah, get over yourself Vollrath. She wouldn't know Christian charity if it spit on her.

I applaud your sense of generosity.