Sunday, March 13, 2011

it's hard to be original


with all of the amazing goodness that's out there online - on blogs, on flickr - and now gathered in one spot on pinterest, i guess it's no wonder that you come across people who are copying good ideas and passing them off as their own. it's hard to be original and it's hard to know where one's influences come from.

for example, i know there are loads of people making birds that are similar to my clarity birds. i practiced by making the spool bird pattern and then, once i knew it well (including its shortcomings), modified it and made an improved version. but i realize i'm not alone in this. i'm also not alone in making quilts and i haven't come with any designs (yet) that are my own. i'd like to think that what i make is unique because it comes from my own particular hands and with all the quilts and all the fabric in the world, there's room for everyone's interpretation of quilting.


even the feather stones i paint were inspired by the work of others - we see things, they inspire us, but the ones produced by my hand on stones i carefully selected on a beach walk are an expression of my creativity. even if i was inspired by someone else. and i've always been careful to give credit where credit is due.

stones which i purchased from margie's resurrection fern etsy shop
but sometimes, you come across something that is so blatantly a copy of something truly unique and lovely that an artist is making and you shake your head. because there's no defending such blatant disregard for the creativity of others. i'm talking about the lovely, unique and amazing stones created by margie of resurrection fern. they are real one-of-a-kind originals. something completely uniquely margie. and which should not, like a fabric bird or a quilt, be copied. however, they are being copied, for profit. blatantly and without credit - down to the styling in the photos and the whole stated philosophy of loving nature behind them. and you can see it for yourself here. but be warned, if you know margie's work, you will find it just disgusting.

i think it is really sad. the internet has given us all such a forum for sharing our creativity and enjoying the creativity of others, but it also apparently has opened the doors to such copycats. next thing you know, someone will be copying kit lane's fabulous little jacabunnies. and the thought of that really makes me sick.

40 comments:

MissBuckle said...

I so know what you mean. Inspiration is one thing. Blatantly copying is another thing alltogether.

Cozy Memories said...

yes, it is extremely disgusting & infuriating :(
thanks for pointing it out publicly. I think Margie is taking care of this, but it's not easy to deal with shameless & heartless copycats. I am sick for Margie.

Karen said...

I love Margies stones, have never seen anything like this before. Sad that artists will copy so blatantly, especially without acknowledgement of their inspiration... but I don't know that there's much you can do about it because anyone can see an idea and say... oh, I can make that! If she doesn't feel shame at copying so completely for profit, well, it speaks volumes about character.

celkalee said...

Interesting that you bring this up. I have admired your jacabunny collection from afar and actually did see something similar a while ago. I searched through my history but came up negative. I agree that internet exposure has been great in some ways, inspiring and motivational. However, this negative side, this blatant piracy is despicable. Right now, in the craft community, (in the US, I don't know about the rest of the world) there have been multiple conversations about copyright laws. I have followed a sew business group on Yahoo for years, this topic has been discussed many times. I hope Margie is able to address her issue with the pirate, but I fear this is just another incident that is a casualty of internet business! *ps, sorry for the rant, subject is a sore spot for me too!

julochka said...

it does say so much about the character of this person who has done this..i actually happened upon her shop by accident - there was a pretty butterfly crocheted stone on the front page of etsy and it was bright and cheery and i faved it and even posted on pinterest, not realizing it was the same shop where i had seen stones like margie's a few days before. then, i went back and looked closer. she even copies margie's fish!! and her styling and her photos! i can't believe the nerve of the woman.

and corinne - as you can tell, i don't mind ranting - i can't get this off my mind all day and i wish i'd ranted a whole lot more about it than i did.

Jen said...

and does the woman acknowledge that she is STEALING?

Art is about being CREATIVE, not STEALING.

I often take pics inspired by others but to outright COPY details and ideas and SELL them as her own? that is JUST WRONG.

Did anyone talk to this woman??

Delena said...

Oh that is sad. I have crocheted some rocks myself but just for myself and gifts. None of my rocks are like Margies, I make up my own patterns. I also would never post them to sell.

Barb said...

Yes, it is sad. I love to find inspiration, but copying for profit is disgusting. It's plagiarism, plain and simple. But unless there is some law to protect the artist, I don't know what can be done.
But we can at least request our work be cited as inspiration. Any decent person would at least do that.

Pell said...

Here is the original crochet covered stones artist (since 2003) in which margret ooman got her idea...it seems Margie is taking full credit as the crocheted covered stone mogul...Linda loop also made zen stones in a publication Called kooky crochet back in 2007... As far as the Devine Ms. M's originality it's moot...it's been done way before resurrection fern was even heard of...just a little FYI for you all!!!! ;)

http://www.deborahvaloma.com/Image.asp?ImageID=776681&AKey=V9LPVA4M

julochka said...

interesting pell - who has no way of being contacted and no real profile, i didn't say crocheted stones were an idea unique to margie, i said that this particular shop was copying her style completely. many people have crocheted stones in unique ways (like the website you linked to - which aren't like margie's at all). but thank you for sharing another view.

Margie Oomen said...

i am afraid pell is just the owner of the offending shop in disguise. Hmm, why would you need to disguise yourself unless you are feeling rather guilty. These are the same arguments she brought up today in last last futile attempt to ask her to do the right thing. I have tried in vain through conversations with her but today i am taking the big plunge and sending my formal three page submission to etsy legal team. It is in their hands now. Thanks jules for bringing this discussion to the forefront and giving me a much needed nudge to take to the next step. With all that is going on in the world right now, especially in Japan, it was really the last thing I wanted to focus on , this sunday afternoon.

danceswithflowers said...

I am so sorry this is happening. I just sent Pell the following letter in the hope that it may help her decide to re-consider:

"I know it's hard sometimes to be totally sure where our ideas come from, or even if they're totally ours. You may not even be aware that your covered stones are exactly like Margie Oomen's, of Resurrection Fern. Unfortunately, unlike many things that are natural derivatives, these stones were totally originated by Margie. Is it possible that you may have been unconsciously influenced by seeing something of hers - she's even been in Country Living - and, without even realizing it, thought you were doing something original?

Margie has many, many loyal friends and followers. I'm sure you'll be hearing from many of them to express their concerns about this apparent copycat-issue and I hope that you re-consider making and selling something that is so clearly a design arising from another's heart and soul."

danceswithflowers said...

I am so sorry this is happening. I just sent Pell the following letter in the hope that it may help her decide to re-consider:

"I know it's hard sometimes to be totally sure where our ideas come from, or even if they're totally ours. You may not even be aware that your covered stones are exactly like Margie Oomen's, of Resurrection Fern. Unfortunately, unlike many things that are natural derivatives, these stones were totally originated by Margie. Is it possible that you may have been unconsciously influenced by seeing something of hers - she's even been in Country Living - and, without even realizing it, thought you were doing something original?

Margie has many, many loyal friends and followers. I'm sure you'll be hearing from many of them to express their concerns about this apparent copycat-issue and I hope that you re-consider making and selling something that is so clearly a design arising from another's heart and soul."

Lisa at lil fish studios said...

I noticed that shop a few months ago and found it disgusting. It's obvious that she's not adding her own voice to her pieces, but instead mimicking Margie's voice. The merfish...the missing pieces stones...the sea glass...and on and on and on.

It's clear this person has talented hands but unfortunately neither the originality or conscious to go with it. Those are the people who don't understand community, and who will always be one step behind the true creative ones.

I'm quite sure this person knows that what she's doing is wrong and doesn't care and I just don't understand that. Pell, maybe you could enlighten us on that point? Can you tell us why "that person" would choose NOT to add their own voice to their work? And why would that person sell their work on the same venue as the person she's copying? It baffles the mind...

Pia K said...

i don't think i have anything original to add here (which came out a pun, hehe), i totally agree with what you said in your post. inspiration and influence is one thing, blatant rip-off another. reading a particular comment above... scary.

celkalee said...

mini-rant here: ms pell seems to be implying that because someone before her did create the crochet-style stones, SHE has no obligation or responsibility for copying Margie. However, the idea may not have originated with Margie, but her interpretation, her creative process, her styling of that art, when (not just) imitated, but copied, is theft.

danceswithflowers said...

Here's the response I just received from Renee (of StitchHappens7) on Etsy:

"I know I know I'm a horrible person that is copying and stealing an idea that ms. Ooman got from another artist ....Deborah Valoma...she's made crocheted rocks since 2003 way before resurrection fern.... I first saw deborahs work in the Wexler gallery in Philadelphia back in 2006 I even have one of her stones...I took an idea originated by Deborah and make my own versions...I'm sure everyone credits margie as the soul originator but it's just not true...she did the same took an idea and made her own version...did Margie ever mention debrorah as her inspiration...no i think not...you can not copyright an idea...I'm not infringing on any legal copyrights or patents...those are the facts...other than,
That I will be hated by margies loyal friends...you might think I committed murder...life is good I have no ill will towards any one including Margie and her followers!!!! Your opinion of me has been noted!!!"

flowerdancer said...

And here is what I wrote back to her: "I didn't say I hated you, nor did I even offer my opinion of you. I didn't say you're a horrible person. In fact, I was very careful not to say anything of the kind.

It's very possible for several people to come up with similar ideas at the same time, or even at different times, and have them still be original ideas. I have no idea whether Margie and Deborah came up with their crochet-covered stones separately, or who was first - and it doesn't matter. It's not relevant.

The work you're doing doesn't look like exact copies of Deborah's work, which I am also familiar with. Margie's and Deborah's work is similar, but not exactly the same. Your work, however, DOES look like exact copies of Margie's. It's a style-thing, and it's very clear.

In the end, it doesn't really matter whether you copied intentionally or totally subconsciously. I worked for a patent and copyright attorney for many years and the test is whether a reasonable person would recognize both works as the same. In your case, I feel certain that a jury would agree that your work infringes on Margie's originality.

It also doesn't really matter whether or not you can copyright an idea. The question is SHOULD you be doing what you're doing? Why would you want to continue doing something that causes so much upset in others? Is this something that will make your daughter proud of you? To me, it seems as though you're feeling very defensive. Is that the way you want to feel as you go about your daily business?

I had to deal with this same issue last year. I've been using the name "Compost Couture" for my things for years. I've sold them in local boutiques and craft fairs, and it was totally my idea. Then I joined Etsy two years ago and soon after began using "Compost Couture" as a category name. Another Etsy seller wrote me and said that she'd been using that category name for several months and would like me to stop using it.

I had a real internal battle about it. It hurt, because I KNEW I'd come up with the name on my own, and had been using it for much longer than she had - just not on Etsy. I'd paid my hard-earned money to buy label with that name that I could put on my jewelry and clothing. In the end, I decided to give up the name and let her use it. It didn't matter that I could have copyrighted the name and made her quit. It didn't matter that I thought I was right. What mattered was that I didn't want to be in conflict all the time; I wanted to feel good about my product; I want to always support other Etsy artists; and it just wasn't worth a battle.

Finally, I also wonder why you would feel good about copying Deborah's work? Wouldn't there be a lot more pride and satisfaction in coming up with your own ideas?

Don't you think there are enough battles in life already that we can't avoid? I just don't want to live my life in a way that I would feel like I had to write letters like the one you wrote me. It wouldn't feel good! I'm seeking more peace in life, not confrontation."

flowerdancer said...

And here's my reply to her: "I didn't say I hated you, nor did I even offer my opinion of you. I didn't say you're a horrible person. In fact, I was very careful not to say anything of the kind.

It's very possible for several people to come up with similar ideas at the same time, or even at different times, and have them still be original ideas. I have no idea whether Margie and Deborah came up with their crochet-covered stones separately, or who was first - and it doesn't matter. It's not relevant.

The work you're doing doesn't look like exact copies of Deborah's work, which I am also familiar with. Margie's and Deborah's work is similar, but not exactly the same. Your work, however, DOES look like exact copies of Margie's. It's a style-thing, and it's very clear.

In the end, it doesn't really matter whether you copied intentionally or totally subconsciously. I worked for a patent and copyright attorney for many years and the test is whether a reasonable person would recognize both works as the same. In your case, I feel certain that a jury would agree that your work infringes on Margie's originality.

It also doesn't really matter whether or not you can copyright an idea. The question is SHOULD you be doing what you're doing? Why would you want to continue doing something that causes so much upset in others? Is this something that will make your daughter proud of you? To me, it seems as though you're feeling very defensive. Is that the way you want to feel as you go about your daily business?

I had to deal with this same issue last year. I've been using the name "Compost Couture" for my things for years. I've sold them in local boutiques and craft fairs, and it was totally my idea. Then I joined Etsy two years ago and soon after began using "Compost Couture" as a category name. Another Etsy seller wrote me and said that she'd been using that category name for several months and would like me to stop using it.

I had a real internal battle about it. It hurt, because I KNEW I'd come up with the name on my own, and had been using it for much longer than she had - just not on Etsy. I'd paid my hard-earned money to buy label with that name that I could put on my jewelry and clothing. In the end, I decided to give up the name and let her use it. It didn't matter that I could have copyrighted the name and made her quit. It didn't matter that I thought I was right. What mattered was that I didn't want to be in conflict all the time; I wanted to feel good about my product; I want to always support other Etsy artists; and it just wasn't worth a battle.

Finally, I also wonder why you would feel good about copying Deborah's work? Wouldn't there be a lot more pride and satisfaction in coming up with your own ideas?

Don't you think there are enough battles in life already that we can't avoid? I just don't want to live my life in a way that I would feel like I had to write letters like the one you wrote me. It wouldn't feel good! I'm seeking more peace in life, not confrontation."

Margie Oomen said...

in my very first post about the first sea stone I covered in crochet, my inspiration, process and even a tutorial for the little rock baby was outlined on my blog. I was not aware of Deborah Valoma's work or her installation the twelve tears. I love her work, now that I have found it. but I was already well into my creative process before I discovered her. I do care very much about the ethics of blogging and sharing one's work online. Maybe I care too much. I shall leave it in the hands of the etsy legal team for now.

ninimakes said...

Thanks so much Julochka for making people aware of such blatant stealing - the extent of it is shocking.
Margie inspires so many people in wonderful ways everyday, sadly someone has taken advantage. I don't know what a legal stance would be but regardless, it's all just wrong. I hope the Etsy legal team can help.
There are a handful of favourite pieces I've made that I have never shared online. I sometimes have felt too protective of my craft but when I see things like this I think not.
I, like many other commenters, am squarely behind Margie. Guess that makes me a "follower" and I'm darn proud to be one too :)

k said...

margie just sent me the link to this - thanks for posting about it jules. you summed it up quite well (certainly better than i can) - with the internet we have so much more inspiration at our fingertips, and inspiration is all well and good, but this woman has obviously stepped far over that line. i hope margie is able to get a good result over her official complaint, this is not a happy topic for a quiet sunday afternoon.

arounna said...

thanks for this post

margie is my friend and I know that things have been handled behind the scenes. and I'm glad that there is a conversation about it.

copying is something that is all around us - with the internet it's made it so prominent. I think that there is elements in lots of peoples work that you can find similarities to - the problem I have with the copycat is that she is emanating margie's aesthetics - her own designs that are original to her. margie has taken the idea of the crochet covered stone and has created her own voice.

this person is taking those ideas and those that are true to margie and is copying it - copying her designs - I agree with the other commenters the person copying is not expressing their own voice, but rather use margie's voice.

you know you have my support margie.

ZenCrafter said...

Thank you for this post. I am sick and sorry this situation is happening. There is infinite beauty in the world to notice and be inspired by, and infinite variations on common themes for artists and crafters to express. I don't think it's necessary to reproduce someone's work so faithfully and sell it as original work. Perhaps it's easier to see a successful formula and, motivated by profit, implement it rather than taking the time to develop one's own voice and document the creative process. Margie has faithfully and diligently shared her creative process and influences and has earned respect as an artist with a unique voice. Not only her blog followers and friends recognize this, but any objective observer would as well.

flowerdancer said...

I tried to post the rest of my correspondence with Renee of StitchHappens7, but wasn't allowed to post it - it may have been too long. So I guess you'll just have to take my word for it that she seems utterly determined to just keep doing what she's doing, and justifies it all by saying that she's not really stealing cause Margie stole first! Absolutely unethical, nonsensical, and a bit crazy to boot... I'd hoped that if she heard directly from many of your friends it might deter her, but she doesn't seem to be reachable.

I cannot understand how anyone can take pride in their creation if it's just copying! It's one thing to follow a pattern to produce a craft work; it's totally another to duplicate another's design and style without permission and claim it as your own.

This gal is a mess, and I'm ashamed that she's being allowed to tarnish all Etsy sellers with her continued presence. Maybe the legal team will straighten it out.

Margie, my heart is with you! All best wishes.

Pell said...

In reference to flowerdancer not being able to post the rest of our correspondence...all she had to do was cut and paste it...so to clarify what was said I will cut and paste it myself...so here it is so the gaggle of you fanatical ladies can over analyze, twist, degrade, disparage, and spew utter words of hatred against me...

This is getting way to personal and convoluted...I am not upsetting or hurting anyone by crocheting stones...my shop and items in it is trivial and superficial in the grand scheme of things...I am not "copying" Warhol or Dali here...we are talking about crocheting stones...not works of art by any means...If my integrity as person is questioned by you and others then so be it...if you feel that crocheting stones in the likeness of another really matters... then you should take another look at this sometimes cruel world and redirect your concerns and energy to a much greater cause other then "copying" crocheted stones...

I only have one last response to your previous comment...

Finally, I also wonder why you would feel good about copying Deborah's work? Wouldn't there be a lot more pride and satisfaction in coming up with your own ideas?

Ditto for Margie as well... she has done the same...hence my mentioning it in my last convo...it is very relevant...the idea did not originate from Margie...as everyone seems to believe...it's hypocritical to say it's ok for Margie and not another...it's hard to be unbiased when a friend is involved...

So let's just agree to disagree and go on with our lives as before and thank god that the worst thing that's happend to us today is this pointless banter over "copying" crocheted stones and Margret Oomans style...

Peace
Renee

So there it is ladies...my blatant disregard, unethical lack of moral fiber, and every other shameless thing you can think of...feast yourselves and enjoy the witch hunt...I do hope it soothes your souls and makes you sleep well a night...and for the record my name is Renee so no need to refer to me as that woman...i bid you all well in your quest of blogshere slander!!!! In closing let me add one final thought (which I'm sure is a waste of time, no one here will get it)...the whole premise of art, craft, invention, etc. comes down to one basically trying to expose themselves to the very best things that humans have done and then try to bring those things into what they are doing. Picaso had a profound quote... good artists copy, great artists steal. Artists have always been shameless about stealing great ideas and i truly believe part of what make artists such as picaso so great are ideas and influences from other artists...but lets not forget that we are talking about crocheted stones not works of art...lets me try to approch this concept of me stealing or copying from Margie from another direction... my late grandfather had a beautiful and brilliant mind...When he lost his sight after a sever stroke back in 2007 be became very upset, depressed, even angry with himself because he came to the harsh realization that nothing in his imagination was original. He was truly devastated that his ideas and images were either directly from someone else that he discovered through his life by reading and seeing things in museums even television and film...he mixed pre-existing, disparate ideas together in a different way.
So what im trying to say is...perhaps we are all relegated to "stealing" or "copying" ideas and just repackaging them, or repurposing, because everything has already been created in this world...im sure you all will spin this to your own benefit...peace love and understanding to you all!!!!

Renee
Stitchhappens@ymail.com

julochka said...

flowerdancer - sometimes the longer posts get shunted into an approval queue, but i've approved it now, so your whole correspondence is here. it's a little unfortunate that due to the time difference, i had gone to bed and didn't know 'til this morning. but it's there now.

renee - i think it's interesting that you characterize any of this as degrading and disparaging, as i believe we have all been careful to not be those things, but to be as diplomatic as possible. i also think you misunderstand what we were getting at here...i wasn't saying you shouldn't make crocheted stones...there are many of those out there..what's shocking is how closely you are copying margie's stones..especially her "missing pieces" stones, which incorporate fabric bits - when i first saw one of your on the front page of etsy a few days ago, i thought, whoa, margie is letting other people sell her stones now too. they are so exactly like her in every way - that's what we all object to.

as margie herself has pointed out, you do beautiful work, so it shouldn't be difficult for you to find your own thing.

what you're doing damages the entire community...because it makes us all less likely to share our best work online when it can be stolen and appropriated by people who apparently have no conscience, tho' the fact that you use the words disparage and degrade, actually indicates that you do have a conscience somewhere in there. i hope it will guide you do the right thing.

while this may not be the most important issue the world is facing, intellectual property is an important one in the creative community. as this rightly proves. i hope you'll do the right thing and start selling items in your shop that reflect your own creativity and not someone else's. if nothing else, you should have learned that the crafting community rallies around those who share in the generous spirit that margie has done.

i thank you all for this conversation, i'm happy to have started it.

julochka said...

thank you lisa, for reposting this on eco etsy members daily: http://paper.li/ecoetsy/teammembers it's an important discussion for all etsyians.

Jill Wignall said...

Julochka, Thank you for starting this conversation. I've known about this issue for a little while and felt that it should be openly discussed and made public. But I didn't really know how to do that, or if Margie would want that. I see from the comments that Margie is happy for this to be discussed and that this has created a lot of converstaion. I'm glad that Renee has also voiced her opinion. As you pointed out Renee is obviously a talented maker and I hope that this conversation isn't seen as a 'witch hunt' by her, but more as food for thought. I just hope that she will soon come to find her own voice and style, make use of her talents and leave Margie's alone.

Sammi said...

i agree with you on this one, back a year or so ago one of the blog's i read a lot was copied online. i couldn't get my head around why someone who spend time to copy someone elses words and blog and not use their own words.

flowerdancer said...

Yes, there are bigger dramas going on in our poor world right now. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't be concerned with this issue. Doing something wrong can't be justified by saying there are bigger wrongs out there. People in Japan are suffering - and it's still wrong to steal from others instead of creating from one's own vision.

It's too bad that Renee doesn't see Margie's crocheted stones as works of art, but that's not a defense, either. I don't see television commercials as works of art, but it's wrong to copy them!

At the end of his life, Renee's grandfather was "upset, depressed, even angry with himself" because he realized that none of his ideas were original. Doesn't that alone tell you something, Renee? Grandpa was ashamed of himself for doing what you're trying to defend. Do you think he'd be proud of you?

Finally, I keep coming back to something Renee posted in her profile on Etsy, "I hope I can bring a little more happiness into the world with my creations..."

RLLY? Cause if that's true, I really and truly don't get it. :(

janesaid said...

sure have a lot to say about what you know little about

Elsita said...

Dear all:
This debate is happening right now because each one of us is responding to something that feels like it should be addressed.
We have a fact: we're expressing our opinions on something that we feel sensitive about. I just would like to present this case chronologically to get a better understanding of it. The three elements in this debate feel sensitive and I am sure that we have the capacity to reach a nice ending to the conflict.

Here are the 3 elements:

1.Margie
2.Renee
3.Us

In that order: Margie opened her store on Etsy in 2007 and got established thanks to her customers plus a large group of admirers and blog followers. As I write this notes, Margie has made 887 sales. She has a feedback record of 863, 100% of them positive. She has sold her popular crocheted stones in seconds. Crocheted stones is something that Margie turned into an art form by exploring it in ways that set her apart, without even looking for it she created a signature. She has also sold jewelry made out of organic materials, photographs etc. Margie's crocheted stones have been published extensively on the Internet and paper magazines. She has also shown her work in galleries. She's having a show with well-known artist Geninne very soon. In a few words: we have followed Margie's organic and solid development as an artist for years. There is not even a small doubt by those who know Margie that she is an authentic person with a huge heart and huge generosity in her soul. There is no space to question Margie in any way because it would be wrong and unfair. She's a strong artist with a strong voice in the community of creative people. Let’s add to this that Margie is an amazing mother of four remarkable children. Each one of them is a beautiful soul and that says a lot about her. Our children are our bigger creation and Margie has done an amazing job as a mother as well. Every area of Margie’s life is full of love and beauty.

The second element in this conflict is Renee.
Renee opened her store 3 years after Margie did, in 2010. Which is something that we should congratulate her for, since many women are afraid of doing so. Her store looks nice; good photographs, well designed banner, her items are beautiful as well. It's not hard to see that Renee has talent and skills plus she’s a good writer. She has sold 163 items and has a feedback record of 445. We could say that Renee has a good store. The only aspect that is not quiet right is that several people have had a natural reaction against the fact that her shop reminds them too much of Margie’s shop, a place established 3 years before. People’s opinions and the urge to express them is something that has occurred naturally, without Margie being involved in it, it has been a human reaction to something that was presented to our eyes. And here is when the third element in this debate comes out: US.

The 3rd element: US.
We are creative people and creative people have a sharp eye for finding and appreciating authenticity. We have Etsy shops ourselves and blogs and opinions. As creative people we’re also sensitive, we see and feel things in a deep way. From disasters that are hitting our neighbors in other countries to the issue that we’re discussing here, we care about everything. We care and we respond to life in individual ways, then, when all the individual ways gather together we form a bigger force. The beauty of us as a force, as a community, is that we can learn from each other. What a single person can’t see well, can be seen much better by many people. In this case we could all benefit from this debate by bringing constructive ideas to it. In my very personal opinion we should do it with love and understanding and real good intentions. Personal attacks and hard words are like bad seeds, they won’t produce beautiful plants at all, even when they seem to bring some kind of instant satisfaction.

(will continue in next comment)

Elsita said...

We’re all hurt here: Margie, Renee and us. Margie has been experiencing the frustration of doing everything in her power, in a civil manner, to find solutions to the problem. She got in touch with Renee in the first place, before we were even aware of this problem, but unfortunately it didn’t work at all.
Then, Renee has been feeling attacked by the opinions of the community. Her human predictable reaction has been: trying to defend herself. I am sure that she can’t be happy experiencing all of this. This is not a pleasant issue because it involves people questioning her authenticity. Who enjoys something like that? Even when we carry a degree of guilt? When we make a mistake, it takes time plus a series of personal skills to admit the wrongdoing. Reading Renee’s words I see a woman who could definitely be able to maybe isolate herself for a while, look at this problem from the outside and admit that it’s her against a group of people who agree on a single idea: it’s wrong to sell items on her store that seem to be someone else’s items. I think that she could try, as hard as it is, to listen to the community that she’s part of. Instead of rejecting her we could help her.

I am not Renee to know how she is. I can’t assume that she’s a bad person trying to do bad things. All I can have is the faith that, as a creative person, after a while, she will come to see herself and her Etsy shop more clearly from the outside. It’s up to Renne at this point to do what she think is right. And what is right in Renne’s opinion is nothing that we can control. It’s a very personal thing.

Everything has been done so far. Margie did her part, the community did its part by putting our opinions here in writing. Now it’s up to Renne to take her time and think about this. In her position I would put all my creative force into proving to myself that I have talent and that I can create amazing, unique and impossible to compare with anybody else’s pieces. I would use this debate as way to bring clarity into my personal creative world. I would personally open a totally different Etsy shop with a unique and amazing concept that would be the result of deep thinking and creativity. And then I would leave this experience in the past, as some painful but important lesson that taught me a lot.

This is my personal opinion that I respectfully share here with every good intention in the world. I would like to invite Margie, Renee and ourselves to bring some good karma to this conflict for a happy ending. I have been involved in copyright issues myself as a victim, one of them pretty sad with a person who seemed to be my friend. I felt angry and frustrated at the time, but as the years passed by I realized that people (my ex-friend for example) have deep reasons for doing things in ways that seem to make sense to them. In all these years (12 now) my ex-friend never apologized or admitted her mistake. I feel honestly sorry for her. The pain went away from my heart but I am still sad at the direction that she decided to take. From her I learned that if I ever made a mistake myself I was going to do everything in my power to correct it as soon as I could. Believe me that I had to put that in practice a couple of times and it was very, very, very hard, but I felt great after it. I felt liberated and free from myself and I even got some grateful words from the other person.
I’m sure that with lots of love and positivism we can give this conflict a happy ending.
Thanks a lot for reading this.

Elsita ☺

julochka said...

thank you, elsita, for your calm, caring and wonderful words. i think it was needed.

xox,
/julie

Pell said...

of course no one here would get the point i was trying to make you just take my words and spin them to benefit your cause/crusade, whatever you want to call this absurd rallying of self-proclaimed saints.

you question wether my grandfather would be proud even had the gual to bring my daughter into this redundant argument. what my grandfather or my daughter may think of me is of no consequence to any of you. you took my words out of context. Sharing my grandfather's personal experience was to explain the picaso quote. however im dealing with extremely dogmatic and narrow-minded women that are over analytical and completely blinded by their ignorance.

what picaso meant is that every person wether they are an artist, scientist, inventor, is akin to taking (stealing) what has been done before their time, even if not by direct exposure the idea or ideas a person is exposed to is through other people, media, art, internet, music, books, blogs, etc. We are all products of our time and have the convenience and benefit from those who have walked similar paths that we are now on...picaso meant that we all "steal" because it has all been done before and we are not the soul originators. To "copy"( as some of you label me) is to take an existing interpretation, like tracing the mona lisa and saying you painted the mona lisa.

to "steal" an idea (guilty as charged) is to take something of value and make it yours. which i have done. i use hairpin lace to cover stones, i tat, i make bobbin lace, i even delved into irish crochet and broomstick lace for some, i watercolor some as well. as far as my patchwork stones i embellish with vintage buttons, shells, beads, vintage crazy quilts, i can go on pointing out the differences in my work. if you look closely at my stones they have a distinct look, the premiss is the same but the technique is distinctly different.
continued in next comment

Pell said...

So to make an artistic element yours you have to interpret it your way with your own approach. which i have. i use many different techniques that margie does not. she does not embellish her stones nor does she watercolor them, or use hairpin lace, or tat her stones or any of the like. if i was merely copying the idea then i would be doing everything exactly like it was done by margie. i have done it my way and used the element and did not simply duplicate it. if you say otherwise, i flat out disagree. let me make something clear. it is not required that an artist advance the element. just taking it a step further such as i, makes it yours. if margie is the crocheted stone messiah as you all have deemed her then my work should be no threat to hers...does coke fear pepsi...its all a matter of preference. they are both colas with little tweak differences variations in ingredients labels/branding. same as my stones. tweak differences. margie is coke and im pepsi. is that layman enough for you all?

Finally...the items I sell in my shop are created by me. by my own two hands. regardless of where the idea came from I created them, hence me calling them my creations. I have also even been called an impostor. seriously an impostor? I am in no way posing as Margie nor am I selling anything claiming to be margies. it clearly states that the items are made by me, Renee not margaret ooman. and yes you are correct when I say that i do not feel that margies crocheted stones (or mine for that matter) are works of art. anyone who has basic crochet knowledge/skills can pick up a hook and crochet a cover for a stone...including her missing pieces stones...fine art is something that is extraordinary and can not be easily reproduced. if you consider crocheting stones as fine art then you are all far less cultured then I thought...

Since comments are the new black and everyone here can freely express their feelings and leave their cynical comments i will also take the liberty and be trend by leaving with this final note....

Ladies, please carry on as you were with blowing outlandish delusions of grander up Margie's arse...ad nauseum!!! ;)


sincerest regards,
Renee

Pell said...

my last response was in reference to flowerdancer...not elsita who's graceful and wise words are duly respected and appreciated!!!!

Margie Oomen said...

Sometimes one creates a dynamic impression by saying something, and sometimes one creates as significant an impression by remaining silent.
Dalai Lama

in fact my dear wise friend elsita has articulated it in such a beautiful way , it leaves me so grateful and blessed to be a part of this community.

Struckbylightning7times said...

Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is nonexistent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery — celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from — it’s where you take them to.” ”

—Jim Jarmusch, The Golden Rules of Filming

Just a very pertinent quote that I very much enjoy. For me, most of my inspiration comes from music lyrics, intense feelings, and random phrases brought forth in conversation.