BE MINE. AN OPEN CEASE AND DESIST LETTER FROM THE CREATOR TO THE RE-CREATOR
Noun: the practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own.
Synonyms: copying, infringement of copyright, piracy, theft, stealing, poaching, appropriation; informal-cribbing
Plagiarism in Art is something I’ve witnessed happen to others from afar, never in my wildest thoughts would I expect this to become my reality. Let alone the act being carried out by someone who is also trying to thrive in the arts industry. This fellow “established” artist whom before this fiasco I would have respected should know better & quite frankly they do know better! At one point or another we have recreated a Masters work through our eyes and capabilities. (Thanks Van Gogh!). But the main difference between using work as a reference to learn from, explore new mediums and practise new techniques with from outright plagiarism is 1) not citing the original source and passing off the recreation as your own or 2) for monetary gain.
Plagiarism is a pandora’s box of a topic and in todays world of social media it goes beyond the traditional sense of a blatant recreation of a painting. The visual of a finished product is only a small percentage of the whole process. From my own experience it has been somebody trying to encroach on my processes. Outright copying of content, services, marketing strategies. But what the Re-Creator seemed to have missed is that my personal process can’t be plagiarised. My blue print and possible recipe for success will not necessarily mean it will translate in the same way they aspire it too.
Although I have experienced the biggest pit fall of social media, I still very much see the beauty of these platforms. It is a great place for to set my work before a large audience, share information about my paintings, garner views and interest in my art. Instantaneously I can connect, receive feedback and interact with others in the digital space. In the backend of the platforms I can tap into my data analytics and inspect spikes in traffic & engagement. The statistics have become a vital tool in helping me learn what works & what doesn’t work.
AND TO YOU THE RE-CREATOR.
You welcomed yourself and scuffed your shoes onto the doorstep of my virtual home. This little nook on the internet is where I hang my paintings with an open door. I allowed you to have a quick glance from the doorstep or fully step into my home. But you waded into my home with the wrong intentions. You didn’t know that a lion that lives within me who has an unfathomable belief that cannot be shook. I have expended enough time, energy and emotion into myself & my craft that I defiantly will not dance with you. My goals are too large & enormous to halt especially for someone like you who have has shown little respect towards me and my creativity. Don’t challenge me on how far I’ll go to protect my essence and my dreams. There is an inexplicable artfulness to my ways. What I do is like another kind of breathing. My creativity is like watching art unfold. It’s all me in its entirety from the art, my words that I write to the way I market myself. It’s all authentically me & it’s mine.
Your actions at times have left me infuriated and naturally wanting to fiercely protect my ideas, my words, my labour. But this annoyance has been short lived. You as the re-creator fail to realise that these processes are mine. I was first and always will be while you will remain in the rearview. Copying is missing out on the process of finding yourself and your voice. Its time spent reproducing something that doesn’t belong to you is still time spent not doing something that will further your own artistic way and stunt your overall growth as a business. Not to mention the integrity issues that come along with copying.
I do empathise with you as you have sat and watched my business grow from strength to strength. You have been operating as a business for a much longer time. Jessica Ivy is still very much in its infancy as its not even a year old. Even I couldn’t anticipate this growth but I have worked so very hard to even get to this stage so in that regard I am flattered that you have turned to my business as a source of inspiration. I am proud over frustrated. But I implore you to just be you. Go find yourself, light up the parts of you that has dimmed inside. Just be you and don’t be afraid to show off as your own wonderful self. Only then will you shine brightly. The world wants to see that, not another Jessica Ivy