Plagiarism – blatant copying or just inspiration
It’s about a thought that our mindsets, behaviors, attitudes which perhaps many years ago would have been considered dishonest had now become ‘normal’, blatantly justified, and completely OKAY. Behaviors that unfortunately are no longer questioned in the present time.
What we once called plagiarism, we now freely call inspiration, not discerning between the two. Yes, harsh.
For someone who keeps advocating the notion that silence is not an option, it is remarkable how silent I’ve become. I could have tolerated that silence a bit longer if I haven’t witnessed more of that coming from others over the exact same tender matter.
I’ve decided that what I see happening more and more is not right by me and is not right for any of us. Generally speaking it’s not okay for people who hurt others to go forth uninterrupted and for those who are hurt to go forth, hushed. Yes, we are most certainly here to promote ideas of reciprocal inspiration, interconnectedness, love, unity, and all that good stuff. Sometimes we keep quiet to not disturb these ideas, but by doing so we achieve the opposite. By doing so we achieve divisiveness, isolation, animosity, and painful distances between humans.
It is truly so incredibly beautiful that with the widespread use of the Internet and Social Media our personal worlds and our visual expressions have opened up so vastly. Abundance of ideas, approaches to the visual language, techniques, and materials are so readily available, easily accessible to all of us at any time, anywhere. These are phenomenal sources we can use for our personal AND our collective well being or we can also abuse in the expense of individuals’ well being.
With the surge of endless possibilities: physical workshops, art retreats, E-courses, instructional books, videos, etc., we have gradually grown to be almost solely dependent on outside stimulation, instant pleasure, and quick means for the advancement of our personal, creative, and business paths. We have forgotten to go IN, put in the time, blood, sweat, and tears, into our processes and practices. We fail to engage our own stories and recall our innate capabilities to grow from the inside out.
And with these attitudes our sense of entitlement has grown unabashed. Unintentionally and unnoticeably we have developed inconsiderate and insensitive behaviors that dismiss and ignore those who express the hurt of having to be prematurely innovative again, abandon a course of action, a very specific, complex creative direction they’ve been working on for a long time because someone else just grabbed it for themselves and is now fully adapting it to fulfill their own dire needs, whatever they me be.
It’s not okay at all to take what you learned, what was shared with you by one person, to not discern, not process, not involve other sources of inspiration, and use it as it is, call it your own, make what she makes, exhibit it, teach what she teaches, have it printed in magazines and books, make money off of it. I am not talking about singular techniques like image transfer, eco dyeing, techniques that have been used for decades if not centuries, or the use of materials like carbon paper or newer inventions like clear gesso and distressed inks.
I am talking about a series of processes and combinations of materials that make for a very specific, profound, and personal and unique expression that you can’t just take. These derive from one’s very own experiential pool. That pool is expansive, that river is long and tremendous, that source is visceral and deep rooted. It comes only from that one person and is not transferable or up for grabs. The hurt that comes from that happening is indescribable.
That hurt is real, so the dismissal of it just deepens the hurt. It makes you not want to create anything any more, cause what’s the point. It makes you not want to share anything, cause it’s just not safe. It makes you want to crawl back into that dark space where you once dwelled, long before you decided to end your screaming loneliness and open up your heart. It makes you silent, once again, wiping out all the work you’ve done to help yourself and others feel that we are here for each other.
It makes you want to make a swift irrational decision to give it all up. I am bringing it up today as another dear friend of mine expressed to me the sudden deep sadness and despair she felt when realizing that someone took her hard work and the originality of her spirit and her one of a kind soul and made it all their own in one fell swoop. I am realizing more and more that this is not only my problem. And I am breaking my long silence, not just for me, but for you too.
It is OUR problem! Keeping silent has severe consequences for me, for us, in our small community, and for all children, women and men in the world. Today more than ever. Silence was and is to blame for many injustices and occurrences since the beginning of time and every where. I am not going to be silent. I am not going to be blamed for causing division by merely expressing injustice, pointing out challenges we face, and pointing fingers to the ones who actually caused the division in the first place. I am not going to sweep even crumbs under the rug.
So please people, let’s not hurt each other. Let’s obtain many many sources of inspiration and use them as fragments of our visual language. But mostly let’s go inward, stay there most of the time, cause this is where the good stuff is, deep deep in the spaces occupied between the roots, reserved only for you. Rely on yourselves as ultimately you are the source of the greatest inspirations. Trust yourself, be gentle and be patient. Find peace within your body.
That peace can not be found in the noise outside your body. And if you are overwhelmed and have doubts about the use of sources outside of you, examine these, and listen to your findings. In the end, no one really intends to cause such harm on any one else. We mostly cause it to ourselves and to others when we deny, dismiss, ignore, and perpetuate. If someone actually expresses to you that you have hurt them this way, you are super lucky. You have the great opportunity of not having to guess. Respect, acknowledge, be loving.