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Spread 145 – Express Your Self September 19, 2011

Posted by Orly in Uncategorized.

Elusive as it may seem, there is a fine line between the natural assimilation of visual information that later transpires unconsciously in one’s artwork and the blatant replication of art already created by others. Simpler said, there is a thick line between inspiration and plagiarism. That line is not that elusive, it’s clear! Be done with denial and get ready to allow the original you to emerge however daunting of a process it may seem. You’ve got to be brave, for your own sake, for the sake of others, and for the sake of plain old honesty and integrity! Get some guts and go on your own journey to find the innate creative being that you are, be yourself, for as you probably heard before (by Oscar Wilde): “Everyone else is already taken.” Seriously, many work hard their whole life to become fluent in their very own invented intimate visual language, don’t just take it and claim that it’s yours, it’s beyond ‘not nice’. Besides who wants their art to look like other’s art…really?


1. pearlandroses - September 20, 2011

The colors of this spread stir ancient feelings in me. So beautiful and rich. I often stop and wonder whether I cross the line. For instance when I want to use a beautiful image from National geographic in my spread. How much of the image shall I leave untouched? How much shall I change to make it mine?

2. many - September 20, 2011

C’est magnifique, bises

3. Marit - September 20, 2011

Very true and very wise words Orly! We can’t hear/say it enough! Your spread is beyond beautiful!

4. Arlene Wanetick - September 20, 2011

True and beautiful, and did not know the Oscar WIlde quote, it is great! Thanks for this. xoxox Arlene

5. kathryn - September 20, 2011

I fully agree with you! Everyone should find their own voice.

But what do you think about this…so many people replicate Kelly Roberts art…she has a book out explaining her technique (I believe…i’ve never actually seen her book in person) so then people replicate it and sell it…you can clearly see it’s not hers but very similar.

What’s your thoughts on that? Does an artist then bring it upon themselves in a way? Kind of a tricky thing!!!

Orly - September 20, 2011

Kathryn, here is my thought: I give people credit, they know the difference between using an artist’s techniques to help them advance their own art and making art that looks identical to the artist’s art. Techniques are just tools to achieve a million outcomes.
If a house window is open, do you go in and take stuff saying: “what can I do, the window was open, blame the one who opened it”?

thalia - September 24, 2011

The kids call them posers–I think everything we do, especially if we’re emulating others, comes down to fear and trust. We fear we’re not good (or as good) as other artists, so we jump on to those who “risk for us”….I know that the more I trust that I can be authentic AND STILL be valued for MY work/self, the more i can be the risky one. Sometimes, we let you leap and tell us that the water is fine……until then, the fearful will always copy the brave (that’s you by the way)! someday they may stop clinging to the rocks…maybe not!

6. Cynthia - September 20, 2011

Very true, Orly, well said!

7. Nicole - September 20, 2011

Well, I don’t know….I would be happy if my art looked like yours!!!

8. rachel awes - September 20, 2011

beautifully done!!! to original you from original me…xox

9. Stephanie - September 20, 2011

I see this too often in our blog world, the obvious needs to be voiced….

thank you for this Orly

10. Monica - September 20, 2011

Beautiful work, as always, Orly! Those floating dots are haunting me for some reason =-)

And thank you for your great response to Kathryn’s question – I actually have Kelly Rae’s book but have only tried out one technique in it, as well as attending a class she taught at Artful Journey, from which I got lots of great techniques, but I was more interested in her story than her style of working =-D
It is true that there are nearly as many techniques in art making that can create a million (or more!) outcomes in any given pair of hands and I think that is the thing to remember when looking at a book of a ‘famous’ artist/crafter or taking a class from the same. As someone who has worked her art and craft skills since childhood, I am usually looking for techniques to learn, not a style to copy =-) And if someone is teaching a special technique, it is up to them to speak up and inform the students of what the legally/morally right thing to do is, instead of locking the windows after the computer is stolen, to borrow your metaphor, Orly! 😉

11. numenjones - September 21, 2011

I enjoy your art very much. It reminds me so much of my brother’s art – he isn’t with us any longer but I know he’s here and your Art Journal reminded me of that. Thanks

12. Tati Vice - September 21, 2011

This was the subject of a conversation I had with a close friend the other day, who is a mixed media artist for many years in Houston, TX. I’ve just started playing with journal pages, and I’ve come across so many ‘similarities’ that to be honest, it makes me sad. As a movement artist I’ve experience the same thing in the contemporary dance world, where there was a time when a lot of talented people tried to copy Pina Bausch’s work (as if…), waisting all that energy away that could be used to voice their own ideas through authentic movements.
I appreciate you sharing this, as I started to get in touch with the techniques and all that. As I’ve always been an improv artist, and my approach has been try this and that and improv. The results, although not pretty, are much rewarding to me. I guess we’ll meet at the Journalfest. Best!

13. Lynn Fisher - September 21, 2011

Orly, I hope you have had a wonderful summer. It is good to see that you are still unmistakibly and originally you!
Much love…Lynn (my goodness, I forget to put you on my blogroll…I’ve done it now)

14. leslie avon miller - September 21, 2011

I think fear of being “different”, “original”, “not good enough” can drive the copy approach. It takes guts to be different, original and unique. Fitting in is being part of the group. I think we don’t always feel encouraged when we strike out in a new direction.

Also a lack of ideas can lead to copies. It may seam simpler and easier to just copy. Its also an issue of ethics.

What it takes for us to be our own selves in art and in life is awareness, daring to be different, appreciation and tolerance for the process of learning and developing techniques and skills. We also have to tolerate a lack of instant gratification. In other words, its work to be your own unique self!

15. Christina Brittain - September 21, 2011

Bold! I love your fire and firm stance in this one! A CHALLENGE, a CALL, “to create, people, from your own inner being! The world needs it! YOU need it. Life will benefit from you being you, and you finding your own voice and vibrancy to contribute to the star shine!!” Hooray for boldly burning star lit Orly!

16. kristina - September 21, 2011

Simply amazing and original! Love what you said and I feel finding my own style and voice is such a beautiful gift. I have enjoyed and appreciated your guidance in that process.

17. Yankale - September 23, 2011

Beautiful done and said Orly.

Love you!

18. Jo Reimer - September 23, 2011

Bravo for your wise words, Orly. Buying a book and copying an artist’s style is taking the easy way out and taking that which said artist spent lots of time and energy and thought to develop. However, today’s focus on “how-to” books makes it easier to copy and actually encourages copying and does little to help a beginning artist or crafter think for herself.
Better to ask oneself some questions and spend many hours writing and thinking before putting your art out there, even on a blog.
Ask yourself some questions: What do I want to say? How do I want to say it? Or as I just read in Peter London’s classic, No More Secondhand Art, “of all the things I can do, what shall I do, what should I do?”
Of course we read books, take classes and workshops, and study fine art in museums, but that’s just the beginning. We need to work with what we learn until our hearts and our hands have processed the techniques and approaches and turned the art we make into something fine that’s ours and ours alone. Maybe it won’t be as good as whomever we admire but at least it will be honest and true.

19. Donna Watson - September 26, 2011

Your blog post is especially meaningful to me as I have had a few problems recently and had to actually ask one artist to remove her image from her site as it was an exact copy.. so I assume you have had some problems too… being influenced and inspired is different from copying.. a distinction for sure.

20. Gil Avineri - October 26, 2011

i didn’t know the word “integrity” still existed in our language.

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