This morning someone asked if they could copy something I'd done and I find myself at a loss as to what to say. I think I don't want to think about it.
It's a simple thing-- one of my primitive series pieces. It's freeform so the copy wouldn't be exact. I doubt it's even copyrightable-- silver wires wrapped around each other? If I came across it in a magazine I wouldn't assume someone had stolen the idea.
I also can't claim being exactly original. My primitive series deliberately emulates techniques and forms of ancient jewelry artists. This particular piece came about as a way to use up scrap wire pieces, but the techniques I use are older than wire.
If I said I don't approve of copying-- that's hypocritical right? Just because the styles I'm copying are all by dead people and I'm putting my own spin on them-- I still didn't bibbidibobbidiboo the ideas into existence. In fact I like the series because it's connective and evocative.
But the idea someone emulating this one design leaves me unsettled and I'm not sure why. Fear, of what? Fear that it somehow makes me less of an artist? Less unique? Less original?
Here's the thing. There's not one thing about any of us that is totally unique to the human experience. We're never alone. Someone somewhere somewhen has done it, felt it, thought it or said it. All snowflakes have the same makeup. What's unique is the combination of things no one anywhere at anytime has done, felt, thought or said everything we have. All snowflakes are different. We're all innately special and innately unique-- even if our life's aim is to fit in someplace-- it's hard and we never quite get it right.
So if she copies this one bracelet-- absolutely nothing would happen to me. My world would not end. I would not die, get sick or be forced to wait tables. She'll get a cool bracelet inspired by thebeadedlily and maybe creating it will give her a bit of joy.