It is January 30th 2011 and I have no orders in the hopper! This is the first day that I haven't painted something since September of 2010. My hand needs a rest! I did however, have to do a sketch for a potential customer today so I did do a little work. I am hoping that this week will allow me to get new designs painted and get the new products rolling. I have so much stored in my brain right now, I think I could paint for a week straight just to get it out.
February is usually a slower month for me and I am happy about it. It gives me time to re-energize and do some creative work.
This past month has been interesting with lots of drama. Several other artistis I know in the children's art industry have taken to calling each other on the carpet about copying designs. I've seen people worry themselves over being sued or copied and heated words exchanged over blogs. I recently saw the remake of True Grit (Fabulous flick BTW) and these exchanges could rival the banter of the gritty cowboys in this movie! So here's my thoughts on copying. Unless you're a Van Gogh, Monet, or Michaelangelo you probably should just keep forging ahead and take it as a compliment that so many see you as "a leader" in your industry. In the children's art market, no one has been copied or "interpreted" more than Beatrix Potter. Heck, there are several furniture companies blatantly using the artwork without licensing it and calling it something else (like ---------Forest). Mostly I think companies (including my own) reinterpret designs because that's what the customer asks for. It isn't meant to intentionally give the old "screw you" to the artist. It isn't even about making money. It's about trying to do what the customer asks for or what you think they want to see from you. Now, do I think it's right to blatantly take a design from an artist and sell it as your own? No. Do I think it's Ok to do your own version of another artist's design? Sometimes. Why sometimes? Because in the big picture, we're just making disposable art. Most of it will end up thrown away one day. It's not as if someone is going to keep a wall hanging that says "Bella" on it forever, or hang it in a museum. The work we do is temporary. It will only be hung on a wall in a child's room for 10 years or so and then replaced with a gaudy poster of the latest teen idol. None of us are going to get rich doing children's wall art. That's a fact. There's too many "interpreters" out there and it's a fad that will pass when the times change. I think it's best to not take what we do so seriously and not play the blame game of what came first, the princess or the princess crown? This too shall pass. Not to mention, negativity is a curse on an artist's creativity.