Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Artistic Timeline

I have always held the FIRM belief that artistic ideas belong to no one single person.  I have always held the firm belief that Art grows from the ideas of others.  If it didn't we would still be drawing in the mud.  Ever single art that has ever existed comes from a gradual development of a concept or a technique.  Art movements are about artists working on a similar theme, but from those themes come individuality.  If you look at the Renaissance with blurred vision you it would seem that all the artists were sort of copying each other...and guess what, they were.  Of course, I tend to think of it less of copying and more of "learning" from new ideas.  If you look closely you start to notice subtleties in each artists work.  Bosch and Bruegel are very similar...but look closer and they are not.  That is the point, there is no possible way for them to be identical, no two minds will never be able to create exactly the same thing (unless you are a forger which is a different kind of thing altogether).  Art movements are about trends that are interesting or pertinent to the time of the creations.  If there wasn't a fair amount of "learning" from each other there would be no such thing as an art movement.  Otherwise Raphael would be doing Renaissance painting while DaVinci would have been busy inventing Abstract Expressionism...it's not what happens.  Artists grow, and expand on the ideas of other Artists.

Now I'm going to pull out a quote from Picasso...well at least it has been attributed to him "Good artists borrow.  Great artists steal."  The reason this is important is that an artist's role is to move ideas forward.  The way they do this is by paying attention to what's going on around them.  I promise you that Michelangelo was well aware of what Raphael was doing and vice versa.    I view art as a science.  Like scientific discoveries, artistic discoveries are built on the bones of its predecessors.  It seems ludicrous to me to have to reinvent something that has already been explored.  All styles and techniques are worthy to be reexamined and rediscovered.  It is what we as artist's do.

So the reason I have sort of a bee in my britches over this issue is that I am amazed at how many of my students seem surprised that I am willing to share my ideas with them.  Of course I'm going to share my ideas.  Art MUST grow!  It must move forward.

I have absolutely no fear that someone is going to "steal" my style and run with it.  Let them, but it won't be my art.  They may use my techniques but it will never be mine and anything I do will not be their's.  It is probable that other artists using certain techniques of mine will grow in directions that I would have never thought of.   In some cases perhaps better.  So be it!  That is a good thing.  If nothing else it keeps me motivated to stay on top of my game.

So for those teachers worried about someone stealing your "secrets"...well you have the choice not to teach or share those secrets.  Of course, by now,  you know how I feel about that point of view.

The reason I am so avid about this position of sharing is that, to me, art is sacred and magical.  It is perhaps one of the most sacred and magical things we have on this earth.   The idea of keeping artistic ideas, techniques and thoughts hidden from other artists seems like a spit in the face of everything that I hold as divine in the Universe.  It is sacrilegious to everything that I believe as an artist.  I believe, as an artist I am here to explore this place through my eyes and hands.  At some point I will have shuffled off this mortal coil.  What greater honor is there than inspiring others and knowing you have contributed to the continuity of the artistic timeline.  Before I die that is what I hope I can achieve, but I can't achieve it unless I am willing to share.

106 comments:

Studio 13 by Carrie said...

Thanks for sharing Michael!! I really appreciate this.

Maria Fontaine said...

Michael... I love your work... am an artist and teacher myself... how wonderfully secure and without issues you are to feel that way... what a great way to look at it... no matter how anyone tries to copy your work, it will never be you... it will be them... many artist/teachers could learn from reading this!!!

silentd said...

Imitation, assimilation, innovation. To grow, we have to continually go 'round this cycle. Everything builds on what came before.

Vickie said...

Well, you know how I feel about your art ;) The fact that you share your knowledge is a blessing for all...your classes are wonderful because of the give and take that occurs. I'm grateful for what I've learned from you and if that's reflected in my art, I say yay!! The beat goes on. Don't you just hate it when you get a bee in your britches?

Pam McKnight said...

What a great blog entry and thank you!

marianne said...

what a great post! any artist will want to take a technique and put their own stamp on it. sharing opens up so many more possibilities- love your generous spirit. and look forward to hearing more about that calss in new orleans next spring so i can experience first hand :)

yona said...

i totally agree michael and i think i am as adamant as you... perhaps if you wrote the very same words in the very same context at the very same time i might believe one's style could be ripped off.. to me the essence of creative energy is that which morphs and interprets, then re-morphs and re-interprets... thanks for posting... yo

Keli Hansen said...

I read your post and stood up and started clapping. ..yes...yes...yes! When you see that "smile" cross the eyes of a student who came to class wondering why they came...because they are not "artistic"...and at that moment they discover that in fact they too...have "it". Whatever you "give away" in this process will come back to you...its how the community of art...is. bravo to you for putting this out there...you're right on the mark.

Genea said...

This is so profound. I found the link to your blog on facebook through Andrea Guarino-Slemmon's post. This is how I feel about art and the "copying" issue. Thank you for putting it so eloquently. I will post a link on my blog so that others might be able to share your point of view.

Much love,

Genea

Rogene MaƱas said...

Honesty, integrity, generosity. You are just such a great teacher and an even better person.

Long Black Eyelahes said...

Thank you Michael! I appreciate your thoughts, agree with you and it has helped me tremendously with that subject, thanks so much!

rachel whetzel said...

I wish I could move into a house next to yours and we could share a studio. :P I think I would like that VERY much.

Louise said...

:) :) Bravo! :) :)

Toni said...

Michael, thank you for sharing these thoughts. I totally agree... Can't wait to take a class from you on the west coast... :)

naveed ahmad khan said...

t was preeti good site then other when i visited last month
and got good information about work from home


work from home

Healing Woman said...

Your art statement was extremely well said. I, too, believe art is mystical and magical. I would not be who I am today if it were not for art. People thought I was crazy when I started mosaicing my car. B-dazle is finished now and some still think I'm crazy but I feel great satisfaction knowing I followed my art.

Thanks for the inspiration.

Laura Komai said...

You continue to be a great source of inspiration Michael. Thanks for sharing your wise words and your talents!

Shonna said...

Thank you for sharing your views on this subject. I totally agree and couldn't have said it better myself!!! Bravo!!

Judy Wise said...

this is greatness. thank you Michael.

Suze Weinberg said...

holy shit..,.someone who thinks just like I do ! I'm ferklempt & kvelling ! Ask Judy !

PCarriker said...

This is so well said! When I share a technique in an article I share the whole thing. Make it change it do what you want with it. I get tired of the 'it's my secret' mentality. It's not a secret, in fact it's probably been done by somebody in some form before. People comment that I don't hold anything back, well that would be like giving someone a recipe and leaving out one key ingredient just to keep theirs from being as good as yours. If you don't want to share your technique all the way then maybe teaching isn't for you. Art is about sharing. It's visual. If you make art that sticks in someones mind, it's probably going to come out in some way in their work. Take it as a compliment. The only other alternative is to hide your work and never show anyone, but then what would be the point of creating visual art?

the messy nest said...

I love that you wrote this post!

I'm always dubious of a class I've taken where the artist/teacher seems to be keeping all their secrets tight in their fist, unwilling to share. All of the teachers that I continue to take workshops from, or even befriend in our small circle are artists who realize that we CANNOT grow as artists if we don't share it with those who are hungry to learn! I find it so frustrating when an artist clings onto their secrets in the hopes that they will always be needed because of it.

It's the driving force behind every article I write, and every workshop I teach. I share what I know so that I am pushed to learn more myself. How boring and uncreative to continue to make the same things over and over again without so much as a subtle change in thinking or technique!

It's also a difficult lesson to learn. The first time you give away your secrets can be a VERY scary experience! What if we cannot do anything else? What if we never grow, but shrivel up instead inside ourselves? What if no one wants to look at anything new we create? I've found that after you fall down that rabbit hole of thinking you eventually hit the bottom, and realize that you're still in one piece and eager to open up every door in the hallway to see what artistic path it leads you down :)

I can't tell you how often I am thankful for being published next to you in Bernie's/Somerset's ATC Anthology. I'm constantly inspired by where you go creatively and that you take us with you on the journey :)

Those of us who share our souls and secrets when we teach others, empty up places in ourselves to be filled with new techniques, ideas, and inspiration!

WondrousStrange said...

Bravo to you Michael!

Carol said...

Here,Here!

BurningRubber said...

Thank you Michael! Last year I did several journal pages in various curent artists styles. Just to try them out and get a feel for their techniques. It was quite an enjoyable project and I learned alot. Some of those ideas and styles may be added to my own and some may not. Some may be combined into a totally unique idea, I hope. I for one am thankful for those who share so much of themselves.

Bevie said...

Hello Michael it's a tribute to your special talent for you to encourage those of us who may be in the beginning of our travel creating paints. I thank you for allowing me to see that it's ok to take techniques I've learned and use them without fear of "stepping on an artist's toes" sorta speak. Blessings!!!

Carmen said...

I love this attitude towards art. Well said!

Kelly Kilmer said...

Michael, you stole the words right out of my mouth.

;)

Well said and well written!

Chris said...

Hi. This is a topic that's been percolating in my brain since I started trusting myself to make things. I LOVE learning. But I know of those artists you reference, who are concerned with something being taken from them. It's a natural instinct. I love taking classes, and am careful not to take (for my blog) the kinds of photographs that would 'give' anyone free tutelage at the artist's expense. Someone asked that of me once, and I've been careful of it since. So in the early days (five or six minutes ago) when I was swapping and getting free original images from tons of people and sending them mine, I mulled over this concept of not 'giving' or risking the 'theft' of one another's images/methods/ideas, and it bugged me:

namely, swapping, the very thing that helped me to gain faith in my own eye and my own style, seemed anathema to that need to safeguard our personal visions. How could we share ourselves, yet safeguard ourselves, at the same time?

For me, personally (I tried impersonally but it didn't work), I create new things and express new thoughts and feelings much better when there is no fear. Not that this works for everyone, but my suspicion is that it has to. How can we grow in our own art if we are afraid to express it, manifest it, and let it be seen? (Besides, I could use all the ideas I can get.)

So. Thank you, Mr. D., for clarifying the matter so well and for helping me not to feel crazy about my suspicion that the two approaches naturally conflict with one another.

Time for a cookie!

Deryn Mentock said...

Bravo!! Clapping! Whistling! No spitting allowed. You play so well with others, Michael. You get a gold star!!

Anne Ross Oliva said...

Amen!

Gail said...

I think I just feel in love with you :) Thank you so much for this post. It has inspired me to keep creating more than you can know.

JBH said...

wonderful, michael! so eloquently put. these very words are yet another demonstration of your excellent ability to teach. so very happy to count you as a friend and teacher!

caryn Crimmel said...

thank you, well said. I'm with you. i think it was teesha that once said "i'll start worrying when they stop copying me!"

Liz-AnnasOnTheLake said...

I agree!! When I learn a new technique or have an exciting idea, I can't wait to share it and I'm so grateful to everyone who is generous in sharing their knowledge.

LaLa said...

Thank you for this post! I love it. You have expressed my sentiments very well. I am going to share this on FB for the rest of my friends to read. I knew I liked you for a reason! Namaste!

Terra Sheridan said...

so TRUE! I always get asked how I do stuff...Bits from many different artists...played with for yrs...on techniques. I love to share...keeps me on my toes!lol...and maybe on to the next new...thing

Lori Wostl said...

Amen!

joyfulploys said...

Amen Michael! If an artist is worried about someone stealing his/her techniques, etc., keep them clutched in their tight little fists and never share. The beauty and love stops with them. I'm in the "baby" artist stage trying to grab on to all that I can until my final curtain.
Mary

*jean* said...

well said and i share your beliefs...

FryeStyle said...

Mud drawers point sticks. I'm glad you have heightened awareness! I feel sorry for those who worry. That's not the legacy for you, or this artist!

TesoriTrovati said...

There has been much stated about this subject in the past few years (probably always, but that is how long I have been aware of it). I think of all the arguments, I appreciate yours the most. The fact that we are all here to inspire and spur one another on to newer greater heights is really my m.o. I am all about encouraging others to grow and develop their talents. I am sure that someone will come along and morph my ideas, but I think you are right. They are not mine alone. I have been influenced by all that has come before me. And someone will likely do it better than me and I say huzzah to that! Thank you for sharing your inspiration today. Enjoy the day! Erin

Sharon said...

Well said. You are a wise man. Thanks for sharing these thoughts.

mrs beadsley said...

hear! hear! very well said and something i agree with completely! thanks for this post - with all the talk of copyright infringement (ad nauseum)and who is stealing what, it is really refreshing to see an outlook i share!

Meg Fowler said...

What a breath of fresh air this attitude of yours is! (But, I knew that already ...) You are the most giving of teachers, and I love your classes. If it weren't for your generosity, I wouldn't be taking 'em again and again!

See you in Saluda in May!

Crafty Gal Linda said...

Wonderful share! Amen brother!

Thomasin Durgin said...

Very well said, thank you for saying it.

rangadeviZ said...

may beautiful ideas ever emerge in your work from your eloquent heart and mind.

smilingmoon said...

one of my favorite quotes is from an unknown modern artist who's last name starts with an A or Josef Albers. He says (yes it was a male artist) "All art is infested with other art." Maybe he was German and said invested but I doubt it. To me this means that there is no possible way not to be influenced by other art or artists. Secretiveness not withstanding.
Thank you for the wonderful images, I want to make stuff too!
c-

Lost Aussie said...

Eloquently and effectively put!
I've never really understood why those who "teach" are affronted that their students will strive to emulate them.

Tara Ross Studios said...

Hi Micheal, this is so beautifully stated. I find the words hard to express as well as you did here. I'd like to share this on my blog too, if that's ok. I so believe in growth and movement. No egos involved here.

Tara

HappyDayArt! said...

Bravo! Well written! I wish I had said that although I have written my version a while back and now I loved reading yours.

Thank you!
Catherine Witherell
HappyDayArt!

Kathleen said...

Bravo from another grateful student!
from the other side of the coin, I sometimes worry that what I create is somehow "original" enough - was it wrong to use inspiration wrong from another's art - this is very freeing - Thank you for also sharing this....

Jen Crossley said...

Michael you have hit the nail right on the head here.I love it
Jen

Hollie Haradon said...

That was so well said and I agree wholeheartedly. If I can inspire one other person to create, then I am doing my job.

Can't wait to meet you on Sunday at Zinnia's.!!

Ellen said...

Beautifully said, Michael. I hear echos of many conversations since my first art class. Another thing, it is sometimes difficult for me to reproduce something that I myself have made. I have seen older work of mine that I barely recognize! So I never worry too much about the whole imitation question. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this perennial issue.

Janine said...

Michael, thank you for such a well written post.

Jenny Doh said...

Bravo.

hazelnutcottage said...

spoken so eloquently and to the point. i love your perspective here and as one still finding my creative voice and vision, it helps to put some of those critical voice in my head to rest, those that say, 'well it's already all been done, so why bother?!' thank you for leaving such a rich legacy for young artists (well, young in experience, not age!) as myself. may you in turn be richly blessed!

Roberta said...

All I can say is YAY!!!! I LOVE this blog post, the words, the thoughts behind it...love love love. I read it through, then read it outloud to my husband. Well-said, and I whole-heartedly agree! I am one of your "veteran" students :-) who learns something wonderful in every single class taken with you. Your sharing of art techniques (and silly jokes and crazy paint names along the way!) has given me, and so many of your students, joy and happiness...and given us the confidence to create wonderful things we didn't even know were living in our imagination. So, thank you for that, Mr. deMeng...wish there were more teachers like you!

Happy day to you,
Roberta

ps...are you still coming to Tangerine in the fall???

Rachel Sacks Bowen said...

Oh Hell's Yeah! Preach it My Brotha!

It's always a pleasure to learn from you and Everyone in your classes. And this post is perfect timing... It is important remember to look at each other as fellow teachers no matter how much or little experience we have.

You Rock My World!

Raine said...

Well said! I took a class with you at Absolutely Everything in Topsfield, MA a few years ago. I had trouble with the first night...nothing that I was doing felt like "me." The second morning, on my way out of the house, I picked up a box of sea shells and stuck it in my bag. The class that day was decorating a shoe. Now you were teaching this very industrial sort of altered shoe and they were amazing. I just couldn't seem to make it mine. ...until I started gluing those shells to the shoe! It became my "Mermaid Slipper"!!!! It's now one of my very favorite pieces. It sits proudly in my living room with some of my other pieces. And it's always the first piece people notice and comment on. So a big THANK YOU,MICHAEL for creating an atmosphere that made me comfortable enough to strike out on my own, using something very different and making a piece that was inspired by you yet truly mine.

Crystal said...

What a welcome and fresh perspective! I've been taking an Art Appreciation class this semester and just finished studying Picasso. Went to the new Modern Art wing at the Art Institute and have been amazed out how many artists borrowed from each other, and as they grew in their styles, repeated earlier works they had painted.
I took a class with Keith Lo Bue several years ago and when a student remarked on his willingness to share his response was "I can give you my techniques and you can get into my style, but you'll never get into my head".
I wish all artists were more open and generous this way. Thank-you for so eloquently saying it!

martha brown said...

Thanks Michael, I completely agree with you!
(martha in toronto)(see you in august at AU!)

Jan said...

Exactly! This perspective needs to be emphasized more often. Bravo!

As artists we create to share our vision...fearlessly. We hope to inspire others as we have been inspired.

Karen Burns said...

Wow. I really enjoyed this. I was directed to this blog post via Deryn Mentock's blog. What a great attitude to have and for me to learn from, as I am just beginning to teach. I think it was a great lesson we all learned in Kindergarten -- sharing.

michelle ward said...

*claps wildly*

kelsey said...

Yep, just gotta agree with all the previous posts....you + nail + head....my sentiments exactly! It's a comment I've said many a time to my students, "you can copy my style but you can't be me, so I'm happy to tell you all I know and have learnt".

Laura said...

what a breath of fresh air. quite contrary to much of what is going around the art community these days.

Stephani said...

So nice to hear that there are so many people on the same page! :) Thank-you...

Diana said...

Oh, so well said, Michael!!! Bravo! I so agree with you. The artistic passion we have been blessed with is meant to be shared and passed on to others so that they, too, can explore their creative selves. Thank you. The art community needed to hear your wise words.
Hugs
Diana

marcia said...

great philosphy.

had to tell you: was in grand junction, co, at 3 days of cont ed and i look down at my feet at the gas station along i70 and VOILA!!!!!! My first rusty-smashed-in-the-street bottle cap. It's a doozie.

My traveling companion just shook her head . . .

tricia said...

Thank you Michael for voicing what I thought already. A lot of artists are so fearful of students or other artists stealing from them...as you said the art created is always different. Earlier someone commented everything builds on what came before. Of course!
Obviously one cannot copy a book word for word, or copy an art piece exactly and try to resell it as it copyrighted but a technique, or style or how to is OK. we all evolve.

Read Between The Lines said...

Michael's generosity has liberated me as an artist, and I plan to pass it on. Another wonderful sharing of Michael's was this: I will make art even if I am 99 years old before anyone recognizes it. These things have great power -- muchas gracias, Don deMeng!

Anonymous said...

Now there's a lesson to be learned. The "their copying me" saga is a battle cry heard over and over,and yes they probably are copying, what a compliment. A rolling stone gathers no moss. nicly said

amandadavie said...

Amen! Written beautifully...thank you for saying what needs to be said-light and love-amanda

madelyn said...

yes

yes

right on!

julie Haymaker thompson said...

Hi Michael, This is why you are one of the most respected teachers and artist out there.( Plus it helps to not loose your "cookies " in Italian herb gardens... tee hee) A student of mine told me to come by and read your post as she knows that I am a big supporter of copying and sharing !! How else are we to learn!! I find in class that when some students do not copy the instructor they often can get bogged down in the design process therefore missing out on all the learning . This can sometimes sadly lead to discouragement . The masters students copied the master for years. If as a teacher your students grow and shine then hurray to both !! And we are all both . I believe that if a person feels fear of being copied then it is a "good" growing pain and what will hopefully push that person to make changes . I know each and everyones own artistic voice will come through if given the proper encouragement and not shamed . I have not learned one THING in life that I did not learn from coping !!! If we never had the intelligence to copy we would not be in existence . I believe this with all my heart . SHARE and do not fear and if you fear then please examine the fear and hopefully grow . Thank you for this post. I have heard this from you before and may I say I " copy" your thoughts on this and thanks for all you give to the artistic community -.Julie

Carla Sonheim said...

Well said.

Terri brush said...

Wow...This has been such a topic in my art classes lately.. I believe those that teach and dont want you to learn to succeed are such a sad mental illness of a individual... dont teach if you dont want your students to move forward!.. thanks so much for writing this its PERFECT in EVERY way..... I will pass this along..
Terri Brush

peggy gatto said...

I often create something I think is brand new and original, totally my creation.
Then, I see it someplace else......already done before mine! Slightly different in some way, but my "original" idea.
Ideas go round and round.

SweetbriarStudio (Christie) said...

Thanks so much for putting this into words. I have thought along the same lines for a while. But what you said that was new to me is that this is part of your purpose. And that it is a Divine purpose. I often wonder, while doing so much that satisfies me, how to incorporate doing something for others in my art. Thanks for your perspective. By the way, I found you by way of Something Sublime.

Dede Warren said...

This is the single bigest issue in the art world today, and perhaps it has always been so. I couldn't agree with you more, Michael. Thank you for being so willing to share not only your art, but also your view on this often sensitive subject!!

Dede Warren said...

PS...
As a class coordinator I have had this conversation more times that I care to. I think you put this so well, that I hope you don't mind if I post this on my own blog, and link back to your blog.

Emily N. said...

You certainly inspired me in your class and also in your books. I love your style but I know I could never do what you do. What you inspired me to do is think about assemblaaaage (as you say) in a different way and to try different things. You are a born teacher. Best class I ever took and I've been to a LOT!

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

This was an exceptionally well written post and I enjoyed hearing your personal views on students learning your techniques and moving forward with them.
The minute we (as artists) put any work in the public, it is there for others to see, be inspired by, think about. Ultimately, some small portion of that my end up in their work.
On my blog, and in answers to e-mails, I don't hesitate to explain what I am doing because:

A) I enjoy seeing people move forward with art knowledge

--and--

B) What they do will not look like my work.

This was a big stink in the quilt world among teachers, and one of the reasons I returned to mixed media....I got fed up with the bickering over who *invented* a technique/style/pattern, etc.
Art is always being shared, inspiring, evoking some reaction, and hopefully---in the long run---making other artists BETTER. I do feel a responsibility to put my own SOUL into my work, and that's what makes it mine.....

Well spoken! Grazie!

Anne

Lorri Scott said...

So glad you broached this subject, it's something that comes up over and over "How can you teach someone your techniques when you know they're going to copy you, you're giving away your secrets" First off they are secrets, they're not mine to begin with. In my trade it's dyeing. Well....... haven't people been dyeing cloth for like centuries? You get the picture. I have had artist friends teach what they do and then complain that students are stealing from them, exactly and not just using the techniques learned. I have always told them but an artist puts his(her)self into their art and it becomes a feeling that they have created and someone else can't put your feeling into it. So that makes it different right? Okay, enough, you hit the nail on the head and I thank you for that.

Lorri Scott said...

oops! typo in previous post "they AREN'T mine" (not are)

rebeca trevino said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rebeca trevino said...

WOW Michael! you have, very articulately, put into words what I have been trying to teach students in workshops.

It's like sharing a recipe, you make it once, and then you make it your own.

and with your permission, i intend to quote you.
thanks again!
rebeca

Mo'a said...

I know that I am late to this party...however, I feel compelled to put in my two cents worth.
I agree with everything you said...I have for many years come up against fearful artist/crafts person who have jealously guarded their secret techniques. I loose respect for them and move on...their perspective is narrow and ill conceived. Do they not know that all secrets are eventually revealed?
I have seen many pieces by artists who have taken your class...none of them look like your work/style...they have come and learned and then set their own stamp on their art.
I was for years afraid of taking classes...I thought I would not be able to create my own style that way and fearful of being accused of stealing ...this impression was drilled into me by the above mentioned guards of secrets.
I no longer feel that way. I am older now and make art for my own pleasure.
Having read this post has me itching to take a class from you...I shall one day.
Thank you for this post...it should be shouted from the roof tops.
Ok!!! perhaps this was my 3 cents worth !!! :)

jerseytjej said...

That was a wonderful and poignant post. I am am only able to grow as an artist due to the kindness and selfless of artists like yourself, that are willing to embrace the term teacher literally.

Sharmon Davidson said...

You said it... eloquently.

Maija said...

Beautifully stated Michael!!
See you at AU this summer!

Lynn Stevens said...

Well said! May we all get inspired and keep learning from one another. I put a link on my blog to yours.

di said...

Very well said - and I so agree. If art was not shared and taught - were would we all be today. I do try to give credit to the artist I learned from - and it may be a combination of a few - but I still derived the initial idea from them - then RUN with it :)

Sandi said...

You are so right. Congrats on saying what so many of us feel.
Sandi

Lesley said...

Hello,
I was prompted by a friend to read your article as I advocate exactly your feelings on sharing ideas and techniques.
I am not an origional thinker and find it difficult to come up with new ideas but let me see something that someone else has created and I think - yes - I could do something like that - and of course I try but it never turns out the same because what is inside me changes the persepctive and the piece becomes origional to me with thanks to those who provide the inspiration.
Lesley

pamelahuntington said...

Sallianne suggested I read this post
yesterday as I was teaching a class
she attended and we were discussing
just this topic with the exact
same sentiments.. so thank you for
putting it in this lovely
framework for all to read!

ShabbyChicShaz said...

bravo, you are so right, thank you for sharing this. We are all individuals and we can never get rid of our individuality and it comes through in everything we do and in this case create. We may be using someone else's taught technique but it will always be uniquely expressed by each and everyone of us.

kecia said...

i'm not sure if i can add anything more to what's already been said, but that i have to agree wholeheartedly. early on in my art journey, i took a few classes with teachers who i felt were holding back and purposely being vague with their techniques. i just couldn't understand why they were doing that. As a student it frustrated a few of us. As an instructor, i make myself remember that class and how i don't want my students to ever feel like they aren't getting 100%.

Monica said...

just stumbled across your blog and this article.

thanks so much for putting this subject out there. i haven't read the comments so might be repeating a point...

but i think that one of the reasons artists ahve made their techniques precious is due to the economic benefit - workshops and books are big business.
and i get that. why would i buy your book if you've shared everything on your blog anyway?

but i feel that it's too much. when someone gets tapped across the knuckles for not properly crediting a zendoodle for example, it pisses me off. even doodling has a certificate, instructors,workshops, books, and a copyright! ffs

as someone rediscovering their artistic self, and having zero access to workshops, and on dial up... i'm so disappointed in how much is not shared. even in books techniques are often vague or have gaps, and usually play 2nd fiddle to showcasing.

ok, off my soapbox. :)

Barbara Briggs said...

Thank you for sharing! You are so right. There is nothing new under the sun. Any idea, no matter from where it comes, run with it, take it to extremes, make it yours!

Tammy Gilchrest said...

When I first started in the Art Jewelry realm, this is what I struggled with the most. I knew nothing so I took many classes to learn. I'll be honest in the fact that I struggle with creativity. My hands can make just about anything technique wise...but, finding my own voice has been difficult. I have heard "copywrite" so many times and was so confused in the beginning as many who just start are. I would sit and think "what is copywrited?". Is the technique something that I can't use or the fact that a heart has been put with a circle? Three years later reading this does my heart good. We have never met but yet in this moment, I feel as though you have just taught me not only a lesson of art but a life lesson. If we could all be this confidant in our work and ourselves, can you just imagine what would be produced? Thank you so much for this insight and I hope the young new artists somehow find their way to this most profound advice.

Tammy Gilchrest :: Mixed Metal Art

Carla Trujillo said...

Well said!

Danielle said...

Thank you for putting into words what I have believed for my whole artistic life. This should be spread around the arty community.