Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sounding Off--Climbing Up On A Soapbox

Okay, here goes... It has been a while since I posted a Soapbox entry. Today's issue is on ethics in the arts, or do unto others...etc.

We all are inspired by the work of others. The challenge is to then take that inspiration and walk a different path--to do something unique that is completely our own. This approach can be applied to any art form (and in the real world of business too).

I am interested in ventriloquism. I am inspired by a man who is having a delightful time imagining and creating a life for a sock monkey. So, instead of doing what he is doing, I purchased some vent figures and puppets and began creating my own character persona's and routines for them. I even enrolled in a course for ventriloquists and am practicing like crazy. Writing the routines is the most challenging thing I have done in a long, long time.

Recently, when I shared a puppet publicly, some liked the idea so much "they" decided to copy me. (I am using "they" instead of "he" or "she" for obvious reasons.) They informed me that they will probably buy puppets identical to what I have (which, by the way is impossible...but that is another story). A momentary Bummer...sheesh, and just when I was beginning to have some fun. Lesson: Do not share what you are doing prematurely...refine your craft, then share. Lesson learned. big deal...I shall follow my dream...

Okay folks, here is where I draw the line. I realize it is a free county and I realize the fun of being creative (which I encourage wholeheartedly)...however...go and do your own thing. I do not find copying attractive. Copying is stealing. We have copyright laws because people steal by copying and want to take the easy way out. There is no free lunch. There is no easy way. Becoming an artist requires a lot of work, determination, monetary investment, practice and originality. inspired, then take that inspiration and transform it into something that is yours and yours alone. Forge your own path. This is true in photography, painting, sculpture, writing, dance, the performing arts and actually in any endeavor. This is the way of a true artist. Any other way is fake and not what being an artist is about. Be yourself. Express yourself. Why would you want to be a copy of someone else? What fun is that? Set an yourself.

Reminder: Be inspired, then forge a different path. Be unique.

FYI: Some puppet and figure makers have conditions on use, so be sure to ask if there are any restrictions on how you use and promote the figure/puppet before buying. If you agree to the conditions, then by all means go for it, but please ask first, so you aren't unexpectedly surprised later.

In Closing: I sincerely wish you all the best as you walk your unique path...may many blessings come your way.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The Rest of the Story: My figures are one-of-a-kind. "One of a kind" means just that...they are not available for sale to, or use by, anyone else.

ADDENDUM: Your ingredients may be similar [to another's*], but if the recipe is different, your cake will be different as a result--your cake will be your very own creation. Thank you Connie.
* my words added for clarity

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