I think about originality a lot. It’s not my strong suit. I’ve always considered myself very creative and I love to make beautiful things, but coming up with a completely new innovative idea is not my gift. I’m more of a design maven. I research to death and gather so much inspiration and then turn that all into my own art.
Sadly, this can make me feel like a fake. I have a really tough time calling myself an artist. (I’ve settled on designer for now). I wish I could sit down with a blank canvas and just paint…it would make me feel so much more “real”.
Recently I read this
On Knot Sew Crafty’s blog.
I thought to myself “God, yes!”.
I always feel it’s a fine line between inspiration and theft. I’m constantly evaluating my stuff to determine if it’s different enough to call my own. There are two reasons for this. 1. I really do respect artists. There are so many talented people out there making wonderful stuff and I’d never want to diminish their work. 2. I’m afraid someone will call me out, pointing out what a fake I am and how I can’t do my own work. The second is something I definitely need to work on.
But where do you draw the line? When I’m in doubt at all I give credit to someone else. For example those marker rolls I made. I gave credit to the Pink Chalk pattern, which in this case I feel was deserved. But the reality is, I own the book with the pattern, but I barely followed it. I did use rainbow fabrics, but I’m sure she’s not the first one to do that. And I had seen a ton of other crayon and pencil rolls before, all made different ways. It was simple idea which is all over the place, but I took it and then used the materials, dimensions, and sewing method that fit for me. Does that make it mine?
And here’s a quilt I’m just starting. I’m very excited to be sewing for no reason but the pleasure of it again. (Don't you love Theo's little addition to my layout?)
It’s completely my own pattern. I didn’t look at any directions or color suggestion before starting. But I don’t live in a vacuum. I have seen the stacked coin pattern from Last Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts and this isn’t all that different. And it does look a lot like the Volumes fabric from Anna Maria Horner’s Drawing Room.
In this case I’m confident that those sources are merely inspiration and I’m not copying them, but it’s not always so clear cut. Where do YOU draw the line? Or do you even care? If you’re doing your creating just for yourself and not for sale, does it even matter at all?