"TraVeL ThRouGh ThE LaNd Of “Soft in the Head”
...the home of “Singing and Dancing Mice & Humorous Frogs!”.

Where “Original Designs” of patterns and soft sculpture characters come to life..…

For Patterns check out the...."Soft in the Head" site
Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before "breakfast". Lewis Carroll
For Finished Characters: Click Here

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Serious Note..Please Read!

As many of you know I have been having serious issues with the "copy monster" and just plain refused to take it any longer! I do know many "artists" can relate to this dilemma and have your own stories to share. Many of us started in this business as a way of expressing ourselves through our art or to make ends meet financially. Often we are inspired by others work but I think it is our professionalism and personal sense of ethics that prevents us from copying that work. The "prim" world is a market that can be easily attacked by copiers, usually it is someone with the simple skills of crafting that wants to make a quick dollar, very sad.... It is so simple to to say they were inspired by the work of someone else but personal vanity often gets in the way. A long time ago I let such vanity get in the way of a very dear friendship and learned some valuable lessons from that, NEVER AGAIN! I was fortunate enough to have the strength and humility to re-kindle that once lost friendship.
The reason I am posting this message is to let all of you read a comment that was left on my blog. Anyone that knows me will attain to the fact that "integrity" is a major part of who I am and I stand behind my word whether it is right or wrong. I take responsibility for my actions very seriously. I will no longer sit idly by and let this "copycat" issue pass. I have had enough! As one artist friend said "Pam you get copied way to much" and yes I do! This last incident was so blatant....it is the picture on my bloody banner for Pete's sake! Okay here is the comment that was left and then my response to said comment....

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "I HATE COPYCATS !!!!!!":
think for one moment I see a bit of copy catting on your part Your stuff looks alot like stuff Ive seen at craft shows no offense but caroling mice have been around along time I've also seen better renditions of the crafts your selling. And how childish on your part to say such comments as the fat lady needs to walk it off. Its not very professinal. I would have commented right back at the hipocrit who decided to post it. It does not show a professional manner.I would never buy your crafts just for that comment. you must be one of those who thinks their stuff don't stink. signed another fat lady!

My Response:

softinthehead has left a new comment on your post "I HATE COPYCATS !!!!!!":
First let me address the fact that I will NEVER hide behind "Anonymous" when I have any comment to make to anyone! I believe that if a subject warrants any debate that I should have the courage and integrity to stand behind my beliefs! The rest of what you are saying is childish banter aimed at trying to hurt....I will not respond to it. And if this "FAT" lady wants to call herself fat then I have that right....I earned every pound that I have and I often walk off disappointment and anger! Oh and by the way....I quit doing crafts 15 years ago! My art is my art and it has given many comfort and smiles and will continue to do so...Feel free to respond anytime.....

I struggled with whether to post this or not since I have tried to keep my blog a place for all to come and relax, enjoy the music, smile and for a short time to just forget.....but I needed to let all of you wonderful friends and customers know a bit more about who I am. I am just me, a hard working, loving, caring and trustworthy over-weight woman who absolutely LOVES what she does for a living. I will continue to be the best I can be and make those I love proud of me by setting a good example....but most of all I love making others Smile! Have a very Merry Christmas Everyone!


PrimAngel said...

I love ya and know the kind of gentle funny spirit you have and the outstanding artist that you are.. some people are just so ignorant and you defintiely dont desserve any of this BS especially this time of year!! Dont let "them" wear ya down..you stand up for yourself!! There is definitely nothing wrong with walking it off.. there is just too much vilonece in this world as is!
Love ya always sweety

Starry Nites Farm said...

I have noticed lately several patterns that have come out have a striking resemblance to yours and thought it was such a shame that people are stealing your wonderful work. I know your true fans, friends, and customers will stand by you. It is also a shame that someone felt it necessary to post such a comment. I hate when someone will post something and not put their name to it. Do you think they'd say that in person? Doubtful when they can hide behind the computer.

Sorry this happened to you.


WoolenSails said...

I am totally with you on this issue. I have photographic memory and look at a lot of other's work for inspiration, but I know when I start to create something if it resembles another artist's work. I do use designs from antique ideas, so in that case, I and others may come up with the same ideas, but with my originals, I stick to what comes out of me, not what I have seen. I have mice patterns too, but I would never style them like ones you have made and call them my own. Your work is original and if there are other items out there, they are copies of yours;) I also see so many patterns out there, ,that I know came from old craft magazines with slight changes.

I do not begrudge others from creating, but I do get riled when I see people selling patterns from copies or what I call coloring book pages;)


elf said...

Amen Sister! Well put, *artists* who have never had the disappointment of their ideas being copied could never understand where you are coming from. People who sadly feel they are not creative enough (or guise it as being *too* busy to come up with their own idea) are morally bankrupt and have no integrity or sense of ethics if they think it's okay to steal an idea and then try to sell it. It is one thing to copy someone's work because you admire it and cannot afford to buy the original, but to sell it? I don't know of many artists who would be so pathetic to do that. Thank You for your inspiring creations!

Sycamore Moon Studios said...

The bottom line is that you are entitled to feel however you feel and to post whatever you choose. I am so sorry to hear of your troubles as of late. It IS frustrating to be copied and doubly so to be criticized for voicing an opinion.

Shake it off and have a Merry Christmas....you deserve it.

Sherry Byrum said...

Bravo for you!!! We have people copy our work all the time too! It really is sad people think they have to steal other people's ideas. In general I think there is a problem with people not respecting the proper etiquette of always giving an artist credit for their original creations. Thanks for standing up for yourself!!!

Stacey said...

You and I have been doing this for many years and have been inspired by Prim's greatest artists (whom we now know as friends). I know they are saddened at this path that some are taking. From blatent copying of our work, to marking things sold "to make themselves look popular" (and then seeing the items grace the tables of their shows. They are simply wannabees and think that what we do is easy money. I suppose it is easy to have a design source! They don't get integrity and don't need professionalism, they just need a quick buck. When they are done with you, they move on to different artists and media to fuel their finances, leaving a trail that speaks louder than their rants! (The louder they are, the more guilt!)

You are indeed a true Artist and it is my delight that you understand what I said years ago and embrace it. I'm glad that you spoke up, your words speak for many of us!


Theresa said...

Dear Pam,
All I can say is this... first off this person has no clue what you're about. If said person has ever met you they'd know that you're a very sweet, trusting, and talented person. Second is that you always say what you mean...that's what I like about you most. :) The third thing is...they've never seen your work... not really (maybe they have eye problems)...because if they have they'd see the workmanship and detail that you've put into every piece. Believe me as a collector I know junk when I see it and your creations are well made art pieces. I have several of your pieces and each one is a treasure to behold. Don't let this person ruin your Christmas cheer... you know there are many of us out here that love you and your work.



Evelyn said...

You have my support! I LOVE your work, and have it displayed proudly in my home. Also, your work is far better than most I have seen at craft fairs. Shame on posters who can only leave negative remarks behind anonymous skirts. If you believe it, say it and sign it!

BackDoor Primitives said...

Pam, I'm so glad you did add this post to your blog! It needed to be said! I can tell a piece is credited to you and your talent a mile away because it has humor and heart not to mention creativity and excellent craftmanship. I'm so proud to call you a fellow crafter and Facebook friend!!

basketsnprims said...

Good for you, Pam. And I hate anonymous posts. Your work is truly art!

Anonymous said...

I am very saddened at what has become of some of those whole steal others work. I know exactly how you feel, it is so infuriating gets me so angry when I see it! I am a target as well, this was one of the reasons why I left the group moons ago. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't see a design I created on a website or eBay and it usually says created by that person. I've had it so bad at one time one of primitives by kathys artists purchased my crow pattern and actually submitted it as hers, it wound up in the catalog. Not even changed! Exactly my pattern design to a T! I contacted Kathy and she paid me for whatever was sold, but that is how bad it has been for me. I cried when this person did this to me! I have been seriously thinking about not selling anore patterns. I have many new designs but in fear I do not show them any longer. I feel so sad that these people or whoever it is that has done this to you and has been so rude and hurtful. This person has no backbone, just a spineless jellyfish with no imagination of their own! Try and shrug this jellyfish off and have yourself A Merry Christmas. Take care, Kim from veenas mercantile

Pamela said...

I think I know the difference between crafters and artists! Artists know how to spell!!! Good for you to stand up for yourself. Sign me, another copied artist named...

angiesraggedypatch said...

My Mamma always says
"Heap coals of kindness upon thier heads.....
and eventually they'll catch fire"

You have been more professional than many would have been and have not tried to be insulting to this person at all, even though they were to you.
I think that this person should be careful~
what goes around always comes around!
Keep your chin up sweetie!

Robin Armstrong Seeber said...

Pam! it's FLUFF not fat...ok, the anonymous thing got me to, the chicken...You are one of the most professional artists I have met and your work is primitive perfection. It is no wonder you are copied so often by those struggling to make a craft, since they don't even come near to what you produce.Your creatures are alive, they bring warmth and joy just looking at the photos of them, since I have never seen any in person. Keep doing what you are doing, you did good to stand up for yourself, hopefully this person has some sort of conscience and will heed your more than kind and generous request to lay off and get lost! ok, I am done... hugs, robin

just me said...

i love seeing what all my favorite artists are doing on ebay and i do get inspired by a idea but to copy it exactly-NEVER! i might see a cute idea for a hat, dress, shoe but you take those and make your own. i have watched cart before the horse for years and they have someone who copies them now down to the exact same eyes-shameful. but more is the people who buy it! which encourages them to copy more!you are talented and well respected, your true friends and collectors know your work.

Romona said...

Pam, Don't sweat these kinds of people. They are of little or no imagination and have no self confidence, so they steal the creativity of others. It's the only way that anyone would bother with them and applaud them for their work, not knowing it's been stolen from someone else.

Please don't lose anymore sleep or energy on this type of person. Those who follow you, appreciate your talent and spend the money to own a piece of it, are the only ones who matter, so keep on doing what you're doing. And lastly, it's your blog, post away.

Take care, Romona

Anonymous said...

dear pam
i just read what you have had to deal with and i am so disheartened that anyone would dare try to hurt you in such an insulting and inconsiderate way~your creations are things i strive to be the first to get, as you know, and no one i know makes anything like your own style~obviously this person has never seen your creations in person if they are saying they have seen things that you create before~there has never been anyone who is capable of doing any of the pieces i have of yours and there never will be!
you know for sure you have an ardent fan and supporter of yours right here on long island in new york!
a forever fan
candy volkommer

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
softinthehead said...

Hey Candy your comment was so good it came up twice, lol...I deleted one of them.

I can't tell you how much all of you mean to me. This was a tough decision on my part. I NEVER enjoy hurting anyone but sometimes when the line is crossed a person has to yell FOUL! From my heart I thank you all....Pam

Crowing About Primitives said...

My Dearest Pam... as a long time collector of your art work.. I was sad when I first read about the copycat. and now to read this. The nerve... I personally have never seen anything like yours anywhere else... Your work is one of a kind... You have many unique pieces that are one of a kinds.. I am a doll maker from patterns as you know and always give full credit to the designer at all times.. I have been honored over the years to be able to be a special part of your one of a kinds (the hair lol)... Steeling is wrong if permission was given that is a different thing but to make you singing mice to a T that is stealing... I have always ohhhed and ahhhhed over yours and many other artist work.. I think I have even begged a few of you guys to teach me how to dream so wide and then put it to a doll.. one day right..lol.. until then I so enjoy making from patterns it supports me enough to be able to be a stay at home mom and play in the world of make believe...

Don't let this copycat get you down.. Dream big and keep sharing with us collectors..

Merry Christmas Pam.. Much Love Ann

primsista said...

Dear Pam,
I know you virtually for so many years and I am admire you and your work!
Everything that you said is right and I am with you...

Anonymous said...

How will your life be different from this happening? Did she/he take something away from your work? Your income, you , as a human being? Are you now ruined? made smaller, less important? What if others are out there copying your work and selling at local shows, people you`ll never know have done it. Have they made you smaller? less? Are you a victim of these people or are you an artist who is working, creating, and enjoying the process, the finished product , and all the benefits that come with being able to create what you think of, and not look at what others are doing. Would you rather be the copier or the copied?
You may see what she/he is doing and any others as an offense , but what if they make something like your work, and then move on to their own work, using your influence work as a stepping stone to get to where they will create things on their own.
This is all the ego wanting more and more, and getting validity from outside sources. The work is inside, not outside. Once you start looking inside for your authentic self and authentic work, a whole world can open up for you. But he/she`s not at that place in her life.People today spend so much time being offended, insulted, being victims of someone or somebody, being various emotions, they miss what is in front of them. Do you know how many people wish they could make something like you do? Forgive & move your energy into your work.
I hope these thoughts and words are of some help and give you peace

Shari Kraft said...

PAMMMMEEEEEE!!!!! We here, who visit your blog, love you. We know the difference between and "artist" and a copycat. That's why we are fans of YOURS! Have a wonderfully Merry Christmas! Hugs, girl. :)

softinthehead said...

To Anonymous...After reading your lengthy and at times confusing comment one thing popped into my head. It is an old adage that I think of often....."Evil thrives when good men do nothing". You might think on those words yourself. I also feel that when one is trying to make a valid statement that it helps with the validity of said statement to do it using one's name and not shield themselves behind "Anonymous". Thank you for your comment....

softinthehead said...

Now, to all of you that have been so supportive and caring, I bow down in homage! You all are such a great bunch of friends and fellow artists! Thank you from the deepest parts of my heart for caring....I hope each and everyone of you will have a wonderful and memorable Christmas...Pam

Stacey said...

No one ever begrudges someone starting out and we realize that you start where your interest lies. Pam is a wonderful pattern maker and her patterns are very affordable. These are for the folk to do local shows in their community. What Anonymous doesn't understand is that this person put themselves out there for the world to see using one of Pam's creations that is NOT a pattern.
Anonymous is NOT and artist or a creative person. You see,there is a morality and integrity code amongst us, part of which is to give to give credit where it is due. A sense of responsibility and respect for designs. Apparently Anonymous does not understand even the issue that musicians or actors have when their work is copied and shared with others. It may be pennies to Anonymous, but any of us can tell her that those pennies add up and make the dollars that pays our living expenses. I'm sure that Anonymous doesn't have a portion of her paycheck just taken from her every week.
I find it sad, that someone needs to hide, but I do understand that it is most likely someone known to Pam and other's here. We need to be thankful I suppose that this person isn't artistic or creative because they would be copying from many without a bit of remorse and that is scarey! Hopefully Anonymous and CopyCat will brave reading this and walk away having learned an important lesson for the day.


Dan said...

Part 1

You know it is just mind-boggling sometimes of the inane stupidity of people like Anonymous and Anonymous "two" who are so cowardly they don't even sign their name.

I have been married to Pam now for 37 years and probably know her better than anyone else. I see her struggling to come up with the new designs each month. I see her spending upwards of 60 hours a week at her sewing machine. The common answer to simple questions like, "would you like to take a break and go to a movie today?", is, "No I can't, I have too much to do. I have to get these orders out".

You see, Pam's creations are not mass-produced by slave labor from China, Sri Lanka or elsewhere, but each and every one she makes she makes entirely by hand by herself. She wears out Singer and White sewing machines....wears them out!!!! And people who are afraid to sign their stupid remarks think they are "entitled" to profit from Pam's hard work. Why don't you come over here and I'll take the money out of your pocket?

Her imagination is amazing as is her ability to add that touch of whimsy to her creations. For someone to steal that and pass it off as there own is a crime. You ask if her life will be different because people are stealing and making money off of her creations? The answer which you seem to be too dense to discern for yourself is "YES you idiot!". Pam is not getting rich here. Her income combined with mine allows us to live a week to week existence. So yes this kind of theft has a very direct effect on her/our income and her ability to continue to create and produce, as opposed to being forced to go work at some store and stop creating, because working at a store is reliable and dependable. At least that would be fewer hours a week. As it is we manage to eek out a living in these tough times; Pam works way too hard; and the world becomes a little better place because of the characters she originates and the smiles they bring to peoples faces.

I can't believe the ignorance of actually suggesting that somehow stealing Pam's designs and passing it off as there own will help them become creative themselves. That is certainly one of the most ignorant statements I've ever heard. If they can't come up with their own designs through their own hard work, stealing Pam's hard work isn't going to help them. Thieves have no right to anything of anyone else's. That's why we put them in jail.

Please continue on to the second half of my comments...

Dan said...

Pam also designs patterns and if you've been to her web site you will find over two hundred of them there. Each of these patterns has very complete and concise instructions so that people who have never had any sewing experience or instruction can still produce a finished product they can be proud of. Buy the patterns and make the dolls and you'll learn many of the techniques and the handling of materials to help you on your way. And, you can legally and with clear conscience make some money while doing so. Those "Soft in the Head" patterns very specifically LICENSE the person who bought it to hand-make and sell the finished product at retail in a local craft show or store as long as the origin of the pattern is credited to Soft in the Head. It requires you to get written permission from Pam for it to be sold in any publication or over the internet, but as long as the origin of the pattern is credited to her, she virtually always gives that permission.

So if you want to make a name for yourself as a "designer", then I'd suggest you buy her patterns and those of other designers you admire, develop your own skills and by your own hard work perhaps some creativity will blossom. Then you won't have to be embarrassed for getting your hand caught in someone else's pocket or have to try to come up with those ridiculous statements trying to justify why it's OK for you to steal and falsely claim originality that is not yours. IT IS NOT OK!

Finally, let me make this VERY CLEAR. The thief did not just use one of Pam's patterns to make a doll and pass it off as her own design. Pam makes a few different series of characters that she does not release as patterns. This charlatan copied the vignette - a signature piece - that graces Pam's Soft in the Head Banner at the top of this Blog and tried to advertise and sell it as her own design. This blatant theft of Pam's design and claiming it to be her own earns her the right to be the centerpiece of the HALL OF SHAME.

So now I'd like to leave you with what it believe is an appropriate quote that is commonly attributed to Edmond Burke:

All that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing.

Don't stand for this kind of crap. Point it out, publicize it, bring it into the light of day so that it may be seen for what it is. Shame on Anonymous 1 for doing this and shame on Anonymous 2 for condoning it.

Dan Gracia
webmaster and comedic relief

Dan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
softinthehead said...

OOPS! Did it again...posted the comment twice and had to delete....I'll get the hang of this moderating thing yet.

homespunheart said...

All I can say is "Amen!!!" Stacey and Dan!

primsista said...

Bravo, Dan!:)

elf said...

You are a good man and even better husband, Dan! The moderating will come,LOL;O)

Kingfisher Farm said...

oh you have to post this on the main blog page! It's priceless!!!

Carolee said...

Jumping in rather late with my two cents....

Pam, I'm so sorry you're going through this. It's completely unfair that someone as talented as yourself has to waste a minute of precious creative energy dealing with intellectual property theft.

Regarding the second anonymous comment (which if I read correctly seems to imply that intellectual property theft is no big deal) I must say the only people I've ever heard trying to justify or excuse this kind of thing are those who have the luxury of doing art strictly for fun, or secondary income. I'm guessing they'd feel differently if their hard work and imagination was what put food in the pantry and kept the lights on.

Anyway, hang in there, Pam. There's only one Soft in the Head, and the imitators are just that - imitators.

~ Carolee

Shagsy said...

These people are just jealous Pam. No one could ever do what you do, or as good as what you do!!!!
Even when I make your patterns, they never look as good as yours. Then I am jealous.....lol.
You stick up for yourself, and don't let these people get you down!!!
Big hugs
Your friend in Oz
Sharon xox

Cassaundra said...

Someone stated that my mother is greedy. Let me share about how greedy she is...First of all, each creation my mother makes is well thought out and comes from an undefined place of inspiration. Her muse varies. That in itself cannot be replicated. Artists do not have to starve to show passion in their work. In addition, after my mom pays her bills, she calls me to find out what her grandkids need or want that only grandma can provide. she indulges them whenever she can with long distance phone calls and special treats in the mail. Her first thought is about her family. My mom is lucky if she sees her grandbabies once a year. She works hard to provide for her family. Do not call my mother greedy or insinuate that she is selfish and self centered. She is the counter. She takes pride in the work she applies to each doll. Even the given name takes time. A true artist has an artistic point of view and business sense to market their product. Plagiarism can get a kid expelled from school. Do we question the reasoning behind that? How is copying one's work and claiming it as your original idea differ from plagiarism? I patiently await your response.

Raggedyrhondas said...

Pam, I have been attacked in almost the same manner. I remember reading about what happened to you and came back to read it again. I found myself find a peace to know that the woman that has attacked me is also insecure and loves to spread rumors that are not true. I taught her so much to get her started and to what for her to go off on me and spread lies. My prayers and hopes for you are for only good, I hope that the one that is attacking me with go away and find her own way. I like you have been around a while. I hope that all will know that I only wish peace to all and teaching to others what I have learned as giving and sharing is the only way to live. Thanks for bringing attention to others that can be so mean and cruel. I hope you will have continued success in all you do. Rhonda of Raggedyrhondas