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"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..…

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

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Whata Week & It's Just Tuesday....

 Peaks and Valley's and Their Toll.....
This has been the most unusual week and it's just Tuesday.  In all honesty though, I think much of this has been building for some time but with life being as it is I just haven't focused to much on the negativity of it all.  

As many of you know my life, since January, has been anything but easy and I found it VERY necessary to cut loose many things that caused me undo stress in order to focus on what truly is important, my health, my family and my friends.  I believe that one of the gifts of getting older is life experience which helps us in so many ways....whether it is making decisions about family, job or choices involving relationships.  We become much more tolerable but we also develop better guidelines of what we expect is right or wrong.  

In this amazing "Art Community" that I have found myself in,  I have had to deal with situations that, even now, I feel under qualified to deal with.  Even though I am a no nonsense kind of person and usually deal head on with things sometimes just walking away is the best medicine for all involved.  When it comes to blatant theft of ones hard work walking away is NEVER the answer but neither is mud slinging.  I know this is an extremely touchy area and many of us are raw and extremely sensitive about it and often have a knee-jerk reaction when we encounter it.  Such is the case I have had this week involving a Ms. Sandy Russell. 

This is a woman that felt it was okay to copy (seriously copy..down to every detail) five of my "one of kind pieces" that I had sold at Ghoultide Gathering.  These were not patterns but collectible pieces that came with hefty price tags, signed and dated and NEVER reproduced!  Just imagine my shock when I saw her poor copies planted on Facebook!  I wrote to her, no response, I wrote again, no response....I then found an article from her local newspaper with a picture of Ms. Russell surrounded by her work which were copies of yet another well known artist Cindy Conrad who also makes "one of a kind" collectibles!  I just don't understand what these people are thinking or are they thinking?  

The other "hard to deal with situation" is much more emotional and isn't easily fixable...usually the cost to fixing it is high but the long term effects of not fixing it is hazardous!  This is when you have art friends that do not respect "Artistic Boundaries".  I'm no angel and have myself crossed some of those boundaries but was lucky enough to have them slap my hand and tell me no...and I learned from that!   Unfortunately some never learn!  The rules are
simple....you do not duplicate, copy, or covet another artists work.  You don't re-invent it, you just don't do it!  I had a wonderful friend once but I found our work was beginning to look to much alike so I moved on....I started down a different path, one that has since defined me in so many ways and opened doors that I still pinch myself about.  Once again I renewed that old friendship....and once again I had to let it go because of the same results...I made a huge faux pa though, I talked to someone else about it and it ended badly but it is ended and this time for good.  

None of us are perfect and I for one have much to learn in the perfection arena!  What I do know now is the correct way of discovering my art...inside me!  Every character that springs to life in my workroom only comes from some secret little hideaway in my brain that gets triggered with either over-doses of caffeine or one to many cookies.  I love and totally enjoy looking at other artist's work but you will NEVER see that work come from this workroom, never!  You will also never see me making big eyed dolls, or funny characters with wide grins or even trying my hand at paper mache and/or clay sculpting, my art friends are the experts at this.....even though they sell better than I do and for much more money I will NEVER do anything remotely like them, I will not cross that boundary!  I found my calling and as much as I hate to admit it "Mice Are A Part Of It" not to mention my ever popular "PODDS"!  The Art Gods have been good to me and so has the art community.  We all make mistakes but what makes us truly good people is taking
responsibility for those mistakes and not blaming someone else for them.  I've lost some amazing friends (well I thought they were) because they lacked taking responsibility and it was easier to make excuses. 

My days may be numbered doing my art but ya know I could write volumes about the incredible people that are in my world now because of my art and of the character building  experiences I have had.  Thank you to everyone that has touched my life in such a way...you have made me a better person in so many ways because of it....here's to many more days in the workroom surrounded by my "Softees" and inspiration!

14 comments:

sassypackrat said...

You've had a rough time lately, glad to see you are getting through it and coming out o.k.

Sheila said...

So Well said Pam!! you know I have had my struggles with an unscrupulous copycat, so I know that sickening, defeated feeling!! I am very proud of you and happy to call you my friend! I believe your beautiful soul shines through your work, and that my dear cannot be duplicated!!

Lorraine Gerbi said...

Pam, it is always such a joy to see what you come up with next. And, like you I love to look at other artists' work..but it never crosses my mind to "copy" something that is more successful than what I do..I may not make alot of money, but money can't buy the happiness I feel when someone tells me that they recognize my dolls even without seeing my name. It is more rewarding to be unique!! Hugs to you Pam! Keep on keeping on!!

Pamela Gracia said...

Thank you so much .....you made me cry Sheila....I miss you!

Pamela Gracia said...

Thank you Lorraine....I love your dolls...they are just so unique! Definitely a signature item....

Jo said...

I am so sorry to hear that the unethical actions of others would lead you to give up your wonderful art. I enjoy seeing your creations, they are so creative and each character seems to come to life. I can recognize your work even without seeing the Soft In The Head label, that is how distinctive your art is. I wish you the very best.

Jan said...

I have always love the picture of your studio. Its an inspiration in itself. I am sure that when you sit in that chair by the window your brain starts whrrring.....
I know we are just friends on FB but I know that if we were to meet face to face I would love you just the same. Hugs my dear FB friend.

Debb said...

love your log sorry about the trouble you have had . Hang in there, and things will get better. I know for the last 4 yrs I thought was really bad lost my husband . But going to the Halloween Show in Fl. has help and all the artists are so great there .So hang in there were here if you need to talk it helps.

Deb Paxton Valley Folk Art said...

I'm a firm believer in what goes around, comes around Pam. You are so talented and so generous, the thought that folks would take advantage of that is a very sad commentary on them. As a latecomer to this wonderful world of doll and critter making, I'm still searching for 'my' look and am inspired by all of the incredibly talented artisans out there. But I would never copy another artists work or not give credit where credit is due. That is just plain wrong. I hope that you can continue to make your wonderful, whimsical, magical creatures for many more years to come, my life has been enriched by your talent, thanks for sharing it so generously with us all. Deb

Sheryl Parsons said...

I've been thinking a lot about the copycat issue lately. It's hard sometimes to not seem to copy, when some design elements are widely used. So my answer for getting away from potential copycat issues is to sketch ideas, and play around, without looking at anyone elses work. I tend to pick up clay and just go at it, but that's not always the best I can do. Johanna Parker is a good example of trying out a design on the drawing board first. Where I think some of us may get lazy is in hitting the drawing board then executing the idea. Perhaps lazy is the wrong word, getting in a hurry might be another way to look at it. As I observe the best of the folk artists though, I see that they put in many hours on projects. Patience is a virtue, right? lol. You have an amazing imagination and talent. You've done what you could to stop a thief and I hope it did the trick, for you and Cindy's sake. With all the health issues you've dealt with, I imagine this has really been a drain. Take care sweet lady, we love to see your magical creations.

suz said...

Very nicely put, Pam! It's often difficult to walk away from a situation, but sometimes necessary. I think you've handled the Sandy Russell matter with great dignity and hopefully karma will take it's course with her. Thank you for all the enjoyment you give so many of us.

Lady Locust said...

There is a old Native American belief - Don't steal, not another person's spouse, horse, property, ideas, or accomplishments. I am not Native, but I sure appreciate that. I guess on the little brighter side - look how many fake Mona Lisa's are out there, but there is just one original. You and DaVinci:?) Your reward also comes in that smile &/or chuckle that comes from people who admire your little critters. I don't do soft-sculpture, (I'm a quilter mostly) but I certainly admire your work. I hope there is a consequence for their thievery, and I hope you can find peace in your heart. You've already been insulted, you don't deserve to hurt.
Wishing you only well~
JoeyLea
http://thelocustblossom.blogspot.com/

Wendy Martin said...

Pam, Just think of the customers you have made extremely happy with your works of art and all your fans that love to see your creativity and give them a smile. Is it really worth while to stress out over some person that doesn'thave a creative bone in their body and has to copy yours. Pity their poor customers who have bought those items thinking they have bought an original. I am too am a curator of creatures and Christmas ornaments and have been copied, but people always tell me they know a Wendy's Whimsey. I love doing what I do and something is always a copy of something, it's just who makes it theirs first and sells with pride. I also believe in Karma. So those artists won't go as far as you have! Your're the best!!! take care, Wendy

Pamela Gracia said...

Thank you all....for your endless devotion and support to me and my work....I truly am blessed!