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!