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February 2015

January 2015

Attention, Shortcuts, Carelessness, Copycats


In my lecture, "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly in the Age of the Internet" I referred to a quote from the author and exposed plagiarist, Jonah Lehrer.

“My arrogance. My desire for attention. My willingness to take shortcuts, provided I don’t think anyone else will notice. My carelessness, matched with an ability to excuse my carelessness away.” End quote.   

Desire-For-AttentionThis week, several copycat examples
 came to light in different media that all represent a "willingness to take shortcuts, desire for attention, and a carelessness expecting that no one would notice."



"Luc Tuymans Found Guilty of Plagiarism for Painting Photo of Politiciancopied a photograph for his painting composition. 

"Tom Petty awarded songwriting royalties for Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” after the songwriter admitted similarity with the earlier song. (This is not the first time a case like this has gone to the courts.) 

Jeweler's Jury Images Used by Another Jeweler  In this shocking example a jeweler steals an image and represents this as her own work. 

I recommend that you look at all three links. I decided to write this post just in case readers have missed the discussions on Facebook.

So many examples in one week are shocking, but that wasn't all. In another discussion, an ASK-multicolorgreeyellowartist asks if she can copy poems from the Internet to accompany her paintings. Well thank
goodness she asked. No, no, no you can't copy poems from the Internet to accompany your paintings without permission from the author. 

In another example, I saw online, a jeweler was looking for examples of poems posted online to write on her jewelry. Shocking! No can't put other people's poems on your jewelry. Write your own poems! 

More than anything, I think we are witness to the growing pains in the "Age of the Internet." We have access to an abundance of information and images. It is easy to take, borrow or copy, when driven by the "desire for attention" and with access readily at our fingertips.  It is easy to imagine the lure of appearing to be better, more perfect, beyond the ordinary, without hours of toil... if we copy.

Responsibility rests with each and every one of us to understand that ideas need to come from the inside, not the outside, and certainly not the Internet. And whenever we see copycat behavior, each of us should raise awareness and help our community "take notice." 

Finding Your Signature Voice

Connie Fox has just published her e-book -- Maker Magic: How to Develop YOUR Voice Designing Art Jewelry. The PDF copy of her book arrived New Year's Day. What a fabulous way to begin the new year. She has invested significant effort in trying to help makers find their own voice. 

I wonder if people assume that finding one's own voice or signature style should be easy, but nothing is further from reality. The difference between developing a signature voice and being lost is . . . lots of practice. With practice and experience comes the confidence that with extended effort, the answer will be found. 

My experience is that many tests and trials are thrown away to see what works and what doesn't, but with enough practice, a solution will be found and that special insight will be realized.

The post "Creativity & Creative Confidence" offers two interviews and another book that I found particularly inspiring on the topic of creativity.

Creative-Confidence-Unleashing-the-Creative-Potential-Within-Us-AllThis first interview is with Tom & David Kelley of the design and innovation firm IDEO speaking about their book "Creative Confidence - Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All." 

Now it is a new year -- 2015.

Back to the studio for me as I press forward to complete new work. You can see all my trials and false starts in this Flickr album.


P.S. In an effort for full transparency, Connie Fox included one of my bracelets in her book, which is how I received an early complimentary copy of her book.
Identity Bracelet from post consumer recycled tin cans by Harriete Estel Berman

Identity Bracelet: Bloomingdales collage with black & white radiating stripes and UPC collage
Harriete Estel Berman

Post consumer tin cans
Retail Price: $1,947