Synergy 3 Conference Feed


There seems to be some denial that the craft community is "not guilty" of the BAD or UGLY behaviors mentioned in my lecture, The GOOD, The BAD, and The UGLY in the AGE of the Internet.

On the contrary, ever since the lecture went public, more people are "coming out" and revealing more examples of BAD and UGLY behavior.


Perhaps some don't realize the impact of their behavior. We all slide into some patterns. We all make mistakes. But we can also learn and correct our behavior without placing blame.

Every single person can BE a "Force" for "GOOD", substituting alternatives to the "BAD" and "UGLY" behaviors in all media.

Perhaps some don't realize the impact of their behavior. We all slide into some patterns. We all make mistakes.  But we can also learn and correct our behavior without placing blame.

Every single person can BE a "Force" for "GOOD", substituting alternatives to the "BAD" and "UGLY"
behaviors in all media.

In this post, I will share a condensed list of BAD and UGLY behaviors and possible alternatives. (They are listed below in no particular order, and not a comprehensive list.)

BadUgly72The problems are extensive and multifaceted, but there are persistent examples of BAD & UGLY.  I welcome your stories and alternatives which can be added to this post. Please consider submitting an example with an alternative in the comments or send it privately through my contact page on my website.

Pirating & selling of DVD's for which the original author no longer gets royalties or revenue.

Purchase DVD's from the original author or a legitimate authorized seller.


Purchasing a DVD and then sharing the techniques direct from the DVD on your blog or social network without permission from the original author.

Sharing information benefits the field only when it is shared with both ethical and legal foundation in mind. If the information on the DVD is superb, then write a review and link to the original source for the DVD.

Or share information after obtaining permission of the authorciting the source  for the information and citing  permission of the author.

The best option is to share information that you created yourself based on your own depth of skill, experience and your own ideas.


Translation to another language of chapters and whole books without permission, authorship credit, or revenue to the original author.
Do not buy, share or trade unauthorized copies, or PDF copies of book chapters or books. Inform these unauthorized individuals about ethical behavior. Can you report this incident to the original author or publisher?

Public announcements at events, guild meetings or conferences that a person is willing to show everyone how to pirate specific tutorials.

Unethical behavior such as pirating should not be endorsed by organizations. Establish a "higher" standard for your guild, organization or conference that presentations will only be content from the original author or original technical innovator/workshop teacher.

A student expressing disappointment that a workshop had been cancelled due to low enrollment, since she already had six people signed up to take the "copied" class from her the next weekend.
In a similar ugly, six people chipped in to send one person to the workshop so she could copy the handout and then re-teach the workshop the next weekend.

Do not
encourage unethical sharing of workshop demos and materials. This impacts the revenue for the teachers and the sponsor.
Preparations for workshop planning, demos and materials require a huge investment from the teacher and the workshop sponsor. Violations of these principle also means that the information may not be available for future workshops because the teachers and sponsors can't afford to arrange future workshops.


People taking a workshop so the student can now teach the same technique  representing themselves as an expert in the skill.
This misrepresents the experience of the teacher. 

Develop a level of mastery in your own area of expertise, skill or technical innovation along with superb  marketing and demos based on your own depth of experience.


Teaching a workshop based on another author or teachers content. Examples would include teaching a workshop based on a magazine tutorial or a skill you did not develop. This robs the magazine of potential revenue from new subscribers and jeopardizes their future. Teaching a workshop based on other people's innovations is stealing their livelihood after they spent months or years developing the information.

Develop your own artistic voice, skill or technique. This is when you can honestly represent yourself as a master in your medium.

Facebook pages that offer tutorials/books in any media or topic as a free PDF download
when they did not write the information themselves, do
not own the copyright, and are not authorized by the author.

Do not participate in these offers. Report these websites to the author and publisher of the original book. Do not share this illegal source with your community. Be an upstanding member of your community and report  these unethical offers as a copyright violation.

It is necessary to clarify that I am not against sharing of information.  I am speaking out against illegal and unethical sharing of information that was not authorized by the innovator, author, teacher, book, magazine, blogs, websites or publisher.

Citations and quotes for a limited amount of content with a link to the original source is O.K. This would be sharing enough information to pique interest such as a citation for credibility and to warrant further investigation from your reader.

If you care to share with me privately or through the comments, we can all add to this list of BAD or UGLY and ALTERNATIVES.   

The Keynote Objective

An invitation to give a keynote lecture is both an opportunity and a responsibility

TruthnosigncopyFrom keynote speakers whom I've admired in the past, I felt that a conference lecture should be about discovery and community, addressing broad concepts, and perhaps controversial issues that can resonate in discussions throughout the remaining days of a conference . . .  and beyond.

As Seth Godin says: "Respectfully challenging the status quo combined with relentlessly iterating new ideas is the hallmark of the vibrant tribe."


TRUSTCOLOR 1The theme for the recent International Polymer Clay Association Conference was "Seeking Higher Ground."  


 A suggestion from the conference organizers was "reaching the next plateau".  In fact, it was suggested that my lecture address the controversial topics of inappropriate, illegal and unethical copying and sharing of information and more.  And I saw a real opportunity to have impact.  Why?


TRUSTCOLOR3These issues are not just limited to one media. I have heard about similar stories for years, but the problems are growing exponentially with the Internet, hence the topic of the lecture.


These serious issues pervade the craft community. But too often the  elephant in the room is an unspoken concern of being ostracized by one's own community for being outspoken despite the honesty.  We should not be afraid to discuss difficult topics.


TRUSTCOLOR5In the few months prior to this lecture, I leaned on my family, friends, and associates to discuss, debate, and argue the issues to zero in on the key points.  We did not arrive at easy agreement, but ultimately, we all felt better informed and more discerning about the issues and the recommendations. The topics still fuel healthy critique.

My goal is a vibrant, self-aware, craft community.

More thoughts to come in future posts. Share the lecture  The GOOD, The BAD, and The UGLY in the AGE of the Internet on your Facebook, newsletter or blog. Engage in the conversation. Spark debate.

In the meantime I am inspired by the Dixie Chicks song "Not Ready to Play Nice."

It is time to raise our voices.


The GOOD, The BAD, and The UGLY in the Age of the Internet

On March 14, I gave the keynote address for Synergy 3, the International Polymer Clay Association Annual Conference.     Watch this presentation from YouTube. Sit back with a cup of tea or coffee to watch the full 45 minutes of entertaining and provocative observations concluding with four recommendations for the arts and crafts community.  When I gave this lecture half the audience was in shock!  The other half of the audience gave me a standing ovation. What do you think>

PLEASE COMMENT if possible.  This presentation tackles an issue that affects both aspiring and established makers and artists and needs to be shared, circulated, and discussed throughout the arts and crafts community. 

If willing, you can easily embed this presentation in your website or blog directly from YouTube .



Find the full text and RECOMMENDATIONS in this lecture at:

RECOMMENDATIONS from The GOOD, The BAD, and The UGLY In The Age of The Internet

Depending on the reactions, some future posts on ASK Harriete will expand on the topics raised.  Contact me privately through the email link in the left column of ASK Harriete or leave a COMMENT.


REFERENCES to Keynote Lecture Synergy 3: The Good, BAD and the UGLY in the Age of the Internet

Today I gave my Keynote Lecture for the International Polymer Clay Association annual conference Synergy 3. The lecture title is: TheGoodBadUglyTransINTERNET72

This lecture will be published on ASK Harriete as a SlideShare PowerPoint with recorded audio. Subscribe to ASK Harriete so you will be notified of the publication.

Here is the HANDOUT Good-BAD-UGLY-Handout-References (PDF) to download or use the  individual links below. The references are mentioned in the order of appearance in the lecture.

Behind THE scenes FOR the Good Bad UglyIMAGE: Clint Eastwood, Leone and Eli Wallach on the set of THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY    1966.




EXtREME closeup and full viewIMAGE of extreme close-up and wide angle view is a signature voice of the director Sergio Leone.

The LongTail by Chris AndersonBOOK: The Long Tail by Chris Anderson.
ASK Harriete describes “the Long Tail” in a post titled, "Long Tail - Blockbuster versus Netflix, and the art/craft world. "


Reference to Michael Jordan found  in the online article  “Best Advice: Down But Not Out” by Peter Guber

Mindset-The New Psychology of SuccessCarol-DweckBOOK: Mindset: The New Psychology of Success  by Carol Dwek






Regretsy websiteQUOTE from April Winchell found on in the Business section:  “Regretsy closes, the world mourns the end of DIY meets WTF”


Talent is OverratedBOOK:  Talent is Overrated  by Geoff Colvin






Outliers by Malcolm GladwellBOOK:  Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell






Risky is the New SafeBOOK:  Risky is the New Safe by Randy Gage





Polymer Art Archive


ASK Harriete

PROFESSIONAL GUIDELINES for the artists and crafts community

ImaginecreativityBOOK:  IMAGINE: How Creativity Works  by Jonah Lehrer

Jonah Lehrer lecture for the Knight Foundation:  “Jonah Lehrer earns $20,000 honorarium for talking about plagiarism at Knight lunch”  (Scroll down to find the lecture. He actually starts talking at about 53 minutes into the video, so move the scroll bar into the lecture.)

Transcript for Jonah Lehrer lecture titled:  “My Apology” by Jonah Lehrer


CREATIVEcommonsWEBSITE: Creative Commons Licenses 


UStrademarkOFFICEWEBSITE: U.S. Trademark and Patent Office

Combination3 Links

ORIGINAL DRAWINGS for the lecture by Aryn Shelander 

TRUST COLOR drawing by Aryn Shelander5




P.S. Links to the books and movie DVDs are provided for your convenience as affiliate links.

Related articles:

Fearfull, Fearless, Scared, Empowered, Makers, Women Make History

The hardest thing to do when I write a lecture, blog post  or a topic for the Professional Guidelines is to speak about the difficult topics, raise challenging issues, or perhaps, even, take an unpopular position.

And it isn't just about writing the topic. It is being prepared for the consequences of challenging the status quo.

The upcoming program on PBS, "Makers: Women Who Make America," uses the word "make" as in homemakers, and in make history, but for all the makers out there that work with their hands, heart and head, I hope you will watch this show, or be inspired by reading these books. Every day is the moment for "our internal revolution" to make the best art or craft we can create.

Well Behaved Women Seldom Make HistoryWell-Behaved Women Seldom Make History












Watch MAKERS: Women Who Make America Trailer on PBS.
See more from Makers: Women Who Make America.


Charlie-Rose-Gloria-SteinemGloria Steinem and Amy Richards speak with Charlie Rose about Makers: Women Who Make America

During the interview they referred to this article in the New York Times, "A Titan's How-To-On-Breaking-the-Glass-Ceiling" by Jodi Cantor. It is worth reading.


On Becoming Fearless in Love, Work and Life by Arianna Huffington

On Becoming Love, Work, and Life by Arianna Huffington








Books listed in this blog post and in the side bar are  affiliate links.

Risky is the New Safe -- Inspired Opinions

Risky-Is-The-New-SafeI just finished reading the book Risky is the New Safe by Randy Gage.* The book raised many concepts that were exciting, challenging or thought provoking.

For me, it is inspiring to discover this kind of external encouragement while making new work or  writing a challenging keynote lecture for the upcoming  conference

It takes a lot of guts to voice strong opinions or do anything counter to the status quo, but  
"...the safe route always leads to mediocrity, and that is the real risk." 

Below, are a few quotes from "Risky is the New Safe" (in red italic) and some information that I think artists and makers may find inspiring.

 Artists and makers, you "know that unconventional approaches, contrarian thinking, and innovation-- which sometimes means tipping things upside down, and sometimes means beginning with a blank canvas".....this is "where the real magic is."

FIND YOUR NICHE MARKET "Seek out the challenges, determine what the problems will be and who will be facing them, because therein lie the greatest opportunities for contrarians, critical thinkers, and people willing to take risks."

ARTIST working with a little color
You know, the internet is such a part of our lives and yet we forget the fact that e-marketing is still in its INFANCY!
Randy Gage writes:  “The statistics you read about online commerce may seem mind-blowing, and the numbers grow substantially every season, but you have to keep in mind that we are still at the very, very earliest stages of online purchasing right now. Those huge sales figures you see reported today are miniscule in comparison to what they will be in 5 to 10 years.”

Now, what does this mean for artists and makers? How can we be a part of the future of e-commerce? What are the tools we need? Learn more about upcoming topics at the Professional Development Seminar. (More information at the bottom of this post.)***

"Success is simply a continuous process of conquering challenges."

ARTISTCOLORBe-GoodRecently, I listened to music from the Beatles and Annie Lennox. Both are music phenomena. Their music has had longevity, power and each a singular voice....well, guess what?  They have tons of music that aren't hits, but they kept on creating. That is what it takes to be successful, and even the most well-known, most successful people don't produce hits all the time, but they keep working. They keep making.

"Successful people are people in motion. They move a step closer to their dream daily. They are in action every day, even when they don't feel like it. This takes motivation."

Risky is the New Safe is worth reading.
I recommend getting this book from your local library, uploading it to your I-pad...or buying the book to savor every word.

*Risky is the New Safe is an affiliate link


Creativity is rooted in self-reflection, personal expression, and social context. But context comes by connecting to a larger community. The Internet encourages “Us” to share, but tutorials, books, and social networks sometimes facilitate copying or infringement with questionable consequences. Do we understand the impact of copying, under-pricing, sharing information, and skills that someone else invented? A challenge to the status quo is worth considering.


Your comments about this topic are most welcome.


Creating, Connecting, Community

Creativity is rooted in self-reflection, personal expression, and social context, but context comes by connecting to a larger community. 

Copycatsee72grThe Internet encourages “Us” to share, but tutorials, books, and social networks sometimes facilitate copying or infringement with questionable consequences. 

Do we understand the impact of copying, under-pricing, and sharing information, and skills that someone else invented?

Synergy 3 Join Me at Synergy 3A challenge to the status quo is worth considering. I will be addressing these issues during a talk at Synergy 3.

Stay tuned to future posts as I test and tease out these challenging issues for my lecture. Subscribe so you won't miss one post. Share your thoughts on these topics anytime. I'd love to hear what you have to say.

In the meantime, I still have more posts coming up about SEO for artists and makers. The internet has changed our lives. There is no way we can anticipate the future of e-commerce, but one thing is clear...original content will be the key.

LongtailImprove your website and expand your audience with better SEO.   

This post was updated on July 29, 2022.