Right so, anonymous comments are being turned off.
Probably unsurprisingly some people are unable to avoid the temptation of anonymous jackassery.
I apologize to the anons who sent us legitimate questions and comments - you’re still welcome to email ‘em to us anytime you like firstname.lastname@example.org
ETA: I’m not going to go into it, as that only perpetuates the drama and I’ve got a zero tolerance policy for nonsense these days. Needless to say, silly anons happened.
Anonymous said: This is probably going to be a useless note, but I would just like to inform you that I think your creations are incredibly inspiring. I have enough sculpting skill to create something -like- your creations rather than buying them and would probably rather do so (since making neat things for keeps is one of my drives in life), and even though I'd never try to outright copy you (and am unlikely to even sell my works), I wonder how you feel about just providing that seed of inspiration.
Wow, anon(s) bringing the complicated questions today.
This is another issue that most artists find themselves facing at some point. Inspiring others feels awesome. It means a lot to me when people say that, and I think most creatives would agree with me.
But sometimes it crosses a line. People go from being inspired to outright copying your work. Sometimes they don’t even realize they’re doing it. I once emailed someone who had studied my designs and was attempting to make their own Beastlies. It’s not always easy to find a polite way to send that “Please stop doing this so we don’t have to get lawyers in the mix” email, but I tried to encourage her to find her own style instead of just ripping off the style that I had spent six years creating and refining. She responded by saying that her work looked like mine because “clay is a very limiting medium,” so she couldn’t possibly help making copies of Beastlies. That kind of crazybrain bullshit nonsense becomes a real problem for artists: People can get SO inspired by one person’s work that they can’t see past it to ever work on anything that’s actually their own.
So you know… Make stuff! Have a great time! I’m delighted to have been inspiring in some way! But keep in mind that just not trying to copy someone isn’t always enough. You actually have to outright TRY NOT to copy other artists. I do. Everyone does. It’s an essential part of being a creative person.
Great answer to a complicated issue.
Its sometimes tough to define the differences between inspiration and emulation, but its important to keep trying to do just that.
Because I’ve been watching cooking shows while I paint, to me its a bit like having a brilliant meal at your favorite restaurant. It was amazing, and you’re inspired to cook. Brilliant!
Inspiration: You take a striking aspect of the dish (say, the use of a particular spice) and attempt to incorporate that into one of your own tried-and-true recipes.
Emulation: You attempt to re-create the dish in its entirety.
The food comparison breaks down here a bit in that most people don’t then hang out a shingle and proclaim themselves a professional chef with the same frequency as I’ve seen in the art community.
The origins of that dish you attempted to remake are a total mystery to you. It may have been based on the chef’s grandmother’s cooking, by childhood memories of similar meals with family and friends, informed by experimentation with ingredients and refined by education and endless practice.
In trying to emulate that piece, not only are you robbing yourself of the ability to grow through your own process, your copy will never have the ability to speak to people the way the original does because you’ve no earthly idea what’s gone into it…. and that process isn’t yours.
Saying ‘clay is a very limiting medium’ is like saying ‘there are only so many ways to make pasta’. Its as deluded as it is silly (and my Italian friend would probably throw something at you).
You absolutely have to actively try to find a distinct style for your own work. Actively trying to make something that is genuinely different (and no, gluing sparkles on someone else’s design doesn’t count - yes, someone tried that) is an important part of the process because it involves thinking critically about your work.
Ask some friends you can trust to be honest. Where possible, ask artists you admire for a critique (and be prepared to gracefully accept what they say).
Be inspired, but make sure the root of your work is still you.
Doing con prep always intensifies our desire to kick certain casts out of rotation, simply because we have to look at the spots where we feel they could be improved over and over and over again.
I think its safe to say the wolf cast is going to need a do-over in the near future for sure, and potentially the basilisk head.
I’m sure it seems silly, but when you have to paint that same foot 20 times in one sitting, the fact that one toenail is about 7% larger than its buddies REALLY starts to get to ye.
We’ll try and give people a bit of a head’s up before we resculpt the wolf (although I’m going to be a big jerk here and say that if we get nasty anons about this like we got about the insectivore bat, I’m going to turn off anons altogether). That said, we’ll do our best to retain the same feel with the new cast, so it won’t be a wild departure by any means.