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View Full Version : Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery? Or does it just piss you off?


Mister_Ninja
05-11-2005, 04:02 AM
People always say that Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but I have never been flattered when someone copies my idea and gets stuff out of it.

Does anybody actually feel flatter when someone tries to copy you?

Has anyone ever actually felt flattered when someone took your work and called it their own?

That saying has always bothered me. and although it may be true its still dumb :P

-edit-
oops, this should be in general disccusion. :P

leeyiankun
05-11-2005, 04:08 AM
Well, it does bother me, when ppl said I copied someone else.
Imitation is different from homage, but I really don't know where the line is. Different people have varied opinions about it really.

How much can you be influenced by someone, before you ended up copying them entirely?

"Strongly influenced by" or just plain "Copying"?
Or may be it just a coincidence that they have the same damn views you do?

What do you think?

Mister_Ninja
05-11-2005, 04:19 AM
I worded it badly. It only bugs me when people try to copy you entirely. Copying some elements of other peoples work is fine. It copying isnt bad if you give credit to your source. it just bugs me when people claim they came up with something brand new, when its just a rehashed version of someone elses work.

Peddy
05-11-2005, 04:24 AM
Imitation is a very good form of flattery, but not many people see it that way, so its twisted into something negative.

I see two key definitions here:
1. To use or follow as a model. - thats flattery
2. To copy exactly; reproduce. - thats not flattery, and bordering on a lack of inspiration

Of course, being the egotistical beings that we are (not meant literally, but simply referring to the fact that we are human), flattery is best when everyone else knows about it as well. So when someone imitates(1) you, then gives you due credit for developing a fantastic style and/or technique....thats flattering.

Enayla
05-11-2005, 10:01 AM
It used to really bother me. The first few artists that appeared that were obviously copying not only my style, but my technique and personal stylistic elements, very much bugged me. I was a little startled to begin with, not knowing how to deal with it.

It doesnít really bother me anymore, depending on how much of it is influenced (if itís an outright copy, yes, Iíll be pissed off). Imitation is a way to learn and I hope that those who do imitate me eventually move on to a style of their own. I have every confidence that theyíll find their own thing sooner or later. I have left a few galleries behind because of the amount of imitators that the galleries spawned, though Ė it just makes me a little uncomfortable.

So, itís discomfort rather than flattery. I just donít think Iím good enough to be copied, and I think that people do themselves something of a disservice in imitating someone elseís style Ė at least if they do it for an extended amount of time. Weíre all inspired by things, and thereís nothing new under the sun as they say, but I still canít help but writhe a little uncomfortably if I see one of my faces copied, or spot, perhaps, a dress Iíve designedÖ in someone elseís painting. Itís nothing to get angry about, like I said, theyíll move on eventually. I just donít get it. I get being inspired by someone Ė Iím greatly inspired by Tim Burton, for example. I just donít get the copying, not beyond learning exercises.

(Don't get me wrong, I did it, too, at one point - when I was a kid. I'd copy poses from comic books... like I said, I get the learning aspect, I just feel that I much prefer art that shows a bit about the person who's done the painting: personality reflected in the style. If you've just nicked the style from someone else, what's that saying about you?)

MKStudios
05-11-2005, 10:13 AM
Hmmm. Are we talking about style here? I'm not actually well known enough to have anyone rip my style. Hell, it's still evolving on it's own anyway! :rolleyes:

You can see influences all through other stuff though.

Maxfield Parrish -> Frazetta
Frazetta -> Ken Kelly, Kelly Freas, Charles Keegan (and everybody else...)
Rackham -> Brian Froud, Alan Lee, John Howe
Mucha -> Adam Hughes, Frank Cho

and so forth.

Now, if somebody swiped an actual pic, redrew/painted it and said, "Look what I did! Oh yeah, it's like so-and-sos," is a different thing. I guess I'd be upset if folks were repainting my stuff and passing it around, even if they credited the original source.

Squibbit
05-11-2005, 11:23 AM
I just donít think Iím good enough to be copied


GOTCHA! Knew u gonna say something like this sooner or later.

most amusing

Peddy
05-11-2005, 01:06 PM
GOTCHA! Knew u gonna say something like this sooner or later.

most amusing
you weren't the only one waiting for Linda's infamous modesty to rear its pretty head.
In one sense, I'm surprised you (linda) get so many imitators. The only reason I don't imitate your style is because I don't think I'm good enough to pull it off =]

Enayla
05-11-2005, 04:00 PM
Infamous modesty? D:

No, but seriously, err...

:wilts:

Anyone can do what I do, as far as technique is concerned. It's just a matter of training, it's not that big a deal. Plenty of artists out there (and in here!) far surpassing me in skill and talent alike, and I'm not being modest, I'm being honest :] If I were to try to imitate someone, I'd pick, well... someone else.

Squibbit
05-11-2005, 04:27 PM
If I were to try to imitate someone, I'd pick, well... someone else.

hmm , yea not much difference imitating yourself ...

Plenty of artists out there (and in here!) far surpassing me in skill and talent alike

3 is plenty in sweden ?

I'd say it's more of a theme and style thing , they
might have a style that someone likes more than yours and/or
they paint of about stuff you're not into , but really there
aren't that many better, just other amazingly talented ones

offbeatworlds
05-11-2005, 05:41 PM
Hmm...I tend to overreact when something like immitation occurs, however, it's not really me who's being hissy about it. I actually blame it on DeviantArt, an art website I used to be addicted to. I swear, once a week I'd find a journal where someone was ranting about how so-and-so stole their work. Because they got so mad rubbed off on me, unfortunately. I'm in the process of trying to be able to react more maturely when things like that happen.

*shakes fist at DA*

Only if they are making a "profit" off of immitation is when things get bad, IMO.

jmBoekestein
05-11-2005, 09:34 PM
Hahaha, Squibbit, you never cease to amuse me!!!:applause:As for you Linda, I've never seen so many people kissing one ass at a time, it's just shameless(no offense, figure of speech). Lemmesee...hmm...
:)You're right but wrong. In that your own art would appeal to you because it would be the way you'd have done it yourself. And there wouldn't have been the dissatisfaction of having failed at certain things in the process, lol.:wise:But there are better ones for sure.

Well, [looks for possible escape plan], I've had the pleasure of being imitated and even literally copied one time. At first I felt raped and abused, even desolate and desperating for air. My freedom had been completely denied, uncertainty of my own plot clamped down my shrieky voice as I cried at the heavens: "NOOOooo!!!"

To be honest, I overreacted at first because the person had actually approached me but neglected to ask me for permission. But that soon disappeared, very soon, but that's because I'm new to this I think. I am still thoroughly flattered and if the one is reading this, I find the end result very flattering too, quite the thing to behold.

LadyMedusa
05-11-2005, 11:26 PM
What about Gary Tonge (a.k.a Antifan)? Someone even Copied his identity. The took his name, personal info and username and created an e-mail account similar to Gary's. Thats Crazy! This happened on deviantart by the way.
I doubt hes the only one that happened to.

I doubt I would be flattered if someone directly copied my work. Personally, I don't think copying the idea is that big of a deal, if made in a different way, that is.
Hwo knows? they might have gotten the same idea whitout even hearing about eatch other.



I'm sorry for all the errors in the post, its late here and I'm simply too tierd to check it.

jmBoekestein
05-12-2005, 12:30 AM
Well, the way I see it, if you concept is appreciated to such a degree that it's copied. Then the other artist must have a good deal of respect for what you did. Or maybe you did something that's completely readable and gets across perfectly. In that way, it's a big deal, another form of recognition. I mean, I wouldn't try and draw aliens from the movies if I didn't really friggin' like them.:thumbsup:

TiZeta
05-12-2005, 12:59 AM
I think that just copying the wole style or a whole piece of art is quite bad, but it's different from taking inspiration. Many artists have a master, a "teacher" or more than one as someon has sayd yet.
Personally i've not direct experience, as nobody has copied me :) but i think i woul be flattered (and surprised, eh eh) if someone took inspiration by me and eventually told that, but pissed if someone copied.
The difference is very big, in my opinion.

Sorry for my english...

Enayla
05-12-2005, 01:14 AM
What about Gary Tonge (a.k.a Antifan)? Someone even Copied his identity. The took his name, personal info and username and created an e-mail account similar to Gary's. Thats Crazy! This happened on deviantart by the way.
I doubt hes the only one that happened to.

I doubt I would be flattered if someone directly copied my work. Personally, I don't think copying the idea is that big of a deal, if made in a different way, that is.
Hwo knows? they might have gotten the same idea whitout even hearing about eatch other.



I'm sorry for all the errors in the post, its late here and I'm simply too tierd to check it.

This has actually happened to me a number of times now. 'I' keep cropping up in galleries all over the place where I've never posted, with weird email addresses and such. The stupidest one so far, however, was a guy who claimed I was a mentor and that we painted the pictures together. He posted them and when someone tried to call him on it, he said that they could never prove I wasn't his mentor and that, in fact, he'd helped me with most of my work (these pieces including a self-portrait among other things). Normal fake-me I can handle, but that was just messed up, heheh.

Peddy
05-12-2005, 02:58 AM
Hah. Creepy. But thats the internet for you.
It seems the opinions about this are fairly varied. I see some people have nothing against an idea or a concept being imitated, but I personally wouldn't like that, because at my stage, when im still developing my own style, my ideas and concepts are really all that I can call unique about my work, even if they aren't in the grand scheme of things. It's a big world, and someone is bound to have thought of something similar.

Gord-MacDonald
05-13-2005, 09:59 PM
After reading about unprincipled creeps who are committing these slightly psychotic brands of identity theft, I am just wondering , is anyone aware of successful responses to these violations ?

Gord

Kanga
05-16-2005, 10:52 PM
If you are busy with outdoing yourself each time you make something, getting a network going, marketing your work there just isnt enough time to worry about people who have to resort to imitation. If you do all the above things correctly then in the end the things you make should be so fantastic that when someone looks at it they think,... stuff it I'll try something easier to copy.

It's only individuals without enough ideas that do this, they are to be pittied not worried about,.... on second thoughts screw that there isnt enough time!

GOTgraphic
05-17-2005, 04:07 AM
After reading about unprincipled creeps who are committing these slightly psychotic brands of identity theft, I am just wondering , is anyone aware of successful responses to these violations ?

Gord
I knew this guy who copied me and took off with his work and got some commissions. Fine with me, I don't begrudge anyone for their success. Now granted he didn't copy what it was exactly, so it was still a lot of his idea. What I became mad about was that he claimed the whole thing was his idea and that I had nothing to do with it (even though his friend said otherwise), that really ticked me off.

I've been influenced by a lot of people. Though I work hard at creating and saying my own thing. I think thats the most honest way. Any other way (without giving due credit) is simply deception and a lie. It must have a big impact on the work.

I've seen a lot of work that mimics Bruce Timm's animated style (so-called-by-Warner-Brothers) and it just doesn't look or feel the same as Bruce Timm's own work and the work he is directly involved with (such as supervising another artist who is copying his style). Thats the most obvious example that I can think of.

jmBoekestein
05-17-2005, 10:06 PM
If you are busy with outdoing yourself each time you make something, getting a network going, marketing your work there just isnt enough time to worry about people who have to resort to imitation. If you do all the above things correctly then in the end the things you make should be so fantastic that when someone looks at it they think,... stuff it I'll try something easier to copy.

It's only individuals without enough ideas that do this, they are to be pittied not worried about,.... on second thoughts screw that there isnt enough time!


Just gotta love it. I'm amazed frankly at some things that have been succesfully imitated. Let me tell you somethnig. Apparently there was this famous painter, who among his peers had other famous painters, yadda yadda...This guy copies an artwork signs it with the original painters sign. And lets it circulate. A while later upon auction time, people were gahering arounda painting, of course it was the copy. But the painter wanted to make sure and went closer, the auctionmaster of-course shuffed the painter back. Quite certainly this man knew nothing of art stating he had painted this, such a masterpiece could not have been made by this simple fool. :shrug:At least the story still survived without an autograph, :D.

Gord-MacDonald
05-18-2005, 01:58 PM
I knew this guy who copied me and took off with his work and got some commissions. Fine with me, I don't begrudge anyone for their success. Now granted he didn't copy what it was exactly, so it was still a lot of his idea. What I became mad about was that he claimed the whole thing was his idea and that I had nothing to do with it (even though his friend said otherwise), that really ticked me off.

I've been influenced by a lot of people. Though I work hard at creating and saying my own thing. I think thats the most honest way. Any other way (without giving due credit) is simply deception and a lie. It must have a big impact on the work.

I've seen a lot of work that mimics Bruce Timm's animated style (so-called-by-Warner-Brothers) and it just doesn't look or feel the same as Bruce Timm's own work and the work he is directly involved with (such as supervising another artist who is copying his style). Thats the most obvious example that I can think of.

I was thinking more of those who blatently misrepresented themselves (sorry for the confusion in my post)

Gord

stepington
05-18-2005, 06:56 PM
True, that misrepresenting one's self is not a very nice thing to do. And homage is a great flattery. But we are a wonderful "animal collective". And almost everything we do is echoed from some experiance or something we've seen before.

A friend of mine once told me that his painting professor said to him, "Everything in art has been done before."
My friend replied, "Well then, what's the point of painting anything then?"
Professor said: "Because you haven't done it before."

I think about that a lot. There's also a another thing I consider a lot - but I can't remember who said it.
"What of me is mine?":shrug:(edit - google says it's Jeanette Winterson entire quote is - ""can i speak my mind or am i dumb inside a borrowed language, captive of bastards thoughts? what of me is mine?" )

Even though I personally am not going to shake the earth with something that's "never been seen or done before", I'm still having fun doing what i'm doing. I'm glad to be in the human collective - :bounce:

jmBoekestein
05-19-2005, 01:28 AM
In my observations the truth is everchanging and so are people who are growing constantly, it's like this:

when you edit a movie, the shots derive their meaning from context, edit differently then you get a different movie. You might have two paintings about love, so it's been done, they don't look the same so they aren't. Since the people constantly change. Life will. And in before unseen forms everytime.:thumbsup:

Taking this into account means to me that things have common ground instead of having been done before. Copying and uhm...identity disorders and what not... should not fit into this I find, for the obvious reason that there's nothing personal to it. :shrug:

stepington
05-19-2005, 01:54 AM
Oh yes! I agree with you. I hope the "been done before" thing didn't paint too bleak of a picture. Nor would I consciously copy something to claim as my own- but chances are some wonderfully like minded people have already done something very close to any new idea I might suddenly become excited about. That doesn't discourage me, nor should it discourage anyone - it's the personal exploration that's rather exciting.

Also, study should always be encouraged. I went through a silly phase about ten years ago and copied a ton of Francis Bacon paintings just to see what there was to see. My fascination deepened as suddenly -this might sound wierd- his work didn't seem quite so dark anymore. I suddenly saw his brush work as this beautifully dancing searching thing. And that state of mind still serves as a wonderful lesson today-though none of my peices bear any resemblance to F.B.

Um, I guess I don't really have a point to make, exactly. Just a point of view.:D

stepington
05-19-2005, 01:56 AM
(double post deleted):blush:

RoundRobbin
05-19-2005, 08:05 AM
i had my work duplicated without my permission. that sukd.
but i could sleep better knowing that karma is a son of biznitch.

Tawneycocker
05-19-2005, 09:23 AM
Flattery isn't necessarily what I am thinking of when I suggest to a student that they might Study ( which is a euphomism for copy) Eugene Delequax if they are working on the concept of horseness or perhaps Leonardo he did a few really good renderings of very dynamic horseflesh. I then suggest that the student completely forget That work and copy from life if that is what the assignment is. The thing is art is a very Exestensial process. Even if I were to copy anothers work I always bring my own hangups Quirks and idiosyncratic poop along. I can't do Ingres I can only replicate him. In doing so as a learning process is not flattery it is an attempt to acquire certain strengths in technique, observation, manipulation of color, spacial awareness, and on and on. If as an Illustrator I attempt to copy a concept of say mr. Stahlberg and call it my own it is indeed ( lets call it by its real name ) plagerism. Lets face it folks there are people out there who will steal ideas without blinking an eye. There is a whole sub culture out there using devices to lift the art of our Musical brothers and sisters hoping that they will not be cought lifting music off the net. It Gauls me to no limit when I hear one of my students taking music and not feeling anything for the artist. I have a piece of software that looks for plagerized intellectual data as some of my students will write a paper and use a quotation as their own. Imanuel Kant suggested that "We suould act in such a way that the maxiums of our actions (or rules pertaining to our actions) should be used as the basis of a universal Ethic" He illudes here basically to the Golden rule. e.g. if you don't want to be messed over dont be messing over anyone else. My wife is a textile artist and she uses a good many techniques in her tapestries and quilts that she has acquired through the past many years but she makes it a part of the task to either thank the creator of the technique directly or when she has a show she always has an attribution of where she acquired the technique. One of the reasons that I left advertizing and went into teaching was that I just could not stomuch the dishonesty and glibness any longer. This problem will be with us in the future just as it has been with us in the past. It is our task to make a choice when it says copyright it darn well better mean copyright or we will eventually be taking from others and saying to our selves "well gee its just art." If it's my art I ferverently hope your canvas or screen or what ever you are using to do what you are calling art at that moment vaporizes. Ok so I'm getting a bit hot under the collar but then it's my collar isn't it. As to style that is at least a hundred page monograph. Yours in art Tawneycocker PS remember I come from a whole different time dimension somewhere between Queen Victoria and Twiggy so I sound sometimes like an antique. Twiggy was, well, oh never mind.

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