“When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.”
The title is a quote from Eric Hoffer.
I’ve touched on originality before. I’ve lately been rolling around ideas about inspiration, interpretation, and impersonation. Not to mention imitation.
We are each influenced by everything we see. Taking inspiration from everything, including other artists, is a natural part of the creative process. Inspiration is essential, and it can come from anywhere. An artist incorporates that inspiration into their own vision (pardon my artsy fartsy lingo here) and creates a work that, while influenced and inspired by other things, is still truly an original work of art.
Botgirl Questi’s work inspired me to try my hand at visualizing my tweets as pictures. But my work looks nothing like hers. Her original work inspired and influenced my original work, but I didn’t imitate it. My work is 100% my own. Hers is no doubt influenced by others, as is theirs.
Imitation is a whole different thing. Imitation requires no original thought or creation- it’s simply copying the work of another. Imitation is rarely flattering to the work or the artist. Whether a visual artist or a writer- I can’t imagine being honored to be imitated. Instead I find it distasteful at best, and offensive every time.
Original creation is so rare and wonderful, it should be celebrated- not denigrated by imitation.
In a market of same shit, different creator, it’s exciting to see original works. Pandora Wigglesworth is one of the most original creators in Second Life. She recently released a Flesh Suit of human skin. (Thanks to Crap Mariner for the tip and the gift!) While Crap and I were both inspired by the same skin, our creations are entirely different.
Here’s Crap’s shot:
The skin is truly brilliant. I love the concept.
The hood is mesh and no mod, but it doesn’t need any modification- it fit my chinchilla and my human sized selves perfectly.
It’s not a pretty skin, but it’s not supposed to be.
Look away, my feet are hideous.
There is no way to prevent outright imitation, aside from never showing your work to anyone at all and where’s the fun in that? Instead, I hope to celebrate originality in my work and pay tribute to my inspirations.
Imitators can bite my ass.