Are You Flattered By Imitation?
March 25, 2013
“The world is but a canvas to our Imagination.”
Henry David Thoreau
One of the greatest challenges of being in the events industry is that you are only as good as your last job. This was a point really brought home a few years ago when I screwed up a job involving a hanging structure that I created – it was simply too heavy to be hung. My client was furious with me and accused me of ruining her party. I apologized profusely and was accountable, but she was so infuriated that she started a smear campaign and badmouthed me, not only to her guests, but to anyone who would listen. It took me two years (and a whole lot of damage control) to move past this creative mistake.
The truth is that there is no one on this earth who gets through life without making mistakes, and through them, we learn how to do better next time. Creativity takes courage. Though you can easily follow the pack and survive, thinking outside of the box is what helps us all keep growing. With the understanding that all journeys (even fun and creative ones) will present obstacles, I would like to share three common challenges faced by those in our industry.
Getting Our Clients To Pay For Our Artistic Ideas: I have a very extensive library of designs that have never seen the light of day due to cost.
Designing With a Budget In Mind: It is with great humility that I must admit that I have never learned how to do this. I am envious of those artists that that have this gift. I find it impossible to place a price tag on my imagination, so I listen carefully to what my client is asking for and design three different concepts for most of my clients with the hope that they will like and pay for one. This method has proven successful in aiding my lack of ability.
Plagiarism: Being copied used to be a big problem for me. While I still protect my designs, I am now able to see imitation as more of an honor. It means someone else likes my ideas so much that they wish it were their own. How flattering is that? I have even seen some of my work copied and presented better than my original design! The biggest concern I have as an artist is that copying impedes the copier from enjoying the creative fulfillment that comes from watching their ideas move through conceptualization to completion. Let us all be original and create our own special place in the industry!
Even with all our challenges, creativity is what’s always going to give us that edge.
Stay Courageous and Creative,
Question: How do you feel when someone copies your work?
C. Flattered, but annoyed.
Please choose one and explain why.