Copy and Paste: Respect For Original Work

I have been thinking a lot about inspiration and, in particular, how I develop new ideas for my artwork. When I work on a new painting, or collection, it is important for me to nail down a general feeling that I am aiming to communicate. I then do my research. I watch movies, look at art books, visit gardens, talk to other artists, read, meditate and then draw and paint. My process is just that, a process. One that takes time and gentle nurturing.

In a world of fast paced social media and an over-abundance of images, I am seeing a lot of "Copy and Paste" production. This is when images and ideas are "borrowed" from a creator and slightly changed and re-introduced into the market without credit due. The problem with this mindset is that the process of creation becomes diluted. Now it’s about churning out one bit after another, often time for less money. There are a few fashion houses that are good to the arts. Gucci is one of them. Alessandro Michele, Gucci's creative director, makes it a point to support the arts.

I want to be clear that I’m not trying to shame people who "Copy and paste". What I do want to do is stress the importance of educating your buyer and audience in "Fine Art" and what makes an original painting so important versus a copy and why the original costs more money. Everything we make is one of a kind, handmade, hand-printed, and hand-sewn in the USA. The blood, sweat, and tears that go into making the art are part of what makes them so valuable. The function of an artist is to recognize and cultivate our culture. They tell stories, pass along wisdom, and express universal feelings that resonate with us all. It’s the effort that the artist puts into making their work that makes it personal. When people copy and paste other people’s work, they remove that personal element. There’s no heart in it. Just a chance to grab a quick buck.

Entertainment is fine and I understand that it’s nice to have cute little things to liven up a space. But when people only buy the cheap alternative and stop supporting original work, we lose something special.

- Amanda J.

Amanda Johnson