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Week 25.

Imitation; the Sincerest Form of Flattery?

A Donut by Timothy on 28 June

We sure do love our pop culture expos here at twoinfiftytwo! We’ll just notch up another Supanova to our belts, thank you very much. It’s always super encouraging and inspiring to see the sheer number of artists who turn out to showcase and sell their dynamic artwork. Despite the confined space and people’s questionable hygiene habits resulting on an assault on the senses… conventions like this make for a feast for the eyes.

I once over heard an artist who spoke about the money made from the artwork found at conventions such as these – fan serviced artwork created in the style of the original… Should we be prioritising the purchase of truly original works or are we all guilty of making and buying imitations?

It can be quite a turn off to try and struggle with trying to make ‘the next big, brand new idea’. I remember at the beginning of the creative journey being obsessed with creating that definitive style – unseen before. I’m not saying that it isn’t possible but I think it’s fair to say we don’t come across the groundbreaking stuff on a daily basis. These usually resulted in a quick burn out and a task left for another day.

There are an infinite number of ways to customise an existing product – but mostly it appears that we work in a slow moving wave of “tried and tested”. To students I would stress that it is through imitation that we master the knowledge and skills necessary to make inspired changes.

When we’re at the beginning of a project, do we dive straight into finding existing projects for inspiration or should we only look after we’ve attempted an unbiased style of our own? I could delve into the confidence destruction caused by seeing something you couldn’t even dream of replicating, but I feel like this is a topic we’ve covered in previous posts…

The lines appear to be really blurry here – some will gravitate towards what is new, while some are more attracted to things that are familiar, or evoke feelings of nostalgia. There appears to be no “right” or “wrong” in this situation – unless we want to delve into matters of copyright, of course.

This week's donut?

I guess all that I can say about this is, if you enjoy what you do and others can get enjoyment from it as well, that’s all what we should be focusing on. I suppose it’s easy for me to say that when I haven’t seen any of my work replicated elsewhere…

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