Tuesday, May 18, 2010

made in China?

So every artist has heard stories about someone taking photos of your work and sending them to China to be mass produced. At Reston this weekend, the artist in the booth next to me (a woman from China!) was warning me of this very thing. Honestly, I thought it was an urban legend! Well, I guess I will soon find out. I was talking to someone in my booth when I saw someone else taking pictures of my work. When people ask me if they can take photos, I always say yes. In fact, I generally even give them tips on how to photograph glass optimally. This man was lightening fast. He shamelessly went snapping from one work to the next. He never spoke to me and never even made eye contact with me. Even the other person in my booth remarked about the rude "photographer." He was gone before I could say boo.
OK, so here's what I think. I have always said, if somebody wants to copy my work, they have to figure out HOW first. I mean, I can tell you how to do a sheet of bubble glass but it would still take you some work to get it right. THEN, you can only copy what you see. You cannot copy the five million things floating in my head that I am going to be making in the future. Someone can make a cheap copy of something that will sell at chain store but it is just that---a cheap imitation. There is no way to do what I do and be cost effective enough to sell at Target. The important part of my work is texture and dimension. You won't find that in something molded and painted.

I was just at a class by art marketing guru, Alyson Stanfield. She advised that the only way to absolutely prevent your work from being photographed is to keep it hidden which is not a recommended option. I am not worried. What will happen is going to happen regardless of me worrying. Besides, I'm on to the next thing. Catch me if you can. So wow, in a weird way, copying is a compliment.

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