Bearded Collies Appearing from a Wash in Watercolour
I have to give credit where credit is due. This afternoon I have finally heard from the artist who had shown copies of my work online and for sale. They sent an apology and immediately removed paintings that were alike to mine from their web site. In return I have sent them a reply thanking them for their words and action.
I have had time to reflect on the whole process. From first seeing the copies of my work online to the action I finally decided to take. And the positive result. Many of us may walk away when we see our own work copied and yet we feel anger for a friend if we see their paintings abused. In this situation several artists had contacted me. To the point I knew I had to act. I was being asked for advise on what to do when this happens. I could not respond with "forget it". I would have been letting others down who follow my lead.
As artists we have to face facts. Not everyone is honest or going to own up to copying. Not everyone is going to take action by removing the offending art. Most definitely, not everyone will consider sending an apology. And there will always be cases when artists didn't realise they were causing offence by sharing what wasn't their own creation.
We are not all perfect and we do all make mistakes. Which is why we need to be forgiving when we need to be. And both compassionate and understanding. We should save emotions of anger for those who do not communicate,act respectfully or pass the credit to those who truly deserve it.
Todays message has renewed my faith in the art world. A gracious reply letting me know the copied paintings would be removed immediately came. The paintings have indeed been removed. And all this took place with kindly worded communication.
This chain of events could have been very different. It could have been stressful and very upsetting for everyone involved. But no. Two artists communicated.
Yes , a judgement in error was made on what is, and what is not copying. And what should or should not be for sale. But I certainly am not going to hold any grudges. In fact, quite the opposite because this is the very first time I have met someone who cares enough and has the guts to admit they made a mistake. And who cares enough to take action.
I wish more artists could behave as graciously as this one has. I know one or two who could really learn a lesson from following their lead. And be far better people for having done so.
In fact,when my next book is out I will be sending the artist concerned a signed copy.
Because they really have shown me a good side to the art world. One that I had lost a little faith in.
So to them I am going to say........
Thank you for your apology, action and honesty in admitting you made a mistake.