The cover and cover painting from my DVD " Amazing ways with watercolour"
Sadly this week the issue of copyright has arisen yet again. Every artist I know dreads this topic coming up. Firstly we all love painting, for those of us who teach and share our techniques we want everyone else to love painting too. To copy an original painting as a method of learning is a way of evolving and growing as an artist. A road to discovery many of us have taken and one that has been well known and used successfully for centuries.We are inspired by those who paint in a way we would wish to.
But there is a line between copying to learn and copying to sell. When anyone copies another artists work and then decides to sell it as their own they are without question abusing the original artists copyright.
I have come across this issue before and always wish to run away from it rather than face the situation. I know from personal experience that speaking up to someone who has blatantly copied your work can lead to unpleasant communication. I have come to terms with the fact it is far easier to turn a blind eye and ignore what has happened. And so like many artists when I see an obvious copy of my work I ignore it. But is this helping the art world? There is a possibility that if we all turn a blind eye the copying situation will become far worse.
You may ask "Who cares?" " If someone is making a little money from copying you is it really a big deal?" Shouldn't we all just say "Thats fine, copy my work and pretend it's your own, I don't mind" ?
I don't think so because we are then not teaching right from wrong.
To sell as an artist you need your own work, your own ideas and your own creations.
If an artist is learning from my style I am thrilled, if they mention I have inspired them I am very touched for their kind gesture. If I see someone blatantly trying to sell a copy of my work I walk away. Or I used to until I listened to several professional and non professional artists this week who have felt concerned and upset over the increasing problem.
Firstly,an instructional DVD or book is just that. Instructional.
There should be no need to remind everyone that a teaching aid is purely for learning from. So when several artists told me this week that paintings from both my web site and DVD are being sold online by an artist as their own I was lost on how to react. Speak up or stay quiet? I chose to stay quiet but by doing so I am aiding those who upset others by copying.
Everyone should know by now that original paintings online,on web sites, in books and on DVDs should not be copied and sold by other artists. If we all united and spoke up via the internet we may once and for all put an end to this discussion. We have the voice and right to say no. Enough is enough. If we all openly reacted copying artists may think twice about selling another artists work.
Now you may ask, will I be sharing the recent copies of my work here on my blog? Or share a link to the copying artists site? I ask myself if that would be unfair to the copying artist.
I think I will give them more respect than they have shown me.
I will be posting more on this subject in the near future.