An artist I follow on Instagram recently posted a picture of a post it note she wrote telling her followers to use their own imagination, create their own art and “stop copying hers”. I stopped following her because I found it very mean spirited.
When we use social media like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and when we blog, do we honestly think that our ideas are not going to be used by others? We are putting Ideas on the world’s stage shouting “look at what I did!” and we seek feedback from an unseen audience. Sometimes the feedback is awesome and sometimes it is not, but we put it out there, so we lose control over how it will be interpreted.
I don’t consider myself an artist but I do feel I am artistic. I make no money off anything I write or create. I put things on this space or on Instagram because I WANT them to be copied. I WANT people to try to make their own deodorant, granola and cleaning products. I WANT children and adults to find the joy in art journaling. I WANT people to visit the places we never knew existed and read the books we enjoy and see the movies that made us grow and think of life a bit differently.
On the flip side, there is an issue of integrity, and I have to wonder if I ever crossed that line by using artwork that was posted on Pinterest as inspiration for my art journaling pages. Sometimes I just don’t have the time or energy to come up with a 100% unique idea so I turn to people who regularly post their ideas on Pinterst boards. Their work becomes the foundation of what we do, but it is always tweaked with the addition of personal writing. Sometimes I search google images for an illustration, which is how I began one of my favorite pages about yoga.
The Instagram post it note made me think about social media again (it seems I am always thinking of the pros and cons of social media....) We are literally writing the rules on etiquette as we go. I am going to go back through my art journaling posts to make sure that I credit the source of my inspiration. This artist was so angry and upset that someone used her artwork - not to sell as if it were their own, but to copy for the simple joy of drawing. To this I say, don’t post it. Don’t put it out there. Keep it close by and protected. Sell it on Etsy, but don’t give it away on Instagram.
This has made me more conscious of how I will approach art journaling in the future. This is what we did this week on our altered board book project:
- Each child came with a quote.
- We used Mod Podge to adhere torn dictionary pages to the book page. I discovered that it may be best to lightly sand the board book page before applying gesso. When we used a plastic putty knife to evenly spread the Mod Podge over the gesso, some of the gesso scraped off revealing the book page underneath. I liked this look but other children covered the gesso with a layer of paint first.
- We used a hair drier to speed up the drying process.
- We created an drawing to accompany our words. Lilah and I used Google Images for a quick look at Cookie Monster and fairies.
- For this page there was no need for a sealant. The Mod Podge dried evenly and with a glossy finish.
The girls would like to learn how to make beautiful letters. This will be the focus of our workshop next week. There are several tutorials on Pinterest that demonstrate the art of lettering.
This project is beautiful. I think in some ways I like it better than our art journals. They feel more personal and intimate to me. I would love to try this with my writing group. I can envision a book created around their stories and poems, or a lovely scrap book of our writing adventures over that past few months.......