I like to only share happy posts, but sometimes I guess you have to share some things that are not so happy. I have had to add the following information to my sidebar to the left:
- Please note:
- I share what I create on this blog to hopefully inspire you in creating your own art. This blog, my designs, and my classes are how I make my living. While I share ideas here freely (and some for purchase), I do so to inspire you to create.
- Please respect me and my designs and don't use them for your own profit. My sharing images and details of my creations does not give you the right to use them for your own profit or teach them without my permission. If you would like to offer a class based on my designs, please contact me. I do travel to stores to teach and sometimes grant permission for my classes to be taught by others.
- Please respect my rights and designs and the spirit in which I share them here.
I guess I always thought that type of information was just understood, but evidently not. I recently stumbled on a class being taught at a scrapbook store that was, in my opinion very closely derived from a project I shared here on my blog. I was very disturbed by it and felt that it was very wrong on the part of the teacher and the store. They did not give me credit in any way for the design of the project. There is a lot I can say about the situation that makes me certain that the class in question was derived from my project, but that isn't the point of my post. I had never specifically spelled out here that someone couldn't take what they saw and use it as a class. I guess it never occured to me that I needed to. It just seemed like common sense would dictate that you not take someone else's idea and use if for your own profit. In order to protect my interests in the future, I added the statement above to make it clear that I do not approve or authorize the use of my designs and blog content in that manner.
I consider myself a professional craft blogger, designer, and instructor. This is my job and is what I do to help support my family. I pride myself on sharing freely a lot of projects and details about projects on this blog. I do that because first and foremost, I love this hobby and industry. I just can't simply share a photo of something I made and not tell you how I did it. What would be the point of that? I want to help my readers create. It is my sincere hope that the people who visit this blog are inspired by the ideas I share to create their own art. Secondly, I share what I create on behalf of manufacturers and businesses that I work for. I hope that I inspire you to use their products. I hope that you will in turn visit your local store or favorite online store and purchase those products. If you feel inspiration to recreate what I did exactly or derive something from the concept, that is wonderful, that is what I am hoping for! It makes me so happy when someone tells me something I shared here prompted them to create art. I share here freely in the spirit of inspiration for the reader's own personal art.
I try very hard to present ideas that are my own. I limit my exposure to online galleries and read mostly blogs of friends who's own styles are different than my own. I buy very few industry magazines even. To my knowledge, I have never had anyone accuse me of borrowing their ideas. Sometimes similarities happen. I have seen two remotely unconnected people have a similar idea at the same time, it can happen and can be completely coincidental. I do my best and pride myself on presenting things here that I can with a clear conscience say are my own designs. Again, I do that in the spirit of inspiration and in promoting those businesses I work for.
I do not share here so that someone can profit from my ideas, especially as a teacher without my permission and without giving me credit for designing the project. I am a teacher. I travel to stores to teach. If you teach my class without compensating me for it, you are taking away from my family and our income. You may see it as not hurting anyone, you may think I will never know, and I may not, but it is still wrong. You are still depriving me of any fair credit and compensation. If you are a teacher, you need to be an innovator, not a duplicator. If you are a store and want to offer a class to your customers that I designed, have me come and teach it or inquire about licensing the class from me. I know it is expensive to have a teacher come in from another area, that is why I will license the use of my classes. I provide the store with all the instructions, hand outs, supply lists, and even the PowerPoint presentations I use to teach the class. If you love my style and my projects but can't justify the expense of an out of town teacher, it is a great option. The bottom line is, if you are using my work and profiting from it without giving me credit or compensation, it is not only disrespectful, but also theft of my intellectual property. period.
Having said all of that, I won't change what I share here and take anything away from the people who come here for inspiration and do the right thing with it. I am truly grateful each and every day that even one person comes to see what I am making. I won't let anyone take that away from them or from me. I can't make people do the right thing, but I can put it out there that I won't accept it. I really hate that I even had to address this here. I hope that it will help others who never gave the subject a thought to pause and take into consideration the rights of artists who share freely and who try to help and promote this industry.
I am sorry this ended up being so long. I appreciate all who read it and take it to heart and understand my thoughts and feelings on this. I care for and appreciate you all so very much and am so thankful for every visit you make to this blog!
ETA- Just to make sure, my beef is about making a buck off of the sharing and ideas without permission or giving credit. I want you to create and if I inspire you then I am happy. I just don't want someone making money without permission from what I am trying to share. If you create and blog your creations just for the joy of creating and sharing, that is totally ok! I don't expect people to credit me for that or for every little bit of something. Take it and make it your own and enjoy the process. Share it and inspire. It is an awesome giving circle. The goal is to inspire and get you making art. If you are doing that for you then its all good!