What I learned in middle school: Everyone in the school can wear the same terrible jacket, but if you buy one then you are copying your best friend.. this is unforgivable.
Okay, so I am not talking about this type of copying. I am not talking about doing something generic and someone being offended. That happens all the time. Whatever. What I am talking about is a bit different but in the same category.
I am talking about ripping off an idea, piece of art, design, outfit, person, etc. Let us begin.
We all know rapper Drake is a true poet. Such a way with words. Such a joy. I think he spoke to us all when he said,
“ I got enemies, got a lot of enemies. Got a lot of people tryna drain me of this energy”
(from hit song Energy of album If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late.)
Such truth lives these words. Sometimes people don’t love you. It may be justified (I don’t know your life) and it may not be. Either way, people don’t always enjoy one another. It happens. However, not liking someone isn’t an invitation to make them miserable.
I have had people mimic me..Not because they think I am a cool girl (lol) but because they think I am lame. Apparently being lame is a crime in the eyes of hateful super awesome people.
A perfect example of this happened in the 9th grade. I thought I was very creative and what better way to present my artistic heart to the world than with a photoshoot. My best friend and I went to a field, held some flowers, and looked VERY moody. There were some interesting sad faces that showed my braces and the glare in my glasses just perfectly. They were all taken on our LG Envys..so you know they were good. Two lovely girls saw the beauty of these photos and decided there couldn’t be anything more comical than to recreate them and post them on myspace for us to see. Yeah…that sucked. Sometimes people suck. Yes, they were terrible photos, but that doesn’t mean that the other girls needed to use them as a way to humiliate or make fun of us.
(This is not the original photo because those were deleted out of embarrassment, but same time of life so use your imagination)
Don’t revolve your life around making fun of someone. If someone does something that you think is funny, embarrassing, etc. then feel that way, whatever. But don’t go to the trouble of mimicking them at their expense. Don’t spend your days trying to get a reaction from someone you dislike. You don’t want to do that, right? Even if you hate someone, because they are the worst, don’t try to make their life bad. Live your life for yourself. Create for yourself.
If you go to a museum and see Gustav Klimt’s “The Kiss”, take a photo of it, spend the next two years copying it inch by inch, and then take credit for the idea then you may be ripping off old Gustav. This situation is a bit dramatic.
Pretend that you have an idea. You feel excited about this idea. So excited that you tell someone. BUT you told an idea thief. The next thing you know the other person has their version of your idea all over social media. That would probably feel bad. You would probably not want to support this person. You may even think that person is a jerk.
If someone shares an idea with you or you see something someone else does DON’T COPY THEM. Don’t pretend this was your idea or your work. That is disrespectful on any level. It sucks. Don’t do it.
Let other people inspire you.
I cannot tell you how many times I am online and have to stop what I am doing because THAT COLOR SCHEME, THAT FONT, THAT ARTICLE, THAT CAT PAINTING, etc. I get excited by other people’s work. I save everything. My Pinterest button is the most used part of my computer. People put work out in the universe so others will see it. It is okay to see something you like.
If there is something you like and you want to apply it to your own work without copying, you can ask yourself these questions:
What is it about this that I like?
How can I apply this concept to my own work?
What is the best way to be inspired by this work without putting the person’s integrity on the line?
Don’t assume people are copying you.
Think to yourself, “Did they copy me or is this a generic concept I saw on tumblr and a million people are doing it?” Because that happens. You aren’t always the first person with an idea, outfit, hairstyle, etc. So if someone does something similar to you they may not be copying you, they may just be very deep into the indie vibe hashtag (#indievibes.) Consider both sides of this before assuming the worst of people. Don’t think you are the most original human that only has the purest of creative thoughts and everyone in the universe it dying to copy you. That is probably not the case. Nothing gets a bigger eye roll than someone who thinks everyone around them is copying them/jealous of them.
Respect other people. Respect yourself.
When you create, create from a place of honesty. Let the things you do matter to you. Let them be something to be proud of.
Support each other. Take the “game recognizes game” approach to life. If you see something that you like recognize it, compliment it, share it with others, and be proud of other people’s abilities.
This is a rap song. This song has cuss words. Probably don’t listen or watch if you don’t like rap or cuss words or the talents of Drake.