Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Inspiration, Art & Felting Tips

There has been something that has been weighing heavy on my mind  for sometime.  For as long as I've been keeping my blog and have been listing on eBay, there have been occasional requests for information and tips regarding felting.  I'm more than happy to help where I can. But have been disappointed in the past to find that some of those who request the info only do so in order to make replicas of my work.  I know times are hard and money is tight.  It's tempting to copy what you see as successful. But in the end it demeans your work and devalues mine.  Since my work is more skilled due to the number of hours I work on each piece and the years I've devoted to this art form, your newly acquired skills don't shine as they should. Plus, the  duplicate piece of lesser quality and price makes my work seem ubiquitous. Neither of us wins in that situation.
I firmly believe that it is best to consider what it is about another artist's work that inspires you and to try to replicate those feelings and thoughts into your work. But not replicate the exact image. It neither helps you as an artist nor does it help the art.

9 comments:

DollZandThingZ said... [Reply]

Well said!

Conni said... [Reply]

You have so much right!

Robin Andreae said... [Reply]

Thank you, Conni & Helen!

Gail Burton said... [Reply]

Very well said Robin! xoxo

Robin Andreae said... [Reply]

Thanks, Gail :-)

Kathy Myers said... [Reply]

Thank you for stating so beautifully all of the reasons NOT to share the skills that you have worked so hard to develop over the years. I have always declined requests for me sell my patterns or to teach the skills that I have been using to make my mink teddies for the past 25 years ... I just knew that I did not want to see poorly made copies of my work. Thank you for teaching me how to say "no" in a much nicer way.

Robin Andreae said... [Reply]

Thank you, Kathy :-)

Yonna Palmer said... [Reply]

I just discovered your work via pintetest-it is so beautiful. I have been needle felting for about a year and a half and am so in love with the art, it has become a bit of an obsession. While I whole-heartedly agree with you, I struggle a bit with the idea of keeping "tips" secret. Personally, sharing my skills and love for the art brings me such joy. I teach classes to children and adults because I believe it is vitally important for our culture to to find its way back to handwork and hand crafting. It connects us in a global community. Do I risk a sale by teaching others? Probably. But for me, I gain so much more in knowing the art form I love so dearly is being embraced by others and giving them the peace it brings me.

Janet said... [Reply]

As an artist who has had this happen many times, I can really relate to this and you have articulated this perfectly.