Guest Article by: Jenny Hoople
Some handmade artisans are afraid of people copying their work and stealing their ideas (which is something that happens, I know!) but I prefer to thank imitators in appreciation for the sincerest form of flattery: imitation. There are a three main reasons why you shouldn’t be afraid of copycats and can freely share your techniques and inspiration with others. 1) No two true artists will produce exactly the same work. 2) You’re always coming up with new designs and ideas because creativity bubbles out of you! and 3) The more you give, the more you get!
No two true artists produce exactly the same work!
You may be thinking “Yeah, but you can’t just ignore that there are copy-cat crafters out there on Etsy.” And you’re right! But, that doesn’t mean we need to be afraid of them Which is why I say that no two TRUE artists will create exactly the same work even if they’re using the same materials and techniques. Take these examples:
When a person is a true copycat who is exactly copying your handmade designs and even using your own pictures to sell them (terrible, but I’ve seen it happen!) then you should go ahead and rat them out, but don’t live in fear of them in the meantime! Why not? Let me tell you!
You’re a creative soul!
As a creative soul, you’re constantly coming up with new designs and ideas, they just bubble right out of you because you can’t help it. You encourage the flow of creativity because when your work is constantly fresh and new, your customers get excited and buy more! Now this creativity that comes naturally to you is what means you don’t have to be afraid of copycat artisans. The people who are true copycats will never be able to come up with new ideas on their own. They have no creativity or else they wouldn’t be stealing designs and pictures, they’d come up with their own! You, on the other hand, are filled with creative energy, so you’ll always be ahead of the curve. You define the curve!
You need to empty your cup in order to fill it!
It’s a universal truth that the more open and giving you are, the more will come back to you in unexpected ways. That’s why I tell everyone who wants to know (and even people who don’t!) how to drill their own beach stones. That’s also why I freely share my source for the naturally colorful, pre-drilled stones that I use in some of my river rock jewelry. That’s why I love helping other people set up Etsy shops and start selling their own work. Not because I expect something in return for these favors, but because I feel free and open and happier when I give them, and because I’ve found that it’s really true that the more you let go of grasping, the more is given to you. (And I don’t just mean that in a philosophical way, I really have found that the more I let go, the more tangible, real-life rewards come back to me!)
I hope this little article has set your mind at ease from worrying about copycat artisans. I bet some of you will disagree with me, and I’d love to chat with you about it down in the comments! (Heck, we can chat in the comments if you agree, too!) In any case, many warm and fuzzy hugs of creativity to all of you! We make amazing art and the world’s a better place for it!!