September 14, 2009.
In just two short months I will have been in business for 7 years, 7
painful , no I mean wonderful years. I can notbelieve it has been that long - I don't mean that in a bad way. Some days I actually do little air pump, laugh and giggle and thank my lucky stars I get to do this job....other days, you know tears, stomping and banging my head against the wall and I shake my fist in the sky and scream, "whhhhyyyyy?"
Been Around the Block
What I find so amazing, or shocking I guess is even though things change, laws come into affect, the industry changes, businesses close and others open - yet everything really does stay the same. Reading that sentence back I realize I sound a bit crazy or new age, what I mean is history repeats itself.
Not to brag - but I have been around a long time - long enough to remember who started the whole children's art phenom (Kelly Rightsell), the bedding designer that went on to super stardom (Wendy Bellisimo) and of course the one woman who created the original wall hanging (Shelly Kennedy) who has been copied, mimicked and the inspiration to most in the industry today.
Yep, I sometimes sit back in my rocker, smoke my corn cob pipe and say, "Back in myday this is how it was....". But, I digress, whether you think I am exaggerating or just plain being cocky - I have been around and seen it all for quite awhile. No I am not the most successful, or the most talented and no I do not know everything.
The Nature of the Beast
On that note of copying - I think y'all know how I feel about it. Though it may be a discussion up for debate - it happens. No one can deny that artists and designers don't "borrow" or outright copy from other artists. Some support me when I bitch about it, others have called a baby and to suck it up. Still it is what it is and it happens and I don't like it. When you reach a certain amount of success others will copy you. And I have found those that protest the most - usually are guilty of some form of copying.
It has happened to me, it has happened to friends, foes, competitors - it is a fact. And it happens in other industries too, but that does not make it right. I. am. not. a. fan. of. copying. Never have been - never will. To quote or mis-quote Ms. Kennedy, "Stay original - imitation is NOT the highest form of flattery."
Copying is One Thing - Being Fake is Just Creepy
So....speaking of Shelly and Drooz and her business AND her blog - she has a stalker. A real live....no wait not real, sort of fake Negative Nancy or Debbie Downer that leaves her un-constructive comments and says downright mean things AND this commentor is a copy cat. If you go back through the past year or so you can see that she has someone who likes to leave comments - but hide behind a fake name and fake blog. I hate fake, and I can say that. I am all out there - I chose to be out there.
I also feel that if you are going to attack someone - show your face. It is always so ironic to me that when I get mean comments or mean emails they come from a fake person - someone I can not reply to. In this day and age it is very easy to attack behind a mask... I wrote a post about it last year....and I am sure you can guess - I was not happy.
Let It Be
Anyhoo - back to Shelly and her blog. She took it a step further, and I love that. She actually called this person out and told her to go away - stop reading her blog. That takes guts, that takes balls, that takes some serious gumption. But, Shelly being Shelly she had to throw in that super cute sign she made just to make it "drooz-like" (yep that one above I did not do it - she did). Again, even when she is being a wee bit nasty and angry - that woman has some style.
So I am hoping a few things come from this post and Shelly's especially:
1. Stop Copying - no really just stop it. We are all creative and when you see someone already did exactly what you sketched - move on, or do it another way. Do not stomp your feet and say you came up with the idea first ( I have had this conversation with an artist or two - I swear). Move on - they came to market first. Does it suck? Yes. Can you do anything? No.
2. Be Real - it takes a real
manwoman to show their face even when they disagree with what someone else wrote. A coward hides behind a mask and refuses to show their true identity. I delete comments from Anonymous, and I hope others will do the same. You can disagree with me - I encourage you, but please show your face or I might make a snazzy fancy Go Away sign too.
3. Try to Love One Another - I want to just blurt out the Rodney King speech about just getting along right now. Our industry is very small, everyone knows everyone or knows someone who knows someone - play nice. There are some that have survived this Recession, others that have not and some that are just hanging on by a thread. I think we can all learn something and just support each other instead of knocking each other down.
4. No Idea is Original- For a short time I tried writing a screenplay, my minor was in Radio Television & Film and I had this crazy story about my college years that I wanted to tell. I read a lot at that time - and I studied the craft of writing and I learned one thing. No idea is original - none. Everyone has either done it once or twice - any artistic idea you or I have I am sure you can find a sketch of it. Not to say you can not possibly do it better or different this time around - but just know almost everything has been done.