Friday, May 7, 2010

Free Form Friday: Gearing Up for Steampunk World's Fair, Oddmall, and the end of an odd, odd, week

Firstly, I have to say this has been a seriously strange week, even by my relatively lax standards when it comes to judging what is strange.  Several friends who also sell online, have had to deal with unbelievably ridiculous customer complaints.  In the process of answering their questions and requests for advice with how to deal with them, I've found myself getting angry and I'm not even directly involved in it.  I guess it just upsets me when I see someone trying to take advantage of another person.  Since we're all concerned about customer service, it can be a fine line between being fair to yourself and your business and adopting the philosophy that the customer is always right.  Even when shop policies say something completely contary to what the customer expects, we have to be concerned about how our reply might impact our feedback score since prospective customers read them.

Then, several discussions have come up this past week that all center around the fine line between being inspired by someone else's work and outright copying it.  Some artisans are new and overly enthusiastic and don't see anything wrong with it because they see other people doing it.  I like to think that if their own moral compass doesn't already lead them in the right direction, they'll eventually be copied and realize why they shouldn't do it.  Unfortunately, others take this to the opposite extreme.  There are times when some artisans feel the need to claim that everything they make is copyrighted and will attack anyone else who makes anything even remotely similar.  For example, in the steampunk community there's a certain look and feel that is a unifying thread through everyone's work, particularly the inclusion of gears and often watch movements.  I have created things, with no other inspiration than the objects in front of me and the aesthetic I love only to later find that another steampunk enthusiast has made something that was virtually identical.  Some sellers would try to accuse me of copying them though I know I didn't.  How do you defend something like that?  This past week, due to undue concern about protecting myself from being copied, I unintentionally hurt a friend's feelings.  It was an honest misunderstanding, but I feel more terrible than I can possibly convey and am truly sorry.  Too bad I haven't perfected my time machine, or I'd go back and undo the conversation that occurred as a result of the misunderstanding.  I wish she could understand my perspective and hopefully, with time, things will be fine. I am constantly trying to evolve my work and include my own spin on things, so that the viewer will hear my artistic voice.  Now, I am trying to focus on this and try to put events of this past week behind me.  Eventually, it is my hope that I develop a style so distinctly unique that everyone who looks at it will know I made it, or that it was made in my style.  Andy Warhol, whether you appreciate his art or not, definitely accomplished this.  Perhaps someday, things will be referred to as "Barkeresque".  Or not.  It's certainly a goal worth striving for, though.

I've been trying to create as much as possible lately, especially with some of the shows I have coming up, so I apologize for neglecting the blog this week, but I fear weekly posts will have to be the norm this month.  In June, things will slow down a bit and it will be easier to divide my time between writing and creating than it is this month.


I'm off to Oddmall Emporium of the Weird tomorrow and am still busily gearing up for the much anticipated, first ever Steampunk World's Fair and am an equal mix of nerves and excitement, with a little stress over finding time to do everything thrown in.  If you attend either event, please stop by and say hello.  Niffer, of 19 Moons, will also be at the World's Fair with me.  Don't miss checking out her fantastical creations.

1 comment:

19 Moons Jewelry & Accessories said...

I hope the Oddmall went swell not odd- can't wait for Steampunk World's Fair!

Niffer www.19moons.com

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