Do not worry about your originality. You could not get rid of it even if you wanted to. ~Robert Henri
You want to know what I did today?
Of course you do.
Well, too bad, I'm gonna tell you because I need to get it off my chest.
Earlier in the week, I found another seller on Etsy selling beads similar to mine. They weren't exact copies but they were close enough that I took a wee little peek at that shop.
Now, there were lots of generous interpretations of not only my beads but also some other art bead makers. They were enough different that I just let out a big sigh and moved on until I saw her item descriptions. They were copies, almost word for word of my item descriptions. That irked me.
So I began stalking Etsy looking for others that might perhaps be doing the same thing.
You know what I found out?
Someone was making the exact same thing as me.
And had been, a long time before I was making it.
I was shocked.
It really bummed me out because I thought that specific item was really unique and cool and I was even considering making a tutorial on them and I have ready a ton of them to list in my shop tomorrow. But now I won't because that just isn't cool. I'll probably still make jewelry with them but whatever...deep breath....gotta move on.
We, as artists, do what others cannot do. That is what what makes us special. That we can create things that others believe that they cannot. Part of the hurt that comes from "copying" is that our ego is slighted. Someone has taken something that we felt was original and are now capitalizing on what we believe is our own efforts. Part of being an artist, in my own humble opinion, is setting our ego aside and learning to stomach that someone did in fact do just that, perhaps even better than you. That's what I found out today. Someone else was already doing what I was doing, and better, I might add.....
Ppolymer clay is merely a medium for me, I've always said that. For seeking a deeper altruistic expression... What I've learned from this experience, is that there are a ton of people out there who have been exploring it for many moons before me. So I need to go deeper....
So, I will be taking time off from producing new lines. I will still be adding to my existing lines and if you want something custom, I'm always open to offers and questions and communication....But I'm taking some time to explore and wonder and craft.
I just need some time to find my voice again....