Today Erin from Design For Mankind is here to talk to us on a topic that I asked her to write about because I thought she’d have a lot to say on the matter and she does! I think her words just may encourage a good discussion here today so I invite you to grab a cup of tea, sit back, and tune in to Erin’s message below — and be sure to add your comment to the mix, too! Take it away, Miss E!
Call it what you will: visual plagiarism, hacks, or sheer knock-offs. However you slice it, an increasingly saturated art/design community is becoming a feeding ground for inspiration? or is it imitation?
I recently read an article in Harper’s Bazaar about the inspiration behind today?s fashion designers. Many designers mentioned historical figures such as Napoleon, Carmen Miranda and [no joke] Minnie Mouse.
And I can?t help but wonder what exactly dear Minnie Mouse would think if she knew her look was being imitated. I can only imagine she?d hijack Goofy?s wagon and skitter on over to Zac Posen?s studio to give him a prompt speaking to.
Yet can we really control when inspiration sets in? Not at all. What we can control is what we do with that inspiration. Do we carbon copy the design? Or do we tastefully implement elements from the designs that we, ourselves, cherish? [And for the record, Zac Posen?s inspiration was quite tasteful in fact!]
Of course, this is how a trend is born. We certainly didn?t don gladiator sandals this summer for comfort; the Greek and Roman influences were found to be inspirational by a few key designers. And that?s perfectly fine. What?s not perfectly fine is an intentional lifting of originality. I mean truly, how odd would we look like running around in togas AND gladiator sandals?
I’m saddened at how often this happens in our creative community. Rather than lifting each other up and encouraging originality, I fear that we’ve become envious of the instant gratification that the Internet often provides. It seems that one good design and a few press mentions can skyrocket an artist into serious success. Just how far will we go to present that “one good design?”
It breaks my heart to see an unoriginal piece. To me, a unique design has life. It has passion. And it becomes beautiful only when you can truly see the artist’s spirit behind his/her work. Thus, when we attempt to borrow elements of someone else’s work, the result is often never quite right. Much like a person without a genuine spirit can be spotted like a sore thumb, so, too, can an artist without an individualistic nature.
And you know what? Bloggers, we’re to blame as well. How often have we posted material that originated from somewhere else, only to (a) forget, (b) refuse or (c) fail to credit our source?
Indeed, there is a fine line between inspiration and imitation, and although I hate to create additional boundaries in art, I’d like to see us all work harder to find our true passions. I quite understand that many of our inspirations derive from the same source, and I think that’s a wonderful thing. The problem lies in our intentions. Are we creating something that we truly believe in? Or are we creating a spin-off of something that already exists simply because it sells?
From now on, let’s embrace the community that we’ve helped to build. Let’s encourage, congratulate and experience alongside of each other, not across from. I hope that someday we can each feel proud of the talents we’ve been given and showcase these unique gifts in beautiful, original ways.
Until then, know that imitation? It’s not such a form of flattery after all.
What are your thoughts on this topic? When does inspiration become imitation? What is the difference between inspired by and ripped off? Your thoughts?
– All text by Erin from Design For Mankind.
(images from evaxebra)
Hello everyone, this is Jennifer Ramos from Made By Girl. I’m excited to be the guest blogger here at decor8 today!
I’m the designer and owner of an online shop called MadeByGirl.com based out of Henderson, Nevada. We sell fun & colorful greeting cards (printed on 100% recycled paper) as well as many colorful posters. I decided to start the cards and poster business as a means of expressing myself and hopefully inspiring others to start implementing a more environmentally friendly way of conducting business. I don’t believe your every move has to be a green one, but one or two things you do, are one or two things less damaging to our earth. Ok, enough GREEN talk for now, and on to my picks of BEAUTIFUL BEDROOMS that make you want to get up and start redecorating yours as soon as possible!
First is this silver wallpaper bedroom from Living Etc. This bedroom appeals to me in so many ways. The first word I think of is Glamorous and extremely feminine. I love how the silver wallpaper just brings this room to life along with the artwork of the cartoon glitter girl. The floor seems dull but barely noticeable due to all the reflective surfaces & vibrant accessories.
Next is the black wall Goth-Glam bedroom, also from Living Etc. The black walls behind the massive headboard give this room a slightly gothic but glam feel. Even though one wall is painted very dark, the room still remains very bright. This is because of the large windows, the mirror on the dresser door and the light color used for the bed sheets. Design tip: Contrast provides an interesting visual appeal, but you have to be sure to offset the dark walls with plenty of light or bright colors.
I also like this bookshelf behind the bed via Marie Claire Maison. The bedroom in this photo has always reminded me of a small apartment I had when I lived in New York City. It’s small but cozy and the bookshelf behind the bed gives it a sense of height. They use an interesting mix of modern and antique styles such as the gilded frame surrounded by Christmas lights and the IKEA locker at the foot of the bed for storage.
Now for something girly… How about the patchwork quilt bedroom as seen over at Mi Casa Revista? This room is full of vibrant colors that extend from the bed to the walls. The turquoise wallpaper is such an important part of the decor here, it compliments the dresser and the bed sheets. There is a consistent theme and use of color but the colors aren’t overdone. Seems almost comforting to me.
With stark white walls, this bedroom is decorated with mismatched frames and a variety of styles. The analogous color scheme draws the eyes to the artwork and the different types of patterns used on the fabrics on the bed. This room is in the home of Liza Giles who works as a senior stylist for Designers Guild and it is one of my favorites. This image is from Inside Out Magazine photographed by James Merrell. See more of this Giles’ home right here.
An off white bedroom can appeal to both sexes quite well. The height of the room adds to its grandeur. White brick walls have always been a favorite of mine and is very reminiscent of a loft I lived in when I was in NYC. Decor for this bedroom is subdued and relaxing, even the disco-ball styled lamp is off white which prevents if from standing out too much. Image via: New York Magazine.
I’m such a sucker for tufted headboards and this one is no exception. Kelly Wearstler designed this space with exceptional symmetry. I like how the mirrors are placed over the side dressers and the boxed frame over the bed gives this room a sophisticated and luxurious feel.
Even though this room is is all white, the artwork and its colors really bring it to life. You can use the colors in your artwork as a guide to bring in other accessories with similar colors, such as pillows, lamps and in this case a turquoise dresser. Via: Living Etc.
Bonus Image! My (Jennifer) Bedroom!
My own bedroom was easy since I knew what I wanted. I love the use of bright colors as accents, so the pillows and the Beatles pictures made sense together. The theme was slightly rock ‘n roll but still sophisticated and stylish. The wallpaper running from behind the side dresser to the top of the ceiling are actually from a scrapbook. They were glued together and tacked onto the dark charcoal wall. – Jennifer from Made By Girl.
(all text written by jennifer ramos for decor8)