Sunday, June 13, 2010

Original

I have 2 shops on Etsy.com.

Woolies Knitted stuffed animals and toys
and
Buster and boo Typewriter key jewelry

I love to knit and sew and not that long ago taught myself how to make jewelry.

I want to talk about originality, for just a moment.


If you ever dare to meander into the forums on etsy, you may read about copycats. And more copycats. And she stole my design. And her stuff looks just like mine. And a lot of times, it does.

And if you wander into some shops, you may find declarations like - I am the first one to make this. The original, whatever. Who knows who came up with the idea first?


The truth is, in the world of arts and crafts, I think it's hard to design a true original. I also think that lots of times, you may think you have the 'first of it's kind'. And then one day you'll be surfing through etsy, and omigosh that looks just like mine! Because we influence each other. And we are inspired by each other. Of course, there is the random outright theft of an idea. Upsetting, yes. Copycat, yes. Wish we could all copyright our own designs. But that costs money. And when you put yourself out there, on the internet, you expose yourself to the rest of the world. Which can be great, and maybe, at times, not so great.


At Woolies, I use lots of patterns by other designers. I credit those designers. I have permission to use those designs in my shop. I thank those designers. And still I strive to make it my own. To change it up, some. Or to be inspired by their designs to make something similar, but still different. And occasionally, I make my own. I even offer 2 patterns of my own designs, for sale in my shop.




And occasionally, I come up with something that is really one-of-a-kind. I didn't write the pattern down for the bear, as I knitted him, just made him up as I went along. Can't imagine I'll ever be able to duplicate him. And I hope nobody else does either.

At Buster and boo, my shop has evolved into jewelry made from typewriter keys. There are other designers that make the same thing. They might even use similar settings, or bails, or necklaces. We compete with each other - this is OK with me. This is e-commerce. It's fine. It is not my original idea.

However,

I think....

at Buster and boo we offer one truly unique product.

Oftentimes, during my gathering of vintage typewriter keys, I find that some keys in a set are unusuable. The letter under the glass is faded, or cracked, or just too darn old to make look better. So, had an idea.

Replace the image with another.





Or,



Or,




Beautiful, vintage-y images, under the glass of a genuine vintage typewriter key.
Cool?
Now, I'd be willing to bet, that just because I've never seen this done before, doesn't mean it hasn't been. But I've never seen it done before. So maybe, just maybe, it's an original.

2 comments:

Polar Bear Creations said...

That is one cute original critter!
Good point Sara! :0)

EvesLittleEarthlings said...

I totally agree with you on the whole creativity subject. I have some things on my shelf that I am afraid to post due to fear of "copycatting".
If we see the whole big picture..progress would not occur at all if we did not all work on what others have done before.
I just hope to have a few genuine new ideas in my lifetime!