Inspiration and Imitation : Will we be scared to inspire others?

Hey everyone,

So today I’m doing something a little different because recently on twitter my friend Sara Page  posted a tweet called ” Imitation is NOT the sincerest form of flattery” . So like any curious creative person would I clicked onto the tweet link which lead me to a blog post written by Betty and Dupree  publishing that intrigued me ,scared the living day lights out of me and got me thinking ( here’s the original blog post if you’d like to read it “here”).

Betty and Dupree Imitation is NOT the sincerest form of flattery. - Google Chrome 22022014 185741.bmp

The low down on their blog post was that a talented designer of theirs ” Eloise Renouf” had recently came across a collection of  products in a well-known department store. No doubt to her surprise the designs on these products looked strikingly familiar to her own work and hence this set a mission objective to find the reason’s why the design has clearly to a point been copied / mimicked / imitated whichever you’d like to call it. As quoted from the blog post it was mentioned by Eloise I’m assuming that;

“I’ve been speaking with the head of buying for home wares. They have actually admitted buying my work for “inspiration”. The wrapping paper has been gracing their office. They have simply “drawn inspiration” from “a variety of sources” and so their design is “original”.

Eloise Renouf by EloiseRenouf on Etsy - Google Chrome 22022014 190608.bmp


Now this issue is no doubt ongoing at the moment between both, however the thing that instantly came to my mind was are we as creative people with our own ideas and creative thought going to end up being “scared” of  sharing our passion and inspiring others for the sake that the seed of that inspiration may lead to situations like this?

I know that there are and have been numerous occasions where many creatives have been mimicked and copied to a T in their style, composition and creative work but really I believe in being fair and what’s the cost of being genuine?

I’ve often been told if you don’t share what you can do people will never know that hidden potential you have inside, but my only hope is that issues like this won’t discourage current and upcoming talent in the future.  Is it all simply just down to laziness? What do you guys think?

Kate x

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6 thoughts on “Inspiration and Imitation : Will we be scared to inspire others?

  1. This is alarming. I can imagine how devastated Eloise is after her concepts were discovered to be stolen. I honestly don’t know how I would react if I were in her shoes, but I still think we should not let incidents like this discourage us. Art is meant to inspire and give people joy and I think it is our role as artists to keep spreading the joy and inspiration through our work.

    1. Hey irene thanks for popping over to my little blog , I’d be exactly the same I wouldn’t know how to react either as with every piece of art we create a piece of our creative thought and selves goes into it because its very personal to us as practitioners.

      I always thought it was a good thing to inspire others in your work , the other week I had a fellow young illustrator tell me I inspired her and I was over the moon because I hadn’t ever been told I’d inspired somebody before.

      But reading eloise’s case and now infact another designer has been copied the same by another well known department store here in the uk its disheartening to see the lack of respect they have for creatives.

      Its not exactly school where student a who wanted results but didnt want to do the work copied off student b who worked hard and got the results. Its just very disappointing at the end of the day and it really does need to change or for them to at least invest in the creative rather than copy them.

      Kate x

  2. the truth is art is meant to be seen. there is no point in not sharing it. I just think there is a line. If you imitate something just to learn a new technique AND you mention your inspiration behind it it’s OK to share it but not to sell anything regarding that piece otherwise it is plain theft. And as for companies stealing (or has they claim inspired) an artist is just disgusting considering most artist aren’t making a living out of it and it would cost almost nothing compared to the benefit the store will make out of it.


    1. Hey sofia ,

      thanks so much for popping back 😀 its really interesting to hear your view and I definitely agree art is to be seen and viewed by others to inspire upcoming generations to really embrace their creative side and do something unique with their yet to be discovered talents. Admiring the work of others is how I learned but I embraced my own style and techniques making them my own , your right that artists don’t make a very big living out of it for myself starting out it is tough and I do work little jobs on the side which I call my cinderella work so that I’m able to really enjoy being an illustrator without pressuring myself to much financially. Being in pursuit of a creative career isn’t easy but if it was everybody would be doing it and if we didnt pursue it the world would be very boring 🙂 do you agree? kate x

      1. hope you will soon make a living out of it. i have no doubt about it considering you ink art is faboulous. you should post more of them on society6! ive seen your page and you just had 2 designs?
        Personally i’m not really expecting to make a living out of it as i am as i am as passionate of art as i am of making the world a better place ( im a student in anthropology) but i have to admit that being both academically and artistically challenged everyday would be my “dream life”.

      2. Hey sofia my online stuff is currently being updated lots to do but being a one girl band lol so to speak it takes me time to get everywhere plus working my job but rest assured I’m hoping to get everywhere up to date by the end of the month 🙂 but my blog is the place where the updates are at 🙂 . I think we all want to make a living doing what we love for sure but it does take time haha and often for the young creative heart we just want to do everything , have fun doing it , have a dream life that puts food on the table haha 🙂 x hope your studies in anthropology are going well! X kate

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