Michelle Lamb wrote a wonderful story involving her pirate bear and copyright issues. I can't find it but in short, she said that other people’s bears are really just bits and pieces of other bears done over the years and centuries. That she is fine with people taking inspiration form her bears for they will never be exactly the same.
If anybody can find that post or write up please post it, I think it will be helpful to others and feel better about their work that may resemble other people’s bears.
Hi TTrs....I'm glad this topic came up
Because I work only with genuine fur, I was shocked recently when I saw another artist creation using the exact same combination of two furs, same colors, same size, and same animal. (not a bear) It was an unusual combination of furs and there haven't been that many made of this particular animal. I also notice this artist work seems so similar to other photos. Curious, especially when their creations come along a month or so after your own.
Each of us have a unique look and style to our creations. Some make critters that are distinctly different from each other and others make bears that all have the same "look" but a different "life story" and materials used.
It made me angry at first to see a creation so similar to my own....but....I thought about it... and if you set them side by side, they did not look one bit alike, only the concept/fur/choice of animal was the same.
Sorry, rambling here....but I wanted to add....working with real fur, I have to line each piece. I use a medium with a sticky back and once you pull off the backing, it is a permanent record of my pattern piece and the size, dimension I used on the bear. I keep them in a little envelope with notes about the design of the bear. If anyone were to contact me, I could assure them with all the drawings, erasures, notes included that this truly did begin "on the drawing board".....not as a photo copy of someone else's pattern.
What is that statement about "imitation being the most sincere form of flattery"...gggrrrrrrrrrrrrr....ok.....I guess so.
Take care all.
I have to say I know how hard it is to work with real fur. I learned from Kathy, (Myers) who was kind enough to give me the ins and outs of how to work with it. Not like mohair at all, in fact I still have my first bear who actually looks like she has ear muffs on instead of ears! :doh: I've been doing this for 17 years, real fur for about 16. Like I said, I learned from Kathy. We are lucky in this industry to have people like Kathy, so willing to help people, especially new bear makers. We are lucky to have the "old timers" that paved the way for us all, without them we wouldn't be doing what we love to do.
Of course, we know it's easy to be inspired by another bear maker. Just as we hope we inspire others. But then there is the side that we've been discussing here. I've had one pattern stolen from me at a show before. I looked everywhere and it was just gone. I happened to stop by a friends home who happened to be customers too, only to find them with a bear and my pattern sitting on their coffee table as they worked on it. The same thing has happened to a friend of mine, and the people actually were selling bears from her pattern at shows I was attending. So, it can always be worse I guess.
We aren't the first people to make bears and other critters and hopefully we won't be the last. We just have to keep up the good work, have fun, and support the shows and magazines when we can. This venue also helps us support each other and I hope we continue to do that.
I know I'm wordy...you should have to talk to me on the phone!!! :redface: Bear hugs, Susie
Hi Susie !
Kathy Myers is an inspiration to me too ! In fact, I contacted her via email with a question about "shading" and she referred me to an "excellent website with all kinds of great information and bear people to share ideas with". That's how I found out about Teddy Talk, and I am so glad I did.