Thursday, February 16, 2012


I wrote to an artist I had discovered on the internet who was doing some interesting digital images, (not unlike this photo above, which for the purposes of this post, is not his) It inspired me to do something similar in dry stone. I wrote him requesting that we might collaborate or at least wondered if he would be agreeable to me developing the theme of his photos further, only in some sort of dry stone application. 

He kindly wrote me back and gave me permission to publish his photos on my blog but said  he wasn't able to collaborate on a project because he had moved on to some different photographic concepts and he didn't have the time  for anything else. Moreover, I was disappointed to read that his work was "published with a "non derivative" Creative Common License" and that therefore I could not use the idea he had come up with even as a bit of a springboard for something 'derived' from his photos 

It seemed to me that this spelled the end of the creative process for this concept, in terms of where he (or anyone else) was going, unless he decided to pursue it on his own. I do wonder about this sort of thing. While I understand the idea/need of preserving a certain ownership of one's artistic ideas and content, I think there can be unfortunate consequences when it hinders people from developing upon a specific theme just because the person who 'discovered' it  is not only unwilling to allow others to use but not interested in pursuing it any further themselves.

I have given consent on occasion to people using original ideas I've come up with, like the hot wheels loop I did several years ago. It seemed to be a win win situation. 

An idea I came up with and rendered in photoshop for a client.

The finished product.

Sometimes they don't ask me and just use a design or an original idea created in dry stone, just taking credit for it as their own. That's not so nice, but it's still a risk you take when you 'give birth' to an idea. It's okay to be imitated and even not be given the credit  but it is a bit annoying to see people promoting your idea as their own, and in fact merely butchering your creative concept because of how badly they do it.

Is there an answer to being copied badly and should we have the right to 'sit' on our creations?