Monday, October 31, 2011

Be Inspired, Not a Ripoff Artist - Day 31 & Exercise 5

31 Days

Well, here it is...the last day of the Inner Artist series.
I hope you have enjoyed it and maybe even learned a thing or two!


Art is almost always inspired by something. Often that something is someone else's work. And that's ok!
But make it your own, inject your own style and ideas, and let it run.

No One Likes a Copycat
Remember when you were a kid and your sibling, or maybe that annoying kid at school, copied everything you said or did...sometimes literally and verbatim?
I don't know anyone who enjoyed being copied as a kid and I'm quite certain it holds true through adulthood, if not more so. I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir here, but I'm going to say it anyway:
You wouldn't plagiarize a novel and pass it off as your own, so don't copy another artist's work and pass it off as your own either.

Inspiration {Not Imitation} is the Sincerest Form of Flattery
First, let's define inspiration versus imitation. defines these two words as:


noun - a result of inspired activity.


noun - a counterfeit; copy.

Here's an example to help illustrate this point:
Marla of Blue Skies Photography has some beautiful farm shots. I especially love her combine blur shot.
{photo used with permission}

How stunningly wonderful is that?!
As it happened, I was literally in a wheat field with a combine a few days after seeing her lovely images.

With her image as my inspiration, here's what I shot:
This shot was one of my first that day. I knew it was almost identical to Marla's {in composition, anyway} when I was shooting and that was the point. I needed to get her idea through my system so I could tweak and develop it into something of my own.

And here's the image I liked best; that was truly in my own style.

Great Minds Think Alike
I think it's important to also point out that it is possible for someone to simply happen to come up with the same idea as you, independent of your work. Coincidences do happen after all.

For Example:
Karli of The Bonnie 5 and I seem to share a small portion of the same brain. We have taken eerily similar shots just days, sometimes hours, apart without seeing the other's work.
It's seriously weird.
The weirdest was when we both burnt lunch and then photographed the smoke from said meal time disasters.
What are the odds of that?!


Exercise #5
This is kind of like a before and after style exercise. I want you to find a work of art, recipe, photograph - anything that inspires you. Then, taking everything we've talked about this month, I want you to make your own thing using the inspiration piece as a jumping off point, much like I have done with Marla's combine shot.

Here are your instructions:
1. Share your inspiration piece - it's best to ask permission prior to using another's image or at the very least give credit and a link back.
2. Then, in the same post, share your finished product and how you have transformed that original idea into your own style.

When linking up, please use YOUR IMAGE as your thumbnail.
If you have any questions about this exercise, please feel free to ask!

The linky will be up for 2 weeks so take your time!


  1. I have completely enjoyed this series!! You have provided me with alot to consider :-)

    P.S. That eiffel tower shot is A.Mazing!!!

  2. Love this! What a great example if using inspiration/immitation inphotography. I teach immitation as a form of expanding your skills but I just love how you took it a step forward and made it your own. Good for you for finishing strong. I really struggled with the last week and need to finish up the series today.

  3. I have loved this series. Thank you so much for taking the time to put it together.

  4. thanks for these posts. Love that I can follow along and learn a few things.

  5. Thanks so much for this series! I haven't had time this month to practice with it as much as I wanted to, but I'll definitely be using your tips in the future.

  6. We did it! We made it through the month of October without pulling (too much) hair out of our heads. :) Thank you so much for doing this series. I have learned many things from it.

  7. Yay!!! Katie, I can't tell you how many times how much I loved this project! I look forward to keeping on using your prompts in the future! I feel like I've been able to open my eyes and see new things that I missed before.

    Thanks so much for letting me play "teacher's pet" and using your photo as inspiration -- stink, girl, most of your photos inspire me!

    And totally agree -- love how we can find someone out there with part of our brain who's seeing the same thing and capturing it as we are! haha!!

    While I'm sad to see this end, I know it's really just the beginning for me!!



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