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Studio Time: Look-alikes

I felt like I had the most amazing a-ha moment on last night at the studio. Like I'd struck some kinda gold decorating some bisqued white stoneware pieces. Then the more I looked at them I felt like they resembled something too familiar. When I realized how closely the patterns resembled Emily Schroeder's work, I felt this cringe in my gut. Now, it's no secret that I am a huge fan of Schroeder, but I wasn't intending to mimic her work, nor was I even thinking of her work when I was decorating the pieces above. Somehow, though, it still seems I've channeled her designs into my work. I'm not really into this... and hopefully this is just one stage in the development of my own style. I'm still disappointed a bit though.

How similar do these pieces look to you? Am I being a total nut or does it look like I'm totally ripping someone off? What is a young artist to do when this happens?


Ron said...

I think this is pretty normal. Just keep working and see where it takes you. More than likely it will move away from looking like someone else's work and become your own. The main thing is just to keep making.

Mel said...

I agree with Ron. I always tell my myself that I cannot re-invent the wheel and that it is very okay to be inspired by certain people's techniques and patterns and see where it takes me. It might look similar but you will never "copy" it exactly the same.

These pieces remind me of Meredith Host and Kristen Kiefer - but I might be totally off. They might just use the same colors and patterns.

brian said...

Great conversation about this topic on KK's blog. http://kiefferceramics.com/2010/01/05/signature-style/

Jesse Lu said...

Oh my goodness, Mel. I totally just looked at the most recent work that Meredith and Kristen have up on their sites and you are totally right. The dots around Host's 'clouds' and the stripes in Kiefer's. Ahhh- that's kinda funny. I was totally not thinking about either of their work. I'd forgotten about their recent bodies.

Well back to the old drawing board. These pieces are definitely not complete. I still have to glaze and luster fire them. You can't really see either, but each piece is 'washed' with a lighter version of the underglaze that forms the 'clouds'. I wonder if I'll feel differently about these pieces after they're fired. When I get back to greenware work, though, I'll expand on the collage concept I've been toying around with a little bit. I want this work to have more dimension.

P.S. Thanks Brian for the note about that post on Kriefer's blog. I'm heading right over.

Linda Fahey said...

phew! that took some time; I read the post and all the comments...

excellent discussion.

thanks for this post JesseLu and thanks for the link to Kristen's site.

Anonymous said...

i know she's your contemporary, but made me think of this quote i love
"we shall often find that not only the best, but the most individual parts of a poet's '(or potters!)' work, may be those in which the dead poets, his ancestors, assert their immortality most vigorously"

-t.s. eliot

claydancer said...

Either way, I think these pieces are lovely. Are you going to CCACA this year? I want to have a get together of ceramic artists who blog. Are you interested?

nicole gugliotti said...

i know this is an old post but i think it's a really important discussion. as i continue to refine my personal style in grad school this is something that i think about from time to time. however, i think that it can be just as dangerous to shy away from a direction because one may worry it's too similar to someone else. there are certainly genres and strains in art and design and your original work will most likely fall in somewhere. just from reading your great blog it's clear that you have a strong personal color and pattern style and as you refine your forms your work will speak for itself.

thanks for a great blog, i just started teaching last semester and mudbucket has been a great image resource for my students:)

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