Plagiarism, Imitation or Inspiration?

Red, White & Blue water drop collision ©2011 Susan Candelario SDC Photography

If imitation is the best form of flattering… then consider me flattered. ;o=) It is my sincere hope that my blog post today will inspire some to get out of their comfort zone and push themselves to think a bit harder.

There is a fine line between inspiration and imitation. Sadly enough I see more occurrences of  people crossing this thin line lately. I say sadly because I have always felt that it is a good thing to be inspired by someone else’s work, but imitating  and trying to call it your own is just wrong. Aside from simply inhibiting your own personal style, creativity and the potential to unleash the true artist within.  If it is truly within you. Also what joy can be found or  how can one genuinely feel proud of themselves by conducting themselves in this fashion?

Even if you are devoid of any true artistic talents and choose to imitate, you should ethically give credit where credit is due. I even see this in recent articles & tutorials that I have read, that are just filled with plagiarisms. No mention of the sources are given credit. They make it sound like their own work or ideas. This is ridiculous!  The entire world is not blind or ignorant. With these practices one can only expect to fool a handful of people and probably only for a short time.

I have found myself with little inspiration at times when I have an assignment to complete. Sort of how writers get writers block. With deadlines to meet I have glanced at websites and thru the many books in my library searching for an idea to set my foundation. And whenI have gotten that spark ignited, I begin my task at hand and almost always end up with a totally different take on it. Why? because as a creative right brain person that I am, all I needed at the moment was inspiration and motivation, not to emulate someone else’s work.

I like to put my own personal style and twist into what I do. Although everything in life has already been done or created by many others and very well done may I add, just adding some originality into it helps to deviate from the norm and it is much more satisfying. If I however do not produce something different or original, I like to mention and give credit to the source. After-all it’s the right thing to do.

Finding our individuality can be a tough process for some and may take time, but in the long run, it’s what sets us apart and allow us to be recognized by our own individual unique characteristics.

So when you see something you like, admire it and take the time to be inspired and think of how can you add a piece of yourself into the mix. Remember to do and create what works for you and not for others. Never think that by trying to replicate you will the gain the success that others have worked hard for years and rightfully earned. Fads come and go but being true to our individuality & uniqueness will always remain.

I posted this as my status in FB this morning because I can truly identify with this famous quote: “I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it”  -Pablo Picasso

I can identify with the quote because I am always 2-3 steps ahead of myself thinking of something different, new & challenging to explore.

And here are some other favorite famous quotes & proverbs of mine regarding the subject of my post:

◊ Almost all absurdity of conduct arises from the imitation of those who we cannot resemble – Samuel Johnson

◊ To equal a predecessor, one must have twice their worth. – Baltasar Gracian

◊ By three methods we may learn wisdom: first, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third, by experience, which is the most bitter – Chinese Proverb

◊ It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation – Herman Melville

So get inspired and put a little bit of yourself into what you do.




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