Is Imitation Really Flattery?

I’ve been seeing a pattern for a while now and I had sincerely hoped that this copying thing would stop because I really plan things out for my site and seeing the entire thing copied by someone else is just getting ridiculously uncomfortable at this point. But because I would like to be the bigger person about it (although slightly petty), I am not going to name any names here. I just sincerely hope this person knows what they’re doing and sees why they’re wrong for it.

A text from my best friend, this evening, sent me back to around 4 years ago when I had the hardest time understanding why people would just copy the things you do instead of putting in any sort of real effort into discovering what they’d like best. It sounds so presumptuous when I say that I’ve had my share of copy-cats; it’s laughable, really. But over the years, I have realized that when you’re good at doing something, people will almost always try to follow you.

Whether it’s poor imitation of your own work or an attempt at something not too similar, it is fair enough to feel as though your hard work and all the ideas you’ve put into making something that is entirely your own have been taken for granted by somebody who doesn’t truly understand the depths behind what you’ve spent so much of yourself into making.

And before anybody tries to tell me that people use references and derive inspiration from other works all the time, let me tell you that those two are in no way similar to recreating something you’ve done after plenty of hard work and contemplation. It’s insulting, to be honest.

For example, let’s take the case of Van Gogh’s paintings. Nothing can ever touch the original anyway, but that doesn’t stop people from trying to recreate and study his paintings. Now, it’s okay if people are recreating his paintings and studying them because they are inspired by those paintings, but it would be insulting to the artist himself if these people started claiming the idea was all theirs to begin with. That would be taking credit for something that was never yours.

But as much as it annoys me to see my own ideas being copied so carelessly by other people, I have to understand that this isn’t something new. Maybe, 4 years ago, I would have lashed out at the idea of somebody trying to copy my work and try to do things the exact same way as me, with no originality whatsoever. Now, it doesn’t bother me as much as it once did.

In fact, it’s sort of flattering, really to see that somebody would try to do what I do. But I’ll admit, it does feel very uncomfortable to see something I gave a lot of thought to being copied.

Again, everyone, deriving inspiration or taking reference from something isn’t the same as copying.

Just wanted to put this out there, knowing fully well that the person who’s copying without a second thought is reading this.

Cheerio! Xx

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