Is Copying Art?

Before launching in to my point I should note that I do not encourage or support plagiarism.  This is merely a rhetorical exercise.  In My Name Is Red, the masters or those that are the best copiers.  Their ability to copy the greats brings their work from “good” to perfection.  During our workshop I attempted to draw Shekure.  I pulled up an image on my phone of a character from the animated film “Kubo and the Two Strings.”  For some reason that woman was exactly who I pictured when I read about Shekure.  I love to copy or imitate artwork.  I find it relaxing to follow the lines, colors, and elements of someone else’s work.  Someone else, who, frankly, is much better at this than I am.  What are the ethical implications of this?  Is it wrong to produce work that’s not your own?  What are you thoughts?

One Reply to “Is Copying Art?”

  1. Really interesting thought! I remember when I was young I used to get so upset at my friends for “copying” my hairstyles or my clothes… To comfort my childish misunderstanding, my mother would say to me: “copying is one of the highest forms of flattery”. However, Maddy, you raise an interesting point. We shame the copying of words, but then the question becomes, how are pictures any different? How can we distinguish “inspiration” from “artistic plagiarism”?

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