Blogland is a funny thing. You can make friends with people who are 100's and even 1000's of miles away, but there can also be meanness and cruelness out there too. I have seen recently a witch hunt against one artist, that just seems so overboard and unjustified. One person in particular, seemed to have a bitterness in their heart that has obviously been there for awhile. Jen even read their comment and said...oh that makes me not want to buy their book. Every artist will be copied or have someone use the same techniques as another. Unless the exact materials are used, then it isn't a copy as far as I am concerned. If I make a recipe using an old recipe but add a few different ingredients then it's a different recipe. Like my cherry necklace. Deryn Mentock made those leaves first and I used them in that piece, but that piece looks nothing like anything she has done. Am I stealing? I don't think so. I hope she doesn't think I am. That is why we take classes. To learn techniques. I recently submitted a proposal to teach the flowers that I make. I know, that if I teach that then someone is going to use it to make them and sell their craft. I made a conscious decision that I was ok with that. I am ready to move beyond the flowers onto something new. I will come up with something different and creative and me. That is what art is. You put a piece of yourself in it. And if you look around the world it is no different. You have the Camero and the Firebird. You have McDonald's and you have a Burger King. You have Best Buy and Circuit City. You have Nike and Reebok. Look in the grocery stores. Think brand name and the store brand. Why do people buy a Louis Vuitton (Jen) and not the bag at target that looks like it? It's all about the name. If you can get people interested in you, they will buy your art because they like you and something about it makes them feel connected to you in some way or speaks to them in some way. Just my 2 cents for today. And, I won't be buying any more of the bitter artists' books as I would be afraid I will get sued for using a technique that was in the book! Hmmmm Isn't that the point of selling books? To share your technique?