11 March 2010

Something to Say

49 comments:

  1. Very eloquently spoken. Let it never be forgotten that behind the work there is a real person. As a metalsmith learning the trade there are so many amazing things that I see and think - I want to do THAT! At the end of the day it is up to the artist to reach deeper and past that feeling and find what it is in our own lives that we can bring to the table. Your business is something that you work hard at, and it is how you support your family. It should be protected dearly. When we know better we do better, we're all learning as we go. You are giving these other artists and opportunity to do better. Wishing you all the best.

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  2. Absolutely well-put. I loved this video- it was obvious how heartfelt it was, and I just wanted to crawl right into it and give you a hug! It was great to see you- you are positively lovely.

    xoxo always,
    Amy

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  3. jj.
    thanks for this so much.
    it's so true, how fire births true creativity, not lazily (out of insecurities) copying others. i know that the artist that copied you would do well to use this really hard lesson to find that fire. i've had so many of my etsy friends deal with this, so i am glad you said it.

    i'm glad to know you.
    candace

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  4. I couldn't have said it better. can I borrow your video and put it on my blog!? HA. i'm totally kidding.
    I can seriously relate to every single you thing you said in this honest and REAL statement.
    I have recently been struggling with people copying my style, and am afraid to step up and call anyone out for fear that I'll come off as petty, or hypocritical.
    I just keep doing what I'm doing.
    Maybe one day it'll come to me and I'll do a video blog about how I'm feeling about it- and maybe I'll even be able to do it without being completely bitter and pissed off which is how I feel right now.
    I wish you lots of luck. I've been enjoying your work and your blog for some time now. :)

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  5. I'm so glad I found this video blog today. I am struggling with the same situation, have been for some time actually, and this really sums up what I have been thinking & feeling much better than I ever could have said it. Though it is awful that any artist has to deal with something like this at all, its good to know I'm not alone in feeling hurt and a bit angry.

    I'm glad to hear your situation was resolved so well! I have heard nothing but "you're overreacting" or "get used to it" from the designers/artists I am having the same problem with, and I can only hope that one day (soon) they mature a little and come to realize they aren't only hurting me, but themselves as well.

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  6. Great post - and you stated it correctly - especially about how much this hurts everyone.

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  7. You did explain yourself, perfectly, and the sentiment is JUST RIGHT! And it was so great to see/hear you--tiny little video you. You're so lovely!!

    xo

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  8. Very well said. I like video posts. You should do more.

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  9. well done lady!
    i think that the word hypocrite walks right out the door with this posting. the second you have admitted to feeling and acting as a copyist, and take responsibility for your actions, kills the continuance of guilt.

    identifying artists, vs. crafters is not as hard as one might think. original art exists in the soul of a piece as well as in its creator. when things come together, at some point they have their own life and this completeness includes a little bit of original soul. without honesty about the creative processes before, during and after construction, you just can't achieve original work. as artists, originality is what we strive for. i don't think that copyists are necessarily reaching for this.
    reaching for"it", is very different from digging for it. artists dig proudly and second guess themselves all the way. copyists ask if they are doing it right and know guiltily that they are following a construction plan.
    people come in all different styles and wavelengths. hopefully as for better and better personal effort is employed, a growing sense of integrity and pride will be the just rewards for the personal effort.

    keep reaching jess... i love where you are stretching towards.
    xoxo.w

    xow. .

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  11. Beautifully said, by a beautiful girl, with a beautiful heart and soul. I wish I was half as brave as you are and I wish I had half the backbone you do. I'm proud of you Jess.......not only are you a talented metalsmith but you are 'GENUINE'....and in my book that counts for ALOT!

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  12. ...as a HUGE fan and owner of your artwork, i can say that i love YOUR style, as it is unique, beautiful, special & DESIRED...i am proud of you, JJ. your passion for what you do & who you are is reflected in your artwork...i feel it every time i wear (y)our ring, necklace & earrings...i see & feel your attention to detail in the quality of your craftsmanship...i know that the beauty i feel when i wear your pieces comes from a deeper source, from the start...it comes from YOU: an artisan who values honesty, imagination, & truth, an artisan who creates with integrity, dedication & honor...an artisan who knows & believes in herself & her craft...and because of that, YOU believe in ME...the lifelong fan & patron. I support you...in everything you do...& couldn't imagine you NOT doing anything but staying TRUE...xoxo

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  13. JJ, I truly admire everything you do. You are such an amazing women. It is so easy to get engulfed in the beauty of your work that one may forget that the human hands that create these pieces belong to not just the artist, but a mother, a wife , a daughter, a sister, a bussinesswomen, a thought...many thoughts....... inspirations, stories, and a soul. Until you actually hold a RosyRevolver statement in your own hands...then it is obvious that your are holding a piece of JJ's heart... of her everything, at that point one would know that they can never duplicate what you have created. I think that you have dealt with this situation(again) with great dignity and grace and I am so very very privileged to have meet such a strong women....and to wear your art..I thank you for your unpretentious beauty in all you do...Delia

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  14. Well said! You are one brave Woman!

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  15. Brave woman, this will serve as a very resourceful link in many peoples journey along the road of wielding the flame... yet probably more so to dissuade others from crafting in the medium than to invite them into it.

    Since we are all being honest here, I think I would like to speak (type) my observations...

    You may publish this or not... and I am just pointing to the pink elephant in the room, so shoot me;P

    I'm very unsettled to have found many of my friends think along these same lines. It would be even more beneficial if one described their particular claim on design aesthetics to their peers and clients {onlookers just the same} in their mission statement on their profile, as it goes without saying, what exactly it is about each persons influences they wish to be associated with, in which they also prefer others to veer away from using in their own designs...

    Is it the filagree, the rose, the listing wording, the customer speak, the stones?

    That being said, how does one copywriter their design effluence's? or is it just that, like in science as in art, the credit goes to the man who convinces the world, not the man to whom the idea first occurs?

    How are those of us who already have a corner on the market ever going to allow others to have a piece of their own when it comes to metalsmithing, and especially when the line of what is "mine" is not clearly drawn by the artist.

    This perplexes me... I truly adore each of the artists I associate with, yet it's all so convoluted... and frankly I'm put off by all this, its very uninspiring, and quite disenchanting to boot, and maybe it's best just to send the "culprit" a private cease and desist letter instead of bringing in all of your readers, who in turn are utterly confused as to what really is the threat...

    In your case it's apparent and obvious who is using the same designs as you, as her designs changed completely almost overnight...

    Yet,

    In the "others" case, well, I feel they are just as guilt of borrowing others concepts as the ones they blame...

    You recall the, "Spot it, and you got it" saying?

    I feel all of this is really just a way to draw in sympathies, and play the woe is me card, because it's truly those who draw attention to this territorial issue on design who feels insecure and threatened... if it was not so, then it may behoove one to go about this in another more discreet and private way.

    again, just an observation.

    Warmly, although typed, I really do care and am genuinely thoughtful...
    I'm not posting this to create waves, but to draw up some questions and concerns I see as a beginner in this medium.

    Thank you for reading,
    M

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  16. JJ,

    I love you. I am so sorry to see you in pain.

    Michaela Dawn,

    For the sisterhood you speak of in your blog, the gathering of women.... I know you have a truly good heart and maybe you really really meant well here,
    but I see
    cruelty
    in your sentences.

    If you re-read I think you may see it, too.

    I hope you never have to experience what JJ is speaking of as you move forward in your craft:
    if you ever do,
    you will regret every word you wrote here
    from the bottom of your
    lovely heart.

    With deepest respect to everyone,
    Allison

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  17. I admire your courage and it's clear that you put your heart on the line in this video blog, I gained a new respect for you as a person as well as an artist by watching. You were passionate and eloquent and very honest and I always admire that in a person.

    That being said, I have some of the same questions Michaella asked. The use of findings specifically is quickly taking Etsy by storm and I've heard more than one artist attribute the idea to you. Does that mean that you would consider any artist using findings in a similar style as yours to be plagiarism?

    I do not believe there are many truly original design in jewelry making. Just because you've never seen it doesn't mean it's not been done, just means you haven't seen it yet. I think my work is unique and I have a clear personal style that characterizes my line, but no one piece reinvents the wheel, know what I mean?

    I think the line for me is when a specific item is copied, rather than a 'style'. I don't think a certain style can truly be owned by an artist, generally one brilliant mind spearheads a movement and others make it their own. I would also argue that the 'inventor' if you will of a particular style always has the advantage over imitators, no one does it as well as the one who thought it up.

    Once again I would like to commend you for speaking your mind and saying your piece.

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  18. PS: I am passing no judgment whatsoever on the guilt or innocence of the specific artist you speak of, please don't misunderstand my comments as such. I don't know which seller it was and didn't see that info anywhere, so I'm just discussing the theoretical aspects of this situation rather than the specifics.

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  19. I understand Sunny, it's honest, and not meant to hurt, ever.

    JJ, I've always been the one to call a spade for a spade, I have to honor what I see. It's a risk to say what is true sometimes...

    &

    Sometimes our most revered friends are the one who can spell out the truth, even though what is being said will not be popular in opinion. For what ever reasons.

    I'm not offended, and I think it all should be put on the table, so I commend you for speaking honestly too,

    and just so you know, I have had my designs "borrowed" and I have felt the pain and anger and hurt, and because of it I am able to share these words.

    M

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  20. Hi J
    Lots of support in these comments. I too support you. This is what I have to say.

    I have a deep admiration for your reaction to this situation. Everyone has done something that they are not proud to have done. Some are never caught and continue on and on, empowering negative energy.

    I don't know your history. But I heard your heart speak that you had learned a powerful lesson. You have chosen to put yourself in this person's place and chose to accept that they have learned from their mistake. Positive energy.

    Yes!! You DO have to bring to the attention of the world when your designs are stolen. Often it is shame that forces one to see their mistake and vow never to be caught there again. You handled this correctly IMHO. Now, it is done. Put it behind and move on. You have many more fantastic creations to make reality. However, I would make one suggestion when you said you did not know how to end it. I would have lifted that precious puppy for a hug so we could all see!!~lol~

    With admiration
    Carol

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  21. Every artists draws a line to where they feel violated, either in use of findings, placement of materials, choice of stones, etc. Not everyone's line is going to be in the same place. JJ has drawn hers where she feels it ought to be, and yours may be much farther or closer to your design aesthetic.

    And just as everyone's line is drawn in a different place, so is the way in which they decide to confront (or not) that particular situation. Perhaps for your own creative spirit it's best to keep it to yourself and not mention it to another living soul, or maybe to convo the artist or perhaps to put it in your blog. For me, I'm just not comfortable telling another person what I think is an appropriate way to handle an impossible situation.

    I just hope that everyone who has experienced this situation finds a way to cope with it in a manner that allows them to maintain their creative spirit, their integrity and their sense of self.

    Kudos to you Jess, for admitting to past mistakes and still looking for the best in others.

    xoxo,
    C

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  22. The issue is much bigger than if someone happened to use the same type of filigree in a spot here or there... the proof is in the pudding. The chick fessed up. She admitted to ripping off the design concepts and overall feel of another artist. This issue has substance and I feel there is legitimate cause for a second look.

    PS: with the utmost respect and appreciation for the strength to speak what you think, I have to say I agree COMPLETELY agree with every word Sunny Rising said.

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  23. I just want to say that I think you are very brave soul to not only come on your blog and tell your story, *all* of your story, even the not-so-good parts, but to do it so we can see your face and not just your words. I appreciate how hard that must have been, and I absolutely respect you for it.

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  24. I appreciate all the responses. This WAS a very difficult post.

    To Scrollwork specifically, I understand the question regarding using specific findings. Would I consider an artist using the same findings as I do to be plagiarism?

    My answer: It depends on the context. I know, and am not in any way claiming, to be the only one to use filigree, roses, etc. A lot of my inspiration afterall does come from Taxco and Turkish pieces which often use this sort of thing. And I'm certainly not claiming to have reinvented the wheel. I meant what I said about not wanting to have an ego.

    However:

    When another artist SUDDENLY, and without evolution of style or a visible path of design progression, suddenly starts using the same components, in the same way as I do, YES. I consider that to be idea theft.

    When the day before and for the past several month or years, their work was far different than mine and suddenly it isn't stylistically different at all, YES. I consider that to be idea theft.

    When it's not just a component or two, but the entire embodiment of the piece that is constructed using ONLY the embellishments that I do, YES. I consider that to be idea theft.

    I have never called anyone out who showed any kind of history of design or style evolution. The only incidents that have gotten me rowdy and riled up came about after a sudden, DRASTIC change of style. And yes . . . of course people can change and evolve their styles over time. But a genuine, self-born evolution of aesthetic is a gradual process. Not one that happens in a day, within a week . . . or however long it takes to get a shipment of prefabricated components ordered and shipped.

    Those are my boundaries. I have yet to see anyone use filigree differently than I do. Why? The roses for example, I have seen used in work like Nova of Sweden's- but she uses a different wire and a looser wrap. It's HER style and take on a rose, and it's beautiful and unique, and not taken verbatim from my work.

    Therefore, my issue is not the rose. It's not the filigree, the leaves, or any other embellishment specific in and of itself. It's the context and timing of the rose, filigree, etc.

    I hope that makes some sense. Thanks for bringing it up- I don't believe I had explained myself like that before. Maybe it sheds a bit more light on my point of view.

    And Michaela Dawn:

    It's a mystery in my mind why you would even follow my blog when you have such a low opinion of my character.

    Your comments have been carefully constructed to call me self-pitying, an attention whore, somebody milking a mistake for sympathy . . . and what then, as a means to get sales? You really make me out to be a phony, don't you?

    You call a spade, a spade. You know me, my intentions and heart from a ten minute video and this website. You seem to think you have me all figured out. And ironically, you go on to educate me that the "it is a risk to say what is true sometimes . . ."

    Which is exactly what I did on my video . . . take a risk and share my own truth and views . . . which is exactly what you are claiming was done merely to illicit sympathy.

    Right! That makes perfect sense.

    In regard to your "Spot it, and you've got it" quote-
    (For those of you who don't know what this means, it is a way of saying that the flaws and problems we see in others are really just reflections of our own issues.)

    I'd like to point out that you have spotted an attention-hoarding, self-pittying, insecure, threatened individual in me.

    So. Explain to me the difference in your judgement over me vs my judgement over others.

    While I am appreciative of your direct dialogue and accepting of your feelings- if I am correct in my understanding of your comments above:

    Your view of my motives, intentions, goals, and general character is almost impressively jacked up.

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  25. No it absolutely does, and I thank you for sharing it. So to paraphrase, you're saying it's clear they intentionally did a complete 180 and decided to make stuff like yours, and specific elements are exactly the same and the timing is suspicious, ie, you release a piece with a certain design and then a couple weeks later whadaya know, same thing in someone elses store? Alright yeah that would piss me off. I'm not sure that I would address it in the same way but I've not been in that situation and I really don't know, and like with any other type of cheating you have every right to confront or shed light on it.

    I was going to ask about Nova specifically but didn't want to drag her name in when she's not here to defend herself, lol. I think you guys have a similar style, yours is a little more edgy and hers is more girly but they're close enough I could see someone who was really anal getting bent about it. I wouldn't consider a similarity of that degree plagiarism, just a natural bent in the same direction.

    As someone pointed out the artist admitted to copying so obviously you were right in this situation, but it's an interesting discussion on a lot of levels.

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  26. Dear Jess
    I love and adore you.......I have come to regard you as a friend. You are a sensitive, thoughtful, and intelligent soul who means no harm, only to protect the beauty that you have fought so hard to create and share with others!!! You are humble and forthright regarding your own past as you forged your own artistic path.

    I must say that I am profoundly disturbed that someone chose to attack you in print. Moreover, I find it ironic when it is suggested that negative comments should be presented privately, but are posted publicly. I think Allison was absolutely correct in her comment - some words printed today were cruel, but from my perspective, they were also glib. It is so easy to point fingers and find fault in others, until the tide turns. Each person is entitled to their opinion, but unless he or she has earned the right to see both perspectives, it is vital to listen carefully. You, Jess, have earned the right.....you've seen both sides and I am attentive to your angst. Keep doing what you do, don't let anything get you down, and continue to live your life with integrity, love, and joy.

    xoxoxo

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  27. Wow! Who knew that being honest and opening up about issues within the arts community could be so volatile? I watched your video earlier and thought you communicated your points beautifully. Personally, I agree with you entirely. There is definitely a line that has to be drawn when it comes to this issue. I like the way you worded a "gradual evolution" ...so true, nothing should change overnight in a person's design. There is a slow and thoughtful process to the growth and style of any artist. This reminded me of you.
    http://issuu.com/pikaland/docs/gtk7
    Huge Hugs!!

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  28. You are correct and well said.
    I would like to point out that the side view of the Colt Army that is in your logo is not yours to use. Colt owns the 90 degree view of that revolver in spite of the removal of the Colt logo from grip

    http://www.coltsmfg.com/upload/legal-information/Legal%20Privacy%20Policy.JD.pdf

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  29. Your work is absolutely lovely - your designs are very interesting and your workmanship looks perfect. I am glad that the situation with the seller who was copying your work has been resolved. I can understand your anger and frustration.

    On a more general note, I am also inclined to think that there is not much that is truly - and I mean truly - original in jewellery design. (I think Scrollwork mentioned something similar earlier...) This is not to say that someone did not come up with the design themselves. Sometimes two people come up with the same ideas independently and without any knowledge of the other's existence. I have a large, thick square necklace with a scene on it constructed entirely of silver pieces, attached to a chunky chain in two places that I bought in London 15+ years ago, and I have seen similar items for sale on etsy!

    And if you only look on etsy, there is a lot of silver jewellery with leaves, flowers, beads, moons, stars, birds etc. Much of it seems so similar in style. (And sometimes "original" can be overrated since it translates into "ridiculous", in my opinion. But that's just personal preferences, of course! )

    Having said all that, keep up the lovely work! It really stands apart from everything else I have seen on etsy so far. (That circus act ring is tempting me :-))

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  30. Sending many many many and even more hugs

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  31. Um. Hi ed814!

    Thanks for the info- I went to the link you provided, no images there however.

    I have to tell you that I had no idea this was a colt. I photoshopped a generic picture of a pistol that I found on google images to make my logo-
    there was never a colt logo on the grip.

    I'll check the site again tomorrow and try to get in touch with someone to make sure I'm clear here. God, that would be ironic . . . wow.

    Thanks for dropping by- i appreciate the support on my post and the link.

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  32. wholy good god.
    Rosy, you *ROCK*.
    I salute your tenacity to tell the truth, and speak what's in your heart. well done, and don't stop. you are in your full right to defend your creations.

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  33. JJ is a beautiful, creative soul, that has an original flair to her designs along with perfection in her craftsmanship. Anyone who purchases any of her pieces knows this to be true and any metalsmiths who look at her work also know this to be true. Kudos to you for your bravey to speak your mind and to do it with kindness and such good taste. I think blogs are meant for that. The good, the bad, and what's on your mind. Creates a real feel of character of the blogger for fans and for customers who choose to follow you. I think that's what we all like about blogs. That is what makes people become friends online in the blog and etsy community. That's how real life is, the good, bad, & ugly. I think it is in bad taste to criticize someones video, like some people have seem to done to yours, when it was done in very good taste and honesty. Jess you rock and if it was a vote of good comments vs. negative ones, you win in doing the right thing!!!
    It is only fair to protect yourself in what you have obviously worked so hard to acheive!!! And honey it shows in your work!!!

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  34. wow...this has opened up quite the forum JJ

    loved you video, you are adorable
    speaking your truth is a good thing
    we certainly do not have to all agree
    (Steve is wondering if my ring was copied...hehehe)
    you did good with the video..very clear open and honest...and your right, those that take others ideas do not allow their won ideas to flourish...that is in any level of creativity.

    keep your chin up
    love and light

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  35. Rosy-
    I only found out about you and your work when I saw your tweets and facebook posts about this copycat issue. I am a metalsmith also. I am in awe of your work. I have not been inspired by someone else's work in a long long time. What makes me afraid for you is that you have attracted a lot of attention to yourself and your jewelry. Have you considered that you may have created 10 more copycats because of this?

    You mentioned evolution of ones work. You would never know how my work has evolved through my Etsy shop or website. My evolution is in the studio. I do not put everything that I make online. Why? well, luckily my craft biz is mostly shows. And I have seen what online selling has done to artists and their work. Copycats are just the beginning of the problems that craft is facing right now. At least an artist copied you. What if it was a mass producer and you found your work in Urban Outfitters. I have seen it happen.

    I think that you have drawn too much attention to yourself in a bad way. I wish the best for you and your work because it's awesome and you seem like a very sensitive artist. Good luck and respectfully yours....

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  36. Hello all,

    At issue here is the nebulous concept of "original creation," which is tricky to define at best. But it doesn't mean that it doesn't exist, and that Rosy's creations were not ripped off in a very REAL way.

    Certainly, as social animals, we are literally built up, bit by bit, since our earliest tiny-tot-dom, by social components... built of common cultural ideas, images, concepts, etc. And CERTAINLY we continue to utilize these components (and integrate more) as we become adults, and perhaps artists. But this fact is NO EXCUSE to forgo fighting to defend originality, and specifically:

    The LONG HARD HOURS OF LABOUR that this woman has spent INVENTING/COMBINING AND PERCOLATING IDEAS/CREATING ART.

    Because this is real labour, and it has value, and I support her decision to defend it openly and thoughtfully in a public way.

    We live in a capitalist system that is motivated largely by profit, and often USES/MISUSES art to increase profit. And this lies at the heart of the matter.

    Pointing out potential "copyright infringement issues" (the Colt logo issue that was raised) detracts from the soul of the issue. Colt is huge corporation with an arsenal (pun intended) of businessmen, lawyers, legalese. Hardly a mom with a small business trying to defend the art of her creations.

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  37. To Kerry and Heather’s point above regarding drawing too much attention, I must say that I first came across Rosy’s work when she was featured in the Gift Guides, having been hand-selected by Etsy’s admin. I think also, that is when she began gaining more and more attention.

    My point in bringing this up is that you have no way of controlling the attention you get in some instances. Gaining recognition through the success of your shop will undoubtedly draw attention of many new customers as well as other artists. As a growing business you depend on such attention to help catapult you to the next level. And if you’re as talented as Jess is, you’re bound to get noticed.

    Beyond that, people are going to copy you if they want to. Some people play by similar rules, with a common definition of what they consider to be “copying” and others do not. You really won’t have much control over that, but as an artist you CAN make the decision on how you react to it, whether you will stand by and be silent, confront them privately, call them out publicly, whatever. That in itself can gain or dissuade more attention, I agree, but in the end, you have to do what you need to do to make it okay for you to keep on creating. If that means calling people out, then great. If that means just taking it on the chin, then great as well.

    I just don’t think trying to shy away from the spotlight is going to help… Just my thoughts and my own experiences.

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  38. JJ does you head hurt?
    Mine does
    Just was checking in to see where this was all standing today
    Just sending you some love and peace today my friend...
    no advice
    no opinions
    just some
    LOVE and LIGHT
    to you special lady...not because of the jewelry you make...though you know how I feel about it....but because you are you an open honest person trying to do what your heart has led you to do...and that is beautiful!

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  39. JJ,
    I only recently discovered your work and your blog and can say that I am a huge fan of both. Thank you for your honesty and sincerity. This is a subject I can passionate about and dont believe I've ever heard it presented so well.

    I have been paralyzed with an artist block of giant proportions as a result of dealing with other people's bad behavior for years (I'll leave it at that). Your words, your voice have helped me today and I just wanted you to know that.

    Your work is absolutely inspiring to me because I personally have never seen anything like it and I wanted to know more...about the work and its creator. I thank you for the privilege of both.

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  40. Thank you for doing your video blog. Perhaps the subject made for controversy, however, I enjoyed the video and hope you do more of them. I'd like to see the puppy at different stages as he grows. I'm not making light of your video...I'm serious. Best wishes to both sides of the road on this subject. It is a serious subject that has gone on for centuries with no conclusion. It is a subject that I believe the door will never be closed on...it will remain opened. I love your blog. Thanks for doing it.

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  41. Kerry and Heather:

    You know . . . you are so right. I probably am attracting way too much negative attention and may very well be just making an ass of myself. (It runs in my family.) It may be that taking the position that I have and taking it so openly is a huge mistake for my career. I can see where you are coming from and appreciate the concern and honesty.

    That being said . . . I guess I just feel that some things are worth fighting for, and some things I just have to wear on my sleeve. Professional or not, ladylike or not, classy or not . . . I felt it right, for me, to put it out in the world.

    If we don't stand up for ourselves and our work, who will? And if we don't stand early and often in our careers, it seems that more and more people would mistake our lack of action for feelings of acceptance or permission granted.

    I know that's just me. I really appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts and weigh in on this. Thank you also for the kind words regarding my work- your shop and pieces are lovely. You certainly have my respect. :)


    Genie Marie:
    I can't thank you enough. Your comment really got me a bit choked up. If I have helped you feel better, stronger, or more inspired in any way, than it makes the blog post worth it. Hang tough and hold tight, sister. Thank you so much for your words.

    Coco:
    Controversy, yes! Seems to be my specialty these days. Rosy Revolver- baubles and battles. :) In all honesty, thank you so much for your comments. I agree- it is a discussion that will never end and will never cool off. I'm glad you took something from the blog post . . . thank you for hearing me out and weighing in. Your words meant a lot- perhaps I'll get up the guts to do more video blogs, and I think the puppy will be showing face often 'round these parts!! :)

    Everyone else:
    Thanks to you all again, whether we agree or not, for listening.

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  42. J.J. I had fallen in love with your artwork the moment I saw that blue calcite ring. It was expensive compared to other things I had bought and I slept on it so that it wouldn't be an impulse buy, but I couldn't help myself. It has become one of my favorite pieces and I couldn't be happier with it.
    We had talked about my college career some through etsy convos. I mentioned how I wanted to become a medical illustrator. I want to still go for my degree, but your work is so amazing that it has inspired me to become a metalsmith. I just don't know where to start. (Anything you could help me on here would be lovely!)
    I want you to know that you're beyond talented, as I'm sure you've heard so many times before. I really admire your work and I can't wait to over-indulge myself in it once I start making an actual income soon.
    Thanks for everything and best wishes!
    Brittany
    of WhiteRabbitCrafts
    (P.S. I'm not promoting my shop here as there is zip in it, this is just to let you know who I am :] )
    <3

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  43. You have to get a grip on yourself. This is a business....yes it is a business..where lots of people are trying to make the same things. There seldom is anything new on the face of the earth. I've had people try to tell me that I'm copying them because I've used the same type of stone as they are using even when the item is totally different. And I've had many people complain because I'm selling cheaper than them. Jewelry making is a free for all survival of the fittest. There are touchey feely people in the business that can't seem to cope. Maybe they are in the wrong business. You have to buck up and find ways to make your product better and lower priced than the competition. Price is everything nowdays. There are way too few "rich" people for all of us to live off of with skyhigh prices. I could go on and on here but I think you get what I'm trying to say.
    BTW, I looked at some of your rings, which are very nice, but they are very close copies of old Navajo rings that I sold for many years. The point....no matter what you make, somebody somewhere has probably already made something like it.
    One more thing...My take on Etsy is that it is a site that people come to to see designs that they CAN COPY. You have to learn to live with that.

    A person who has seen it all and learned to live with it.

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  44. JJ, I really love your work and all your words...You have convinced me that I have to fight against the copies of my own works...Have a wonderful day! ;-)

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  45. As usual I'm a day late and a dollar short...

    Hi there Phoenix! Hope you don't mind my calling you that.

    I have to say I have so much damned respect for your doing a video and telling the not so pretty part of your story. What is so great about the not so pretty part is how it led to such beautiful stuff from your own soul. That you have walked this walk on both sides really gives your message some heft for me.

    I did not at all think you were having an ego but imploring people to do better so they can be their own best selves.

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  46. miznyc- those words mean more than you know. And Phoenix, I loved it. Thank you for it all.

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