I haven't blogged in ages because I have a lot on my mind that doesn't seem relevant to blog about (spiralling cost of living anyone? Cost of petrol? Will I be able to pay my bills and rent this month? You know, that sort of stuff, which frankly can blot out every other thought... at least I am in the UK and not Greece right now, I don't know how they cope at all!)... but I thought it might take a minute to talk about the craft scene here in the virtual world.
I love making things, I really enjoy it. I spend most days working as a designer and illustrator so this might seem like a busman's holiday but the stuff I make as Freaky Little Things is only to please me. There is no client to please, no brief to meet. I try to be as creative as possible and get my ideas from TV, films, magazine, a stroll in the country and afternoon at the beach... it all kind of melds together in my head and comes out in my work as something fresh, I hope ;o) If there is any one thing that they "teach" you at art college it's that you need to take the whole world in and bring forth something new or at least something with a new twist. Every creative person I have ever met is the same.
The internet has done a curious thing though, while the world is at our fingertips to provide inspiration there is also this dangerous accessibility for those who have never had an inspired or original thought in their head. Those people who insist on calling themselves artists and yet when they wake up in the morning and think "I will create something today" they then go and switch on the laptop and look at someone else's work and think "I will create that". Errrrrr, it has already been "created" by the person who's work you are browsing, the act of creation has already happened, what you are doing is called COPYING!
It drives me nuts, as you might have gathered. If you are making outfits for BJDs and want inspiration, instead of looking up the work of Val Zeitler or Connie Lowe on the internet, maybe go look at a fashion magazine or at an old book, go to a gallery, hell, go anywhere because inspiration can strike in the unlikeliest of places... if you let it! Sit browsing the internet and looking up the work of those who already make art dolls, say Colleen Downs of Loopy Boopy for instance, you will end up making dolls that look just like Loopy Boopy's!
I said the internet has done a dangerous thing and I meant it. Eventually there will be no point in being creative or interesting because you know your work will immediately be stolen as soon as you post a pic on the web. There will be no point opening a shop on etsy if the next week two dozen more shops selling exactly what you make pop up. There will be ever less creative artists out there and the copycats will have less and less to base their work on until the whole thing grinds to a halt.
If you think I am exaggerating type the word "Art Doll" into etsy under "handmade". If you had done that only 3 years ago you would have found a small band of doll makers who all had quite distinctive looks to their work, it was easy to tell their dolls apart. Do that search today and you will find hundreds of them, but where is the variety? So many people making dolls - but where is the art?