I have been involved and creating and designing primitive dolls, stitcheries, wool projects and now my drawings are used for punch needle and rug hooking,oh....I have had a few painters use my designs to paint on wood also, going at it since 2002.
I've never gotten rich doing this, and partly because I can't get myself to charge upwards of $7 - $11 and more per pattern.I've been scolded for giving away so many freebie drawings, that they could be being sold for profit. But my fun has always been to make some folks happy to have a freebie design to make and possibly sell so they can make a few bucks for themselves.Is that bad business ?
Other things are nagging at me. One , is the copy cat scandals. Thankfully, I haven't had a problem with this getting too serious, but...I have seen plenty of copying of my designs , too many times to keep track of, and I sit back and complain about it, get it off my chest , then drop it. Once again, bad business ?
I don't know how many of you remember me from my old Store and website " Me My Shelf & I Designs" ?....I mostly made one of a kind designs by me and sold alot of dolls, santas, angels, ornies you name it, and even my finished items I sold at about 25% -40%
less than what most other doll makers were selling theirs for. Most of them were'nt award winning creations, but many were unique, quality original and made with much care. I started to come into my own and eventually became popular for my unique style, others would comment that they knew a doll was made by me because my dolls had that certain look. it didn't take long and soon I noticed alot of creations looking so much like my own, it couldnt be mistaken, but these folks did their design into a pattern and voila, i felt like the copycat.
I have designs I've come out with going back to 2003 and can look today and see " new" patterns coming out that look almost exactly like my older designs,....I wont go to the person/persons and confront about it, is that bad business ?
So...my dilemma is this, there are only so many ways a pumpkin or a cat or a crow or a scarecrow or flowers and wording can be drawn and eventually, you've come up with something that resembles another persons design, totally subconciously.Is that copying ??
I would love to be creative once again and come up with some new designs for fall, but I am so afraid that they will come out looking like the other 1,000 jack o' lanterns , cats, fall foliage etc out there and I will feel sick inside as though someone will take me for a copycat.
I've thought about not doing designing anymore, and while I will enjoy creating projects from others patterns, I will always have a pit in my stomach wondering if I could have furthered myself, been recognized and asked to design for a company ( which has been my dream )....With all the wonderful talented ladies out there that are prim famous for their work, I know I don't hold a light to them, but what if ???
I am sooo torn about this and guess I wanted to vent and maybe get some feed back...if you do comment, please, be honest. Dont be afraid of hurting my feelings, but speak honestly.....
Here are some past creations of mine that ended up as free projects in a magazine ( I was accused of copying, yet I made and sold my doll on ebay 4 years earlier....I even had a lady on FB comment that oh, I must have made it using the pattern from the magazine....how can I? it was made 4 years before this particular issue came out....lol
Belsnickle Santa Ornie I designed in 2008 and made a pattern of last year.
This is a one of a kind hallween stocking I made and sold years ago and someone came out with the pattern for one very similar last year.
Here is one of my patterns I just came out with 2 years ago, and I just saw in the newest newsletter PatternMart, another pattern designer has come up with her own that looks so much like this, my husband thought it was my pattern...
I could go on and on.... but do you see my frustration? do I continue to create my own designs and either risk making something someone else can claim as thier ow, I wiuld be so embarassed, and would never do it intentionally, or constantly see my designs being copied and shut sit back as I've done and just hush.....
I just want to have fun and be creative, but I am worrying over this all the time. I want my designs to be unique and fun, but I would die if I were to step on anyone elses toes and create something that is similar to theirs.....