Friday, November 15, 2013

Steal Like an Artist, A Strange Sort of Review

In the past few months, one of my blog readers, Littleviews, has repeatedly (here) suggested (and here) that I read the book Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon. I ordered it and it arrived just as I was running away last week.



The little black cover appealed to me immensely, and I discovered it to be the perfect book! Few words, lots of graphics, meaty substance... yes, I can read this. I found myself nodding emphatically and just now, I read through it again, with a pink pen in my hand. I underlined and drew stars and nodded some more.

One of the... events... that happened this spring that I have alluded to, but did not feel I could openly write about on this blog... well, that event or incident has been weighing on my mind lately. Maybe because I am hiding and thinking a lot this week. Maybe because I am trying to clean out some of those crappy thoughts that just make me stamp my feet, yell "it's not fair!" and eat chocolate. And maybe because I am trying to be braver and more fearless and face some of this head on. Be gone evil one!

After reading Steal Like an Artist, this incident kept poking at my thoughts. Also, the incident that happened with artist Lisa Congdon's Nordic animals being ripped off... she is one of Lilla Rogers' artists, so that came up in the class I was taking with her. When Lilla was asked how artists can stand up for themselves after this happens, she said we should use social media - and that worked really well for Lisa!

What was my "incident"?
I buy a gajillion books on all kinds of subjects and I don't care if it has "doodling" in the title, I still want it. So I was really excited to sit down and read "Zen Doodling" by Carolyn Scrace.



This book is really nice with lots of gorgeous art and I was happily flipping through it when I suddenly felt like someone had punched me in the gut! Stuff started looking... familiar.

Just so you don't think I am paranoid, here are a few of the things I noticed almost right away...








If you are interested, you can see a pdf of all the comparisons HERE. I made the pdf to show to my publisher and lawyer. If you enjoy getting indignant, ;-), or you think I may be a looney, feel free to take a look.

I know that it is to be expected that there is going to be some overlap with all the Zentangle books coming out all of a sudden. But many of the topics that I cover in my books... like... mind-mapping, drawing houses in a fan shape, tangled snowflakes, printmaking with foam plates, tangling on rocks, using Klimt as inspiration for drawing womens' faces (seriously!!!?)... these are NOT common to Zentangle or even Zendoodling. Or Doodling.

Whether or not you agree that there are striking similarities between the works, the incident has been "stuck in my craw!" for many months. And, no, there isn't a durn thing that can be done about it. BUT, if you still want to order the book, and as I said, it's a nice book, and cheap too, please click through the link above because that way, I will earn a few cents on the Amazon affiliate commission. (Yeah, just a little bit of sarcastic cynicism there, but at least it is sincere!)

In Steal Like an Artist, Austin Kleon says, "there's only stuff worth stealing, and stuff that's not worth stealing." So... I'm flattered to be in the first category. In his Ted Talk, Austin talks about the creative lineage of ideas and how ideas can be traced back and back with artists being influenced by one another. But each one incorporates all their different passions and influences and "thefts" to create an authentic retelling. For example, I can tell you how I came up with the idea of putting houses in a circle, based on a failed drawing of fan blades and the influence of my home in Guam. In order to properly "steal" from me, Carolyn should have incorporated her own influences and built on my idea so her work was authentically hers. It feels to me like she was using my books almost like a checklist of what she had to put in her book... but without the reasons, inspirations or history.

Austin Kleon says, "Don't just steal the style, steal the thinking behind the style." In the example of the houses in a circle (my "Flores de Casa") - good god, Carolyn did a beautiful job of drawing houses!! But she misses the point. First of all, that is totally NOT a "doodle" - that's "art"!! And just by putting it there, doesn't mean her reader will be able to draw it. It's kind of... showing off. The thinking behind the style in my books is to empower the reader to try stuff and then create their own work. I give enough steps to show how to get started and a finished piece that doesn't intimidate. And in many cases the reader will say, "cool idea, but I can do it better." YES! That is what I want.

Alright, that's enough. My temper has calmed quite a bit over the past few months and I have spent a lot of time thinking about this and trying to process it using things I have learned in recent classes, including the relationship class! That was actually the most helpful... I looked out at the ocean and thought "what do I want to happen?" No. I don't want to go to court. I don't need the book pulled. I don't need a huge apology check (although I wouldn't turn it away!) And I've learned enough about the publishing world to know that some of this may not have been her own fault... but still, she has a ton of books published, she should know better. But if all those reasons aren't what's bugging me, then what?! Relationship class analysis: I wanted MY publisher to stick up for me. I wanted to know that my work and me, as an artist/author, had value to my publisher. That I was worth defending as a person if not a commercial item. And why...? Because... Carolyn Scrace hurt my feelings. She automatically gave Klimt credit (because I did), and acknowledged him as the influence for that section of the book... but she didn't think I had enough value to deserve credit for the parts of her book that I influenced.

It all boils down to the fact that I AM an idea person. The greatest compliment in the world and my ultimate purpose in life is to know that I had a positive impact on someone.

The greatest insult is to influence someone so profoundly that they incorporate your ideas into a mass market book - but they are too embarrassed to acknowledge that influence.

 And the ultimate humiliation, for me, will be the person who reads her book first, then mine... and assumes that I STOLE from her.

So - that's it. That's all of it. I put it all out there for you and I'm not going to hold any of it in my head anymore. Except for that last bit about being judged unfairly... I can honestly say that I no longer care about that book.

What I DO care about is that I am in a stuck place with my feelings about Zentangle in general and this book about it that I have been working on and restarting for FOUR YEARS! Once again, Steal Like an Artist gave me some interesting insight on it.

"Write the kind of story you like best - write the story you want to read."

Ah-ha! Of course... that's why I enjoyed writing the other books!

"The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life." - Jessica Hische

So... ballpoint pen doodles?

No, seriously. I've spent a few days sitting in a hotel room with a view of the ocean, sorting through a decade's worth of idea notebooks and piles of papers and scraps... I made lists and sketches and discovered a shocking theme...

I love books!

Who knew, right? I sent an email to Bonnie (my Main Minion) listing all the book ideas I had found on those scraps. There were way more than ten. Everything from murals, to art journals, to kids' books... and that's just from the scraps I brought WITH me. I have twice as much that I left in piles at home in my studio. There were great ideas for actual projects and things to build, but overall, I seem to think in books. I'm still startled by that. When I procrastinate... I come up with book ideas... and think up ideas of paintings and projects that I would like to... put into a book.

I will have to read Steal Like an Artist a third time because the rest of the book gives more practical tips on how to take action on these thoughts. I was relieved to see that I already DO some of the things, I just didn't know WHY.

And since I have "stolen" so many ideas from Austin Kleon for this blog post and I want to thank him for saving me the therapy time and expense... I'd like to pay him back by encouraging every one of you to get his book!!! (He has a new one coming out in March 2014 too.) It's inexpensive and will make a great gift for any artists and non-artists you know - and will fit in a stocking. I also encourage you to buy my books ;-) and to remember to show your support of all authors and artists by not only buying their books, but also by taking the time to leave positive reviews on online shopping sites. It can be very tempting to be snarky, and can even feel good for a minute, but ultimately it does more damage. So instead of leaving mean comments on the products/books you dislike, try only leaving good comments on things you love.

One last quote from the book:
"The best way to vanquish your enemies on the internet? Ignore them.
The best way to make friends on the Internet? Say nice things about them."

63 comments:

  1. What a breakthrough. Congratulations. It's going to be a fun and busy winter.

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    1. Are you up for some butt-kicking? :-)

      [Bonnie is my Main Minion, Studio Manager, and Chief Butt-Kicker. She is very good.]

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    2. Your Books ROCK !!! I think I have all, but one of them, and can't wait for another one to come out!! Love your style!! I guess someone steals your ideas when they CAN'T make the grade on their own!! You hang in there girl, and keep on doodling!!!

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  2. Can I just say that probably the only reason she gave credit to Klimt because he's been dead for nearly a century and can't come after her for plagiarism. That said... you are the best and if you're going to steal...I guess you would want to steal from the best! So...to all your readers out there...buy Sandy's books because people love her books so much they want to copy them!

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    1. It actually sound "good" when you put it like that! ;-)

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  3. I love your book and use it all the time. So much so, that I'm thinking it is my all time favorite zen doodle book. BTW the illustrations you show in this blog from the other author don't come close to the quality of illustrations in your book.

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    1. Thank you Nadine! You are aware that I have.. a few more books too? hee hee

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  4. I went and looked at all the comparisons, and I was shocked. You certainly didn't imagine the similarities. I'm sorry this happened to you and that it has been bothering you for so long. *HUGS*

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    1. Thanks for looking. I'm guessing from your comments that you are in the indignant camp rather than the Sandy-is-looney camp? :-)

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  5. Good for you Sandy!! YOU are an inspiration!

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  6. I am a teacher so understand too well the" grey" area of copyright... photocopies straight from a textbook etc. A true artist will always acknowledge where they get their ideas from and even more so, when they use an actual graphic or drawing. As hard as it might be, consider yourself flattered that she used so many of your ideas! You are an amazing artist and extremely creative person and I for one love your work!

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  7. It's a dis-SCRASE!! I love your books and often pick one of them up for inspiration.

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  8. I completely agree about Kleon's books. He's a creative genius, with an interesting background. His Newspaper Blackouts are brilliant. Here is the thing about copying. By the time someone has copied your work, it's old news and you have moved light years ahead. Focusing on the next big project is "where it's at".

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    1. True! I have to stop letting these kinds of things interrupt my output.

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  9. I really like-like the fact that you could put words paper so eloquently the mess that would probably have me lose my cork. I looked at her drawings compared to yours and agree with the other commentators that your work is so more focused on teaching us basics and art and the beauty of tangling. Thank you for that. I hope your publisher does stand up for you but if not know that we the little people will. You're no 1 in my book and I get my inspiration from your teaching. :) hugs,

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    1. Thanks. I write the books for the little people, not for the publisher. :-) Oh, and that lost cork? I have a drawer full...

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  10. Sandy - I read your blog this morning just after I had a sudden and important realization - and you really helped me. I sit and read my inbox while I am administering my myriad morning meds (passes the time) and my tiles from yesterday were spread around me. There are some tangle artists I admire SO much, you being one of them, and I have yearned to be like them. However, as I've read more and more of their bios, I realize that they are what I call "professional" artists - their talent is such that they went to art school and made their living from their art. Me, well, stick figures have been, to this point, the high point of my artistic endeavors! So....I have been trying to emulate, ready "copy", the styles of my heroes - and failing miserably.
    When I looked at my tiles this morning - ZAP - I have a style of my own that I have developed as I've tangled more and more - it's not like yours, or Shelly Beauch's, or Enthusiastic Artists, but it's MINE! And suddenly I was very proud!
    I realized at that moment, and your blog immediately reinforced it, that I can learn from my heroes, but I cannot BE my heroes - the only person I can be is ME, and I have to learn, admire, adapt and enhance MY skills - not try to be who and what I am not.
    Sandy, thank you for this blog entry - it came at just the right moment, and filled me with a sense of calm and well-being, and strengthened my tiny grip on my own sense of pride in my work.
    Thank you!!! And keep writing those books - I'll keep buying!
    Jakki

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    1. Amen! That's the whole point right there.
      We ALL compare ourselves to others and fall short. I have my heroes too and I know that I will never do work like they do. The Lilla Rogers class was a good lesson in that too. 500 other amazing students, many were professional illustrators, designers... and a handful were already repped by Lilla's studio. That seemed SO unfair!! But... as Austin Kleon says in his book, "If you ever find that you are the most talented person in the room, you need to find another room."
      How perfect is that?! We need to learn from each other AND challenge each other.
      GO GIRL!

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  11. Hey Sandy - I so appreciate your take on all this. So many CZT's have their own blog and teach and write books, I thought to be a "good" CZT I'd have to do likewise. I can't do all those things, because I am not an "idea" person like you or any of the others. What I am really good at is teaching. I am a nurturer and I love to help people discover that they can feel calm and creative and accomplished when they tangle. Thanks for this blog entry and thanks for all your ideas. Big Hugs

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    1. That works. I'll give you ideas and you can teach them. hee hee. :-) It does really help to know what you are good at. It's incredible that it takes some of us so long to figure it out.

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  12. I'm ecstatic that you found the book helpful. IMHO, it is the most brilliant "how to" book ever written. I've frequently wondered how Austin Kleon became so insightful and, even without an answer to that, am so glad that he did.

    I am also going through some turning points (every 3 years I ask myself what I'm going to do when I grow up), so I swiped some ideas from you (and you can make references in Austin's book as to how my stealing might have taken place).

    Shortening the story, I became riveted on your involvement in Jessica Wesolek's art journaling classes (wisdomwoman.com), and signed up for 2014 even after finding out that you were not going to be teaching (a no-brainer. Jessica's attitude and art is exceptionally appealing!).

    Then miscellaneous things conspired to almost stop me in my everyday tracks of life (most recently, a severe knee injury) which seemed to block my brain even though it wasn't injured. I continued my quest (bought a Kindle paper white), started reading a lot (one thing leads to another), and because of that, decided to take Jessica's online journaling class next month, but was undecided about what it was I wanted to discover through journaling as I didn't know what I wanted to do (and couldn't move very fast to do it, even if I knew . . .)

    So, this morning, I read your blog (yeah!), then limped into the livingroom, picked up the NYTime's Book Magazine and almost immediately, saw a sentence introducing someone's "Prayer Journal." Bingo! Inspiration! Between now and next September when I arrive in Santa Fe to take Jessica's class, I'm going to create a prayer journal. The pages are yet to be filled in . . .

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    1. What a great idea! And now you also have a great "story" to go with it. :-)

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  13. Sandy, I love your art and your books and I intend to keep buying them. Once I found and learned to value the Zentangle method I was hooked. There is nothing like the Zentangle method! Only knock-off wanna-be's who miss the point completely. No amount of doodling can replace what Rick and Maria, and other CZTs have taught us. Thank you for teaching me with your art, your books and your blog. NancyD

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  14. Sandy, I'm so glad you share your feelings and thoughts. Your energy and enthusiasm come through all of your books and products, I have bought, if not all, most of them! I will purchase Steal Like an Artist. I'm so glad to see how assertive you are, and turn it around to a positive! Good luck with your next book!!!

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    1. Thank you!
      I definitely have enthusiasm... not so sure about the energy. Mostly I'm an overtired mom. hee hee. :-)

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  15. So sorry this has happened to you Sandy. It seems to be happening more and more, as things are shared on the Internet. Somehow people don't think they need to acknowledge who they have stolen from. I know an artist who had a knock off of her art made into garden flags selling at Wal-Mart. Her exact same watercolor used by a Chinese company. The only thing they replaced was her calligraphy in the original artwork! I have not heard what her lawyer was albe to do but these things are becoming more and more prevalent, with or without watermarks on anything you post online much less in a book. Good for you to rise above it. The sincerest form of flattery is to be copied.

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    1. I don't want to be copied. I want to INSPIRE! (She said as she soared thru the sky, cape fluttering out behind her...)

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  16. Sandy - My apologies. At first I did not see why you were so upset over the other book. After seeing your examples, I understand. When you create something it's your brain child, and belongs to you, not out there for anyone to "lift" and claim ownership. I hope you can reach a satisfactory resolution, so you can be enough at peace to ... write that next book you've been pondering on! Just think of all the people who will buy it, love it, and benefit from it. What someone else has done does not diminish you, but does diminish them. Peace.

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    1. Thank you. I think that this post is the "resolution". There really isn't anything I can do legally. I just needed to voice my feelings. But as you say, time to get my act together and do something new!

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  17. I love books too, and when I looked at the "Zen Doodling" book you are talking about, I thought I have most of that information already with Sandy's book. And it is so much better and more professional looking there! So I put the other book down without another thought. It would never dawn on me to look at it from an author's point-of-view that it was "stolen", just already covered somewhere else, and better. I can understand how you are full of righteous indignation, because it is not your imagination by a long shot. Big hugs to you to help a little, I hope!

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    1. Thank you. Hugs, even digital ones always help. :-)

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  18. This blog shows that your thoughts and words percolated for a very long time. And, just as your revelation in the end points out, you told your "story". If you had written about your discoveries of being plagiarized any earlier, it wouldn't have had the style or impact that it does today. I've said it before, everything happens for a reason ... the good stuff and the bad. The bad stuff, copying in this instance, you have turned into a teachable moment to the rest of us. You have shown grace and humility as you guide us all to make good choices and create our best work. I hope you have included this teachable moment as a book you will be creating in the future ... perhaps geared to a teen audience to catch them before they fall through the copy-cat cracks into the world of deceptive practices. For you to be so kind in suggesting to only comment on the good work others do ... that is the ultimate payback to those who strive for less in their choices. You are a force people return to again and again. Your art, your insight and your humor percolate for the right jolt of energy at the right time. Thanks for sharing this painful and long-hidden episode ... or is it really a fable with a deep and meaning moral? Don't stop inspiring us all!

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    1. >blush< there's a lot to think about in your comment too!
      Some days it feels like my entire life is just a series of "teachable moments"! ;-)

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    2. It's time to exploit those teachable moments in a positive way ... and to find a publisher with a backbone who will protect your intellectual property ... your work is your baby ... your publisher is supposed to protect that baby from being taken/altered/harmed/abused through plastic surgery or costume changes or claiming parental ownership without proof of a birth certificate. This is intellectual trafficking! You've had and still have every right to be angry ... but you are putting that anger into positive energy ... you will go forward ... you will continue to create ... and you will continue to have an ever-growing audience because of your honesty, integrity and your intellectual and artistic creativity. Keep at it ... I'm going out to get Steel Like An Artist this week! Thank you for sharing this heart-moving moment ... it has stayed on my mind since I first read it.

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  19. I agree with all the other folks that have passed comments on here and would just add If Karma is working as well as I know she works
    "What goes around comes around and will kick the right person in the butt at just the right moment" nuff said. LUVVVV your books :D

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    1. As long as I'm not in the line of fire when Karma comes kickin'! :-)

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  20. Sandy, you have turned a heartbreaking moment into such an eloquent and positive situation and blog post. You are such an inspiration, and a true example. I am so sorry that this happened to you. It is blatantly stealing your ideas and art -- I can see that loud and clear. And though I haven't caught on to the Zentangle thing... I guess I'm not that coordinated. I can do the tangles, but turn them into a picture with a bunch of tangles? um no. Not yet...I see your books all the time and have them on my wishlist along with your cards. I have always wanted to read "Steal Like an Artist", also. You handled this situation with a whole lot of class, which speaks to your compassionate nature. And I am so glad that you have found new projects that excite you so much!! You are going to ROCK those books! And if a certain zombie pizza slice shows up in one...well...I wouldn't complain. ;)

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    1. Ooooh a challenge! Seriously, I, or any of the other CZTs would love to show you how to tangle. You'd change your mind quickly about your abilities! And yes, the zombie pizza slice was way ahead of his time. 20 years ago I had no idea that zombies would be trending now. But this little guy will definitely be a tattoo soon!

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    2. He would be an amazing tattoo!! OH! I hope you share a pic on your blog when you get him!! :) I would love to learn how to tangle. Maybe Santa will get me one of your books! :D

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  21. Sandy, this post is a gift. Thanks so much for sharing your experience, and what you've gained from what started out as so negative. Can't WAIT to see your new books! Creativity is the best revenge!

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    1. I like that... "creativity is the best revenge." :-)

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  22. Dear Sandy, My father, a lifelong professional photographer, fought and won a copyright infringement case regarding illegal reproduction and use of his work. It went on for around five years, but because it was a civil suit the lawyer spent most of the time filing all the papers and going to the hearings. You have to make a personal decision about whether or not this is worth it for you, and you have to show a lot of proof that your intellectual property was indeed yours first. A tiresome process. As artists we are always told it is okay to "steal" while learning to learn the technique; what makes us truly artists is creating our own style and developing our own techniques. It is unfortunate that the other author's publisher didn't do enough research to see that the book had already been done. There's plenty of opportunity for new tangle instruction and another angle would just as likely sold books...flooding the market with more of the same turns an art form into a fad.
    Your books are the ones I chose to put into my library first as I began to learn tangling and I look forward to your next INNOVATIVE book!

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    1. Thank you for sharing your story too.
      This isn't the first time that my work has been "appropriated" for use. Unfortunately. But as you say, there are costs to pursuing it and I don't intend to take it any further than this post. The shared indignation of my readers is enough. ;-) Onward...

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    2. That's a great positive attitude. Judging from the reviews on Amazon, I think the author...and subsequently the publisher...and probably getting the message loud and clear. Karma's a bitch.

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  23. It's a shame that your work and intellectual property was stolen. It happened to me several years ago when a Canadian ad agency created work that had people emailing me to see if I had done it. When you first realize that you've been victimized, it's like getting punched in the stomach. That is why I was so quick to join the public flogging of Cody Foster initiated by Lisa Congdon. When it was suggested that she herself was guilty of the same thing, I felt betrayed because she suddenly belittled all of the true artists, like yourself, with legitimate cases. Congdon's shameless copying of other people's photographs and paintings (2 that I know of) will forever cast doubt on the theft claims of artists who are ripped off in the future. There will always be the questions, "Since Lisa Congdon wasn't honest, how can I trust that this artist is telling the truth? This ultimately leads me to believe that Lilla Rogers knew what Congdon was doing and simply ignored it.

    I wish you luck with your efforts to make things right. You have integrity on your side.

    http://faso.com/theartedge/66723/lisa-congdon-vs-cody-foster-what-about-the-photographers

    examiner.com/article/lisa-congdon-artist-who-accused-cody-foster-herself-accused-of-copying

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    1. Yes, stomach punch, definitely.

      I hadn't heard about the photograph debacle! Agh.
      It makes one think really hard - I guess, for me, it comes down to intent and giving credit. I have sumbled across websites where teachers are using my "Yoga for Your Brain" to describe a Zentangle class they are teaching AND my artwork of me sitting cross-legged. That disturbs me and I ask them to remove it. But it happens a lot. On the other hand, I have seen the woman's face from Totally Tangled used by other artists, most recently an amazing quilter. In all cases, she has been redrawn or sewn in their medium, but it is similar enough to make me stop and look twice. BUT each artist has somehow acknowledged the influence even if vaguely as in "I was inspired by a book cover I saw recently..." And oddly enough, that works for me.

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    2. It's none of my business, but I've been in corporate communications for most of my career so I've learned a lot about using words and imaged (and then there was my father's copyright case). A possible solution: since your books seem to have become a go-to resource (which is a GOOD thing!), in the next printing, why not have your publisher put a disclaimer in it saying something like the content within MAY be used for such and such teaching purposes, inspiration,etc., but must include a credit line (and give a sample credit line) OR ELSE be subject to copyright infringement etc. You could even write a new forward about the sharing and crediting of people's work. That way, YOU are the lady (as my mother would say), you are opening your bounty to be shared within the art community, but with a strong caveat: play by the rules! It should go without saying, but apparently, you will have to say it.

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  24. I was gobsmacked when I looked through the PDF. I sincerely hope you get some action from your publisher - or from hers. Karma works!

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    1. Gobsmacked? Love it! ;-)
      But, no, no action. As I said, this post is it.

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  25. You may be an IDEA person that some people choose to steal from, but Ms. Congdon may be one of those perpetrators...

    http://thomasallenonline.com/2013/11/13/copycat/

    I'm an art supporter and was a supporter of Ms. Congdon's until I discovered this possible hypocrisy. I'm trying to let other supporters of hers, as well as those people concerned about art theft, know about this as well.

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  26. There is definitely a difference between being inspired and plagiarism. I'm sorry to see the latter. Blessings, my friend!

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  27. A bit late to comment, but wanted to see "the other book" first (I bought a cheap copy just to see it and now it will be donated as it is useless compared to your books). I don't know whether the author did it or the publisher was behind it...it obviously was cobbled together quickly from many different sources just to jump on the Zentangle bandwagon. The only thing it had going for it was lots of color. But your book is so far above and beyond "the other book." You have vision and talent and you were actually headed somewhere with your book and there was thought behind your ideas. I buy everything with you in it because of the quality of your work. So don't fret and don't waste more energy on greedy, talentless people. On another note, I am surprised that the Design Original books are including the patterns (including Zentangle patterns) under copyright. For instance, can you copyright the quilt wedding ring pattern? It has been around for ages. I notice patterns turning up that have definite sources...fabric, architecture, rugs, etc. All of these things have been created by other people (artists) (example: railings, building windows, pencils, flower designs, leaf designs, grass...it goes on and on). It seems that patterns should be too general to copyright (for instance Zentangle.com wisely allows people to make things and sell them on a small scale and even teach small numbers of people. There are a lot of angry people on You Tube and Pinterest talking about this and I think it's too bad because it brings the joy of the Zentangle experience down a notch. What should be copyrighted is the actual artwork, your words, the intellectual stuff, step-outs, etc. Sorry to go on a bit..just food for thought. Back to "the other book"---you ARE a victim of plagiarism...shame on them. I thought Barron was above that.

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    1. Thank you!
      As for copyright, you are correct. In general, tangles - patterns cannot be copyrighted. There are exceptions of course if the tangle is more illustrative in nature... such as a Lilah Bean. This is a very gray area and surface pattern designers deal with it all the time.

      The copyright information in the Design Originals books is meant to protect the book as a whole and the individual pages, etc. When the word "pattern" is used in the copyright, they are referring to the craft template type of pattern since most of their books include projects (ie: a sewing or quilt pattern). Pattern does not mean "tangle" in this sense. It is confusing and that is why I have been adding the "Author's Note" in my books explaining how they may be used. I wish I could add to them that teachers should feel free to teach from the books as long as they give credit. :-)

      Thank you for your support and encouragement too - it means a lot.

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  28. Sandy, I admire you for getting this out of your system and not giving away any more of your precious energy to this matter. There's no question it's plagiarism, but as you say, it's done and over. I do think the idea of a statement of appropriate use in the front of your books would be a really good idea, and it would almost hold your publisher to defending it.

    Your books were the first Zentangle books I bought, and I have them all, and have given them as gifts. You are truly a creative inspiration, and your style of both writing and drawing is so fascinating that I can never resist trying what you suggest.

    I vote (as if I get a vote *winks*) for an Art Journaling book next, please :)

    Hang in there Sandy. Wait. Don't just hang in there, CHARGE!

    You can see we're all behind you.

    Peace... Elizabeth Beveridge

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  29. Thank you Elizabeth!
    :-)
    An art journaling book.... hmmm.... interesting....!

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  30. Go back and check your contract. I work for a publisher, and our contracts with authors legally obligate us to enforce copyrights/IP rights on behalf of our authors. If you don't have that kind of clause now, you can negotiate for it going forward. You have a great talent and reputation that sells books; use that leverage to get terms that respect your worth as an artist and author.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. There are A LOT of things I would like in my future contracts. :-)

      Delete

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