A Rambling Man 3

Shrinky-Dinks. Back in the 70s there was a ‘toy’ that was a chemically enhanced sheet of clear plastic the you colored on, baked in the oven, and were rewarded with a smaller, thicker piece of plastic. Cool, right?

I made so so many Star Wars shrinky-dinks. some were freehand, some were tracing over trading cards. I was told by various individuals that this was copying and wrong

High school art changed this, educating me that there is copying for different reasons and photo reference. You need to copy to learn. Find an artist that clicks with you, copy everything they make over and over. This will teach you their technique. This is a new set of tools for you to use in your style.

Copying a work and saying it is yours is theft. This is different. You can also copy small sections of things to add to your work. This must be acknowledged and purposeful.

What is this ramble? I get frustrated when people say all copying is wrong or theft or plagiarism. I get frustrated when artists that copy something with no transformation or or intent as their own. There is a misunderstanding on both sides that causes young artists to wrongfully give copying a stigma. An important tool to learn with is presented as shameful. I would like this to stop.

Encourage kids to copy. Encourage them to think about what they are doing and what the artist may have been thinking. Children doing this are outwardly expressing a need to create. Use it as a teaching moment. This could be the exact support that changes the child’s dna and births an artist.

© 2022, mikegallagherart. All rights reserved.

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