image via Pinegate Road
I always knew this day would come and I feel like it’s a day that all creatives dread. The day when you find a copycat – when you’ve been imitated.
There is a creative process to making inspiration boards and it is different for everyone. That’s why they all come out looking different, only similar in that they are photo collages. Each person, when they look at an image, feels something different. It spawns a creative process whose outcome will vary; the tangents taken will differ – even if everyone has the same starting point and the same source of inspiration.
photographed by Lara Jade
If you’re an inspiration board fan then you’ve probably learned to recognize the different styles of inspiration boards out there. When I first discovered inspiration boards (and that wasn’t that long ago – I remember the moment I fell in love with them. It was February of 2012) I eagerly consumed inspiration boards from those I considered the greats: Chrissy of The Perfect Palette, Kathryn of Snippet and Ink, and Kate from Magnolia Rouge.
I then discovered new styles of inspiration boards from Lauren of Limn and Lovely, Gaby of Southbound Bride, Rose & Ruby Paper Co. for Bridal Musings, and Ami over at Elizabeth Anne Designs. I can recognize, without clicking through, an inspiration board on Pinterest and know exactly who made it.
The way the images are cropped, collaged, sized, spaced, and styled – those are the telltale signs and it’s fabulous that there are so many unique variations of inspiration boards out there.
But I’ve recently found a new site – a new bridal inspiration blog that crops, collages, sizes, spaces, and styles their inspiration boards exactly like mine. It was so uncannily similar that I discovered them when I saw an inspiration board on Facebook that I thought I’d made and clicked through with excitement to see who was raving about it.
I have a very unique size of inspiration board because when I started creating them I was not tech savvy – I didn’t know how to use photoshop or idraw… so I used a keynote (powerpoint) slide. I’ve since learned those programs, but still keep the same dimensions, spacing, photo placement, style etc on all my inspiration boards to give them the continuity that makes them unique to me.
from a 1950 December Issue of Vogue – found here
And the more I looked through this new site, the more creeped-out I felt. The name of her blog, the way she watermarks, the images she uses, the galleries that I used to do… everything feels eerily similar.
Too similar. So similar that I was duped into thinking that one of her inspiration boards was mine. And for someone who lives and breathes them (crazy, yes, but I’m obsessed – what can I say) to be duped like that… that’s something. So I have to ask myself – is this inspiration or imitation?
Inspiration: an example, model, muse, catalyst.
Imitation: copy, reproduction, forgery, counterfeit.
So this is my one bristly personal post for this year. I think that it’s important for bloggers, creatives, industry professionals, (everyone!), to bring these issues up when they occur and to discuss them, decide if they are even issues, amend them, and then brush them off and move forward. And brushing it off and moving forward is exactly what I plan on doing.