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Imitation is the highest form of flattery, right? Depends on who you ask. In the creative community it's a hot button issue. Many people feel strongly that it's unethical/in poor taste/tacky to copy the creative work of another. Others feel equally strongly that it's possible for people to have similar ideas and inspirations and independently arrive at very similar results. And others feel that their own ability to duplicate a design is sufficient justification.

See! Picture! Ooh!! Aaah!

While I personally fall into the camp of, "Don't try to profit off of someone else's creativity without their consent," I spoke to a successful jewelry artist who had a perspective worth sharing.

Did you even read the text or are you just ogling the beads? Design by Jess Prill

Her take: build your brand. Anyone with the right tools and and resources can, in fact, copy quite a bit, maybe even pretty exactly. What can't be imitated or duplicated is what your brand brings to the table. Maybe it's in your packaging, your customer service, your excellent website, or the way you've positioned your brand. Maybe it's in you, the designer, being an awesome and engaging person.

Absolutely nobody is going to be a better you than you. If someone seems to be infringing on your turf, it's an opportunity to push your creative boundaries, to hone your focus on what makes your work uniquely yours, or to add value to your work through a stronger brand identity.
Erin, Dakota Stones

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