Sunday, May 23, 2010

Thank You Kelly Rae!

Taking Flight ©Kelly Rae Roberts

Kelly Rae Roberts published an art book meant to creatively inspire and motivate artists. As a result, she had some issues with artist copying her style in a manner that was "too close for comfort"

Kelly wanted to clarify things, so she wrote a blog post where she talked about what is and is not "OK" in terms of inspiration. I think that if you have a moment it's well worth reading.

"i would encourage you to consider not selling any projects or paintings that were created by following my instructions as outlined in the book or in the articles unless it clearly deviates from my style. it's one thing to be inspired and to use the techniques in your work, but it's another to copy and then to sell/publish. your heart knows the difference. listen to it." –Kelly Rae Roberts

Of course no one can stake personal claim to the collage process, it's been around since Picasso glued a patterned cloth into one of his paintings in 1912 and created Still Life with Chair Caning. Both Picasso and his partner in cubism Georges Braque are credited with making collage a 20th century art form. It's more about copying published marketing photos, verbiage and terminology from an instructional DVD, compositions, and specific technique right down to the types of papers used to create a specific subject matter. Kelly says it best "your heart knows the difference."

Kelly Rae Robert's art inspiration book Taking Flight can be purchased on her website.


  1. so glad you checked out what kelly had to say on this topic, elizabeth AND that you've shared it on your blog!

  2. Elizabeth your art work is so unique and creative, I don't think anyone can copy your style. I love your are so talented. Have a blessed day.

  3. I am a retired graphic artist (20 years) and I don't really agree with Kelly's complaint. She wrote a "how to" book and is making money on the profits of that book. No one is going to exactly duplicate anything - there are always variations. Now if someone wrote another book exactly like hers - she might have a legitimate complaint. You teach classes and have posted your students work. There are similarities - but your style is unique to you. If Kelly didn't want to share her techniques - she should have kept them a secret.

  4. Julie, I thank YOU for the tip! Thank you ELisa for your kind words.

    Lynn, I understand where you are coming from but consider this. You teach a graphic design class about layout and design and how to create ads that sell. You use a sample to show the class Headline fonts that pop, body copy that is readable, background color and how it should compliment the photo. You choose a photo that is horizontal and bleeds and you put your logo and tag line in specific places on the ad. Then you see an ad created by a student that took your class, they are charging their client for the creative and guess what? It's your ad! This student takes your layout, your fonts, your photo treatment, your logo placement and just plugs in his own information and sells it to his client.

    Is that fair?

    Teaching technique is one thing, but really I feel that copying the composition, color, subject matter and design of someone else is just a little over the line.

  5. Elizabeth, I did teach a graphic design class and I encouraged my students to use everything I shared with them. Using popular layouts and the latest fonts is what advertising is all about. And if they made money off what they learned from me, then I did my job.

    I noticed in your blog post about Wanda Edwards that you applauded her efforts to imitate your art and were generous in your compliments. Maybe you and I are not comparing apples to apples. I would not agree to plagerism or taking credit for someone else's art - but we all copy each other and isnt' it fun - because that's how we grow and learn.

    I love your art and admire your extreme talents and I applaud you for sharing and passing along all your tips and techniques.

  6. hi there, I have Kelly's book too and it's a great source of personal arty-infused inspiration, yet my art is so different from hers . . . I will check out that blog post though.



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