One of my favorite grad students, once told me that 'you aren’t someone (as a respected maker) until someone copies you,' and that 'copying is the sincerest form of flattery.' I feel it's my duty as a designer/maker/craftsman to try and maintain originality.
I’m tired of this 'you can’t reinvent the wheel' theory. Why not? Are you telling me in 100 years work will be just like now? Because I believe it won’t be. In 20 years we will have technology at our disposal that we don’t have now, because the sciences don’t believe in stopping. They continue to push and develop this ‘wheel’, and we as artists continue to find ways to appropriate it.
Plus, what is the point of making your version of someone else’s idea?
My question is what do you do as a maker when another copies your ‘originality’? What do you do if you find that someone is mimicking your work? What is the difference between mimicking and directly copying?
What is the appropriate way to handle that situation? Do you send the mimicker a little note acknowledging the direct reference? Do you say nothing? Do you take this as flattery, accepting that not everyone is creative and some people need to steal from others to have any ideas at all?
As makers, how do we handle that?