Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Giving credit where credit is due

EDIT 4/5/11: I wrote this post before I made my decision to make this pattern available for free online. Now that I read it again, I cringe a little inside. I'm leaving it up because I feel its important to be honest with what I was feeling at the moment.

I’m having a bit of a weird morning.

Last night, when I was working on my portfolio, I came across a few people who had made their own versions of my Han Solo cross stitch.

They’d re-created it, stitch by stitch. I didn’t see it for sale anywhere, but it still made me feel really strange to see it out there…especially without my name on it. I emailed the one I had contact info for, asking her to please credit me with pattern design. I tried to explain that it was a labor of love, and that I had received no payment. That I was fine with her stitching it up.

Now I’m starting to wonder if I did the right thing. I was polite, friendly even. But I’m wondering if I’m not blowing a tiny thing out of proportion. I’ll admit, there’s a part of me that feels weird seeing other people stitch up my work. I didn’t share a pattern, mostly because I couldn’t find a software program that worked on my Mac, and now I’m too poor to buy one for my new PC. So, in my mind, it was more “art” than “craft,” a one-of-a-kind creation. Now I see that other people have gone and re-interpreted my work, as crafty folks are wont to do. I’m both flattered and…and well, jealous.

I don’t know if I have the right to feel that way. The crafty community is all about sharing. I myself have enjoyed stitching up free patterns that have been made available. But, the difference is, the designers made those patterns available. I wouldn’t dream of re-interpreting someone else’s design. But that’s just me. I’m also really careful to always attribute the patterns I stitch up, even if I’ve paid for them. I don’t know.

Is this something I’m just going to have to let go of? The spouse reminded me that “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” I guess I should feel honored that they chose to stitch up one my designs. If nothing else, this is lighting a fire under my butt to get that pattern out there for free.

I’d love to hear what other folks out there think of this, if they’ve ever dealt with something like this. Is this something I’m going to have to learn to live with, or am I right in asking people to credit me for the pattern until it’s available?

[Note: The image was one I found on benisawesome.net. If I knew who had stitched it, I would have credited the photo.]


Drake Sigar said...

There are no solid guidelines for how to feel over thing kind of thing. In my opinion it should probably be taken as a sign of flattery, unless of course they try to sell it.

The fearless threader said...

I'm with Drake, be flattered. But yes you should be credited somewhere along the line. In my work even when the influence and interpretation aren't obvious to the viewer at the end of the process, I always ensure credit is there in my notebooks and sketchbooks, and in any descriptions or statements. It's only courteous.

Sherezada said...

Thanks for the support and suggestions, you two.

I ended up sending her another email telling her she didn't *have* to credit, mostly because I didn't want to come off as bitchy. But, I do hope she does.

At this point, just moving on with my day. I have other projects to work on. :)

Dana said...

I guess it's not necessary to credit, but I always do when I adapt things, usually recipes from blogs and cookbooks and other sources. I mean, even if my version is different, it's still got the basic components, so it only seems right to give credit to the person who thought up the original. Agreed with the others, though - it's definitely flattering! And it does seem there's desire out there for a pattern.

benisawesome.net said...

I will link the image I posted to this post in an effort to give you some credit.

- Ben.

Sherezada said...

Thanks, Ben. I appreciate it.