Friday, February 15, 2008

Oh, hello there!

Yes, folks, this is the ever-present "welcome to my blog" post...You know the one...Where you've just set up a shiny new blog and just HAVE to put something on it...

...Wait for it...


Okay, now that that's out of the way...Right to it. Here's the latest girlie I'm working on:

I'd originally just started her to work on an idea I had for some articulated legs, but then I found out about this arts & crafts contest and I'm thinking about entering her in that (she isn't finished yet). However, I'm concerned that she's too much of a copy of Elisabeth Doherty's designs, since I used a lot of her methods from her book in creating this girlie. I've been (in a roundabout way) looking for some advice on this issue by posting a topic for discussion in the Amigurumi group on Flickr, but I haven't really had much response.

If I'm honest, I'm leaning toward not entering her, because I feel guilty, but actually, not that much of the design is a copy; the shape and proportions are after Elisabeth D's, and I've used her techniques, like bobble toes/fingers, articulated arms, eye patches...But I've also used a lot of my own techniques: articulated legs, belly button, hair, shoes (which aren't in the picture) and shorts that cover the articulated legs. And obviously, the outfit and hair are my own designs...I don't know if that counts as original or not. I guess my dilemma stems from the fact that up until Elisabeth D published her books, she was pretty much the only one out there doing these dolls, and now everyone can do them just by buying her book. But does that make the style prevalent enough for an design to be called original just because it's a variation on a theme? I can illustrate the conundrum this way: no one would ever consider someone a copycat for making a square cushion. That's because the generic square cushion design is so prevalent that just making that square look different, by adding different embellishments, say, is enough.

The flip side of the argument is that I did, in fact, design this girlie. I drew her, measured her up, sorted out all her accessories, and, finally, I MADE her. With my own hands. Should it matter that my doll's feet are exactly the same as Elisabeth D's? Even though I don't use the pattern anymore because that's just how I make feet now? Or should I arbitrarily change the shape of feet I use simply so that they're different from hers? And here's the kicker: Say you believe I'm a copycat because I make feet the same as in the pattern. Then I change the foot pattern I use so that I'm no longer exactly the same. Isn't that just as bad, really, because I've only arbitrarily changed a bit of someone else's design in order for you to say that it is no longer exactly the same? And more to the point, how much to I have to change it in order for it to be considered different?

This is giving me a headache.

I think it's one of those topics that gives everyone a headache. It annoys me because I don't think there's really a right answer, only sort of a mushy consensus. Blech.

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