Friday, May 30, 2008

an egregious mistake

Sometimes ideas have a funny way of making a home in your mind for so long that when they come around again, you mistake them for a new and original thought.

Case in point, my bluebirds of happiness.
I thought they were an original idea. I thought that I'd dreamed up these marvelous little beauts all on my own. And surely you remember how tickled I was with them. I couldn't think of anything else as I made them...when I closed my eyes at night to go to sleep, I saw them peeping back at me. I loved them. And what I loved most was that they were so different from anything out there.
Or so I thought.
There's a very lovely artist many of you probably know, Jenny of The Polka Dot Pixie fame. She makes bluebirds and has for a very long while. Some even don party hats and paper collars.

I guess somehow I must've spied them long ago and then forgotten. So when this "new" idea to make them came to me, I thought it was my own.

I detest this whole copycat-trend I see far too much. I vow to try never to be one. I decided to own-up publicly to the bluebird accidental copying and to apologize to Jenny and to all of you sweet friends. And a big oops! and yikes! and geewhiz! to go with it.

Edited to add: I wanted to clarify that sweet Jenny didn't know that I had made bluebirds similar to hers. I saw a picture of hers on a blog this morning ( and from that visited Jenny's blog and etsy shop. When I saw hers, especially those wearing the hats and collars, I realized the problem and contacted Jenny directly to apologize.


Lilli in Vancouver said...

Good for you, Amy! It takes real character and empathy to publicly 'own up' to a boo-boo.

We're all fans of each other's artwork in this online artists' community of ours, and with so many inspiring beauties at our perusal, it's difficult to know which ideas are original sometimes :)

I don't find your birdies and Jenny's to be all that similar, but then only you can know for sure where credit is due

Gina @ Feather Your Nest said...

I agree with Lilli, they don't seem that similar to me. But I understand and I've hesitated to post things I've made before just *in case* someone out there made something similar one day and came accusing!

I think both birds are adorable in their own little ways!! :-)

Anonymous said...

Oh man, sorry that happened to you sweetie! This kind of thing happens a LOT in the scrapbooking community too. I was accused of copying an idea once, but luckily it was quickly found out that my project came out first, and the lady apologized to me and we're buds now. But sometimes it doesn't turn out that way. While I think stealing ideas is totally wrong, I do think that it would be impossible to come up with something completely and utterly new. Everything we create comes from our imaginations, which are influenced by our memories and experiences. It makes you kind of afraid to even create sometimes lest you be accused of stealing an idea! But anyway, sorry the long comment, I just mean to say I feel for you and I'm proud of you for putting yourself out there like that. Oh, and I love your sweet little birds, they certainly are very "you".

Ribbonwood Cottage said...

Totally understood. I am a songwriter for Christian music and while I am writing a song, I ALWAYS think, have I heard this before? Is this mine, truly mine? I think it is more common than you think, especially since we are such a visual nation! We see so many things, adorable things! I think we all relate. Thanks and I love your blog

Susan said...

Oh, rats! Well, at least I got me one of those "Amy" bluebirds, and I love it so much!
You are so full of creative juices; anyone can see that. And for the record, I don't think you can trademark bluebirds, even bluebirds in party hats. No disrespect to the lovely Jenny, but I bet there have been little bluebird statuettes before, and there will be again.

Carol said...

Well I think it probably shows that you both have exquisite taste!

Rie Selavy said...

I think both kinds of birds are fun, and the styles are completely different. Jenny's are vintage-y with a old-fashioned-cartoonish flair, and these are primitive and sweet, with a nice splash of color.

The Polka Dot Pixie said...

Hi Amy!!! You are too sweet! I agree with others that ours are both very different and I would have never thought it was a case of copying! Like I said, I think the motto "Great minds think alike" is in order here right :-). Anyways, big big big (((hugs))) to you my friend, and if you do ever decide to make more bluebirds I'd love to buy one from you!!!! more ((((hugs))))

Andrea Singarella said...

You are a very kind, honest person with ehtics I wish we saw more of in Blogland. It takes guts to write what you wrote. I agree with you 100% about detesting the copy-cat trend that has swept the crafty side of the Internet. It's gotten ridiculous and I don't get it, personally. But, anyway, my hat goes off to you in a big way for having such a sweet character and genuine way about you. It's why we all love you!
xo andrea

Anonymous said...

Hi Amy,
Stopping by to say hi.
Hope all is well!! I adore you BLue BIrds of Happiness!!!!!!!!!

I thought you may be interested in these thoughts
In many cases people envision the same ideas at the same time. My brother thinks that there are actually ideas "out there" for all that are attuned to them to grab. So, all at once many people will be making the same thing at the same time. Case in point. I wrote an article for the Dallas Morning News about drawer handles many years ago.

Years years later I saw a French magazine Marie Claire Idee's where an artist had created the exact gold rose drawer handle out of sculpy around the same time. The thing is, I doubt she ever saw the Dallas Morning News. She just had the same idea around the same time as I did.

I adore your birds and hope you will not stop making them. SO sweet!

Hope all is well in your world with bebe! Cana't wait for NOV!

Sleep well,
Sweet sleep!

Saucy said...

Well Amy, that happens. Especially to creative-types. We are all a product of what we have seen, what we feel and how we see the world. We are all surely influenced in some way by the good things we see happening around us every single day in our creative blogosphere. My Dad said once that there isn't an original idea left in the art world, just how the ideas get interpreted by artists! How do you like that? I think he's right.

Anonymous said...

I think both birds bring their own wonderful creative vision to the crafting world. You, Amy, and Jenny are visionaries and VERY creative! I think both types of birds reflect that. I love them both!!!!!~~~~XXOO, Beth

Red Geranium Cottage said...

I think your are as cute as can be also. I think this was very nice of you to do but you still should continue to make yours as well. They are adorable!!!!

Michelle said...

What nice manners you both have! I do that too, store things in my brain so long I can't tell anymore what is an original thought! Glad there is room enough in the world for lots of bluebirds! I like them both so much!

Unknown said...

Hmmm...I prefer to think of it as inspiring eachother, rather than copying eachother. If that is what it is I must be a big copy cat...Yikes!

vivian said...

HI Amy, found you this mornig though Jen (polkadot pixie). I admire you for writing what you posted, but there are a lot of people out there making little birdies.. me included.. look at my blog, (you may have to go back a few entries to find some) I'm sure none (or most) of us are not blatantly copying anyone. but we are all inspired by similiar art out here in blogland. Isnt that one of the reasons we all come here to play? Inspiration and encouragement to try new techniques and trends.. Ive made easter chicks and baby birds in hats and collars and never even thought that I might be copying someone. I love Jens bluebirds and I think yours are amazing also. they are also totally different!
Ilove your blog by the way, and glad Jen posted about it! I will be back! be sure to stop and visit my blog too!

Francie...The Scented Cottage Studio said...

ohhh I agree with Constance and all the others.

I've been around long enough to see things I made and sold years and years (okay and years) ago being made and sold again.
Also, I have ideas and items on a back burner to make and lots of times someone else will come out with something very bad for waiting so long :)
Anyone who knows you dear Amy knows you are not a copier...or an intentional copier anyway.

Paper Relics said...

Well, I am sorry I have not called back - yesterday was a whirlwind for me...but I will call this week so we can catch up... and plan our next visit (I miss you and Baby!)
I can see why you would be concerned, the premise is the same, but the birds themselves are different, they each have different personalities to them, I like them both and would never see them as one copying the other. Think of it as you guys make the same things, just differently... I make greeting cards, which others make too (obviously this is a broader example), but mine are different and therefore my own. Does this make sense?!

I love your birds, please do not stop making them, I was there when you had the first one made and you were so excited to add them to the shop...

I do think it was brave to post this, but I think that all the copying issues lately has gotten people a bit over sensitive. the key to it all is communication- which you showed us here. It is possible for people to have similar ideas, and with communicating how they came up with them, etc, I think that it helps people to understand. We are all creative, but all have different processes.

Please never worry about copying anyone, you have the most unique and genuine ideas (and heart for that matter) and you do not have it in you to deliberately copy some one!

Samantha said...

Don't be so hard on yourself, darling.... I agree with everyone else here. We are all products of our experiences, and you obviously didn't intentionally or maliciously "steal" someone else's idea.

King Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived, and he wrote:

"That which has been is what will be,
That which is done is what will be done,
And there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there anything of which it may be said, 'See, this is new'?
It has already been in ancient times before us." Ecclesiastes 1:9,10

Maija said...

There are no really original ideas, Amy! It's all a compilation of what we see everyday- bits and pieces. I was telling my girlfriend Jessi that I had an original idea only to find out it's been done! I'll go ahead with mine anyway, because they will have Maija as part of them, just like your bluebirds say Amy!
And Jenny is so very cool!
Besides, you are the queen of online shopping- a pioneer!

Cheryl Ensom said...

Oh are so courageous and this post shows just a FEW of the character traits that make you one of my favorite people, Sweet Amy. I agree with all the above posts...your birds are so "you" and the only thing that makes them like Jenny's (who also makes lovely little birdies) is that they all seem to have been invited to the same birdy party! ;) But although your ARE very unique and don't at all look like you "copied," I SO admire your candor and courage, dear. Take a hug from me and know we love you all the more for your sweetness!

Debe said...

They are both very sweet but I agree with so many others, one blue bird...many variations. I don't think they are enough alike to be considered a 'copy' but your ethics are to be applauded.
Wish I had bought one....

Geek+Nerd said...

I think that you've expressed a very honorable sentiment, but I agree with the others, I don't think your bluebirds are that similar at all! I hope that you continue to make them, yours are so cute!

. said...

You are a class act!!

waisze said...

I agree with everyone else. You are such a sweetheart for coming out and apologizing. In all honesty, it looks similiar but it's not a copy. I really think you should reconsider and continue to make these lovely and happy birds!