The Scott Shaw Blog Be Positive

Who Owns What You Create?

As a creator; as a person who creates art, music, literature, photographs, movies, and a bunch of other stuff, I am always perplexed by the way people come to believe they own what someone else has created. Certainly, this ideology has been amplified as the age of the internet came upon us. Look across any platform and there you will find people taking the creation(s) of the true creators and using it to create something of their own; whether that be newly formed re-created art, critiques, essays, documentaries, dissertations, you name it… But, is creation that is based upon what someone else has created true creation or is it simply synthetic thievery?
 
Has anyone ever taken something you created and tried to make it their own via alterations or expositions?
 
This is also true with people who lay claim to the name, the likeness, the philosophy, the creativity of some other individual, believing they are they ultimate source of knowledge for that person. Again, look to any planform on the internet and you will see it. In days gone past, look to magazines and books, and you will find someone who takes hold of that creator’s essence and pretends to be the true source of knowledge for what that creator believes, thinks, feels, and creates.
 
Has anyone ever taken your name and/or your creations and purported to be an expert on you?
 
In my own life, there has even been times when I communicated with people who have done this to me, explaining to them that what they are detailing is wrong. But, instead of correcting their mistake(s), they double down, and tell me I am wrong. How can I be wrong about myself, my philosophy, my own creations, or why I created them?
 
In my case, I jokingly detail, “I guess my opinion doesn’t even matter.” …My opinion about my creations and myself. It doesn’t matter when someone else believes they know me better than me. Happy
 
This all may seem funny. And, it some ways it is. But, look to all of the biographies that have been written about people throughout time. These books were not autobiographies. They were not the person telling their own story. They were composed by people believing they held some deep knowledge about that other person and their motivations and thus they presented it in a text that was slanted by a bias of love, hate, or indifference.
 
The people who are creative, the artists, no matter what kind of art they create, are the ones who possess a vision. From inside, they understand that there is something that they must create. Not all people who have an artistic vision find their way to the creative forefront. But, those who do, do what they do from an understanding of what art truly is. It is their interpretation and their expression of that inner most something that must radiate out from within.

In fact, art is one of the most unexplainable passions that emulates from the human mind. So, who truly possesses the power to define that art or that artist?
 
Most of the people of the world don’t care about art; by whatever form or definition. Thus, they never choose to embrace or to truly understand it. Then, there are those others, the one’s who are not artists themselves, but who decide they know that something about that someone else who actually does create art. But, they are not the artist so how could they know anything about that person? At best, maybe they view what that creator created and formed an opinion about it. But, is an opinion ever art? No, it’s just an opinion. One who lives their life defined by critiquing the art of an artist is never an artist themselves. So, why should you listen to them?
 
Ultimately, what does all this mean to you? If you are an artist, be that artist. Create art for that is what you were meant to do. If you are not an artist, don’t let yourself fall into the trap of believing you understand that artist or their art. Because, at best, all you can do is to appreciate the fact that the artist cared enough about their artistic vision to go through the hoops and do all the things that were necessary to create that art, whatever that art may be.
 
Forget about attempting to definite others. Forget about your own bias and judgments. Let the art remain as it is, art—an expression of what the artist see art to be. Mostly, never believe you know who an artist truly is or why they create what they create. If you think you know, you never know. Because who can truly know an artist best but themselves?