Monday, January 18, 2016

Are There Any Original Ideas Under The Sun?

I was at Renningers Antique Extravaganza this weekend and asked a vendor if I could take a photo of a stunning chandelier and share it on my page. When possible I always ask for permission and it usually ends up with a nice conversation and discussion of vintage treasures. 

Well, I didn't get the photo because the vendor was afraid of her ideas being copied and "where I'm from that's called stealing." I promise I didn't get the photo but I have thinking about the conversation we had. It was uncomfortable. I had no plans to copy it. 

I have a few thoughts on this issue. Let me say I have been inspired by others. I have also been copied, which I was unhappy about but I don't own the world of ideas. I put my personality and vision into what I make so no one else can do what I do.  

So where is the line drawn in the sand? In this case the design inspiration is available online. The vendor created a light fixture that used elements of these designs in a beautiful combination. 

Via Shades of Light

Found on Etsy

Via Pottery Barn

My question is this: If someone combines three readily available design inspirations in a charming way is it actually so original that copying it is stealing? Are there any new ideas under the sun?


  1. Touche', well said! (Or should I say "Well asked"?lol)I would have felt uncomfortable, too, in that conversation. I know I've had people directly copy my work but if they give me credit I'm fine with it. Those that don't, well, I'm not so thrilled with. In today's very transparent social media world it's hard not to have an idea that someone else hasn't had and posted somewhere before. But that shouldn't stop us from trying:) xo Kathleen

  2. This has come up many times in my experience. In particular, one "friend" who constantly worries she will be copied when, in fact, her ideas are not original - I see them everywhere on the internet! I look at it this way. Steal my ideas! I have thousands more and will not live long enough to do them all. The only people who worry about idea theft are people who only have one or two and think there will never be any more. Tough love? You bet!