On Copying Vs. Inspiration

I know what you're thinking- I get back on the blogging train after a few months hiatus and after a few lighthearted posts I go straight into a serious one. But in reality, it's been on my and some of my industry friends' minds lately. And when I saw an Instagram post from Kathryn at Creme Brands (@kathrynduckett) the other day, which lead me to the source of the conversation,  I decided I wanted to join in on the conversation too.

Let me preface all of this by saying that I believe it's extremely hard to define the fine line between copying and simply being influenced by someone else's work. After all, everywhere we turn there are beautiful pictures on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook...everyday someone is perfectly styling a table in the right light for the perfect 'sneak peek'. I think it's natural to want to hold yourself to a standard, or to admire what someone else is doing. I find this especially hard if you're a perfectionist, like me. I mentioned yesterday that I realized I only have four posts on Instagram in the month of October- and I completely realize it's because most of the photos never made it off my iphone because I just didn't think they were good enough.

But perfectionism aside, I do agree with these ladies that way too much gray area is being taken advantage of. It almost seems the days of "how can I create something different" are replaced with "how can I recreate that". I think being inspired by someone or something is a beautiful launching pad for something even better. I've come to realize over the years that everyone has to find their own way of doing things. Jacin Fitzgerald of Lovely Little Details (@lovelydetails) even mentioned once that she never looks on Pinterest anymore because no matter what it seems everyone has already done "your great new idea".

So with that, I propose that we have a little tunnel vision. Put your head down and respect your strengths and weaknesses in business, social media, and how you find inspiration. Now I understand why almost all of the wedding designers I've had the opportunity to speak with almost always say they never read wedding blogs- they don't want to become swayed, even subconsciously. It's like the saying goes- be aware of what's going on (trends, competition, etc), but don't become obsessed. For me, I'm realizing that while I still read wedding blogs, I've also added in a copious amount of interior design and home reads....it still keeps me in the creative, and most of all it inspires me to find ways to incorporate those style elements into my work.

I'd love to hear...what have your experiences been with copying, or seeing so much of the same things in your industry on social media? How have you dealt with it? 



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