I very rarely if at all look at other jewelry shops on Etsy, nor do I keep up with what page my pieces show up on. There are a couple of reasons for that. The main reason is that I don't ever want to be accused of copying another sellers design (I'll touch on this further in my next post).
Copying is often a hot topic in the Etsy fora. I don't normally take part in those conversations because they're often heated. I tend to chat in my Street teams posts and some other "help" topics but that's about it. I'm not going to delve too deep in this topic because I want to point out some things that I've learned that may help others.
In a venue like Etsy where it is flooded with jewelry sellers, it's absolutely essential to stay creative. There is literally over 614,000 pieces of jewelry listed right now. That being said, you are bound to run across items that are similar if not exactly alike. Are they copying each other? Did they all learn that design from the same magazine or book? Without actually knowing that seller personally there is no telling how they came up with that design. Ohh I'm sure there is some out right copying going on, but if it's not a design that you solely created and protected, be it copyright, trademark or patent...then why worry so much about it? Instead take this opportunity to revamp your work...to change it up a bit....to give it a little extra pizazz...to make it your own and damnit be proud of it! Revel in that bit of creativity that you claim as your own!
I have 3 pieces that I've copyrighted...two of these I currently sell and another well...I'm not sure why I haven't listed it yet...I think it's waiting for a little pizazz of it's own :) I'm also working on a patent and a trademark. Yes...this can be expensive...Patent being the most and trademarking next. To copyright an item is $45....sell a few pieces of jewelry and there you have your fee. If your work is that important to you, take the time to protect it. Otherwise you really have no ground to stand on if someone takes it from you. I'm not trying to make light of someone copying anothers hard work....it hurts when this happens...and I don't mean the business necessarily, but the creator of the item that was copied. When you are a sole proprietor of a business that your building with your own two hands, anything taken without asking is damaging in one form or another....it feels like it's a personal attack and until it happens to you, you'll never understand it. So please....if you've created something unique...not found anywhere else...protect it!!
Okay I said more on that subject than what I had originally meant to....sorry. Now what I want to talk about is how to stay creative. Here's a list of ways that I do it....now I can't guarantee it'll work for you, but why not try it...it can't hurt :) Grab your journal or drawing pad and lets take a walk!
- Nature: What better place to get inspiration?? Look at the way the ivy wraps around the tree...visualize....now see the wire wrap around the stone the way the ivy does the tree. You can do this with just about anything, the shapes of the leaves, the flower petals, insects, even ocean life!
- People: Look at the colors that everyone is wearing, the patterns in their clothing, where they work (industrial, clerical, etc.)...if something catches your eye, jot it down.
- Buildings: Architecture...the lines, straight, concave...ohh so many shapes you can imitate with wire.
- Dreams: This one's a big one for me...pay attention to what's in them, write your dreams down in a journal. You never know what will come out of them. A dream is where Gaia came from!
- Just sit...Really! Just sit down with your wire, some stones, your tools and just mess around. Don't think too much about what you're creating, just do it, it's amazing the pieces that you'll create when you just allow it to happen.
Like I said, these aren't steadfast ways to get creative but these are the things that I often do. The only other advice I can give is if you really want to learn how to make an item that someone else is selling, then ask them. Get their permission and out of respect (if you list the item) mention where you got the inspiration!
Well I'm extremely tired, and I'm sorry if I've rambled on a bit....I sure hope this post makes sense :) I'll probably find myself making adjustments to it tomorrow after I've had some much needed sleep.