Whoever said, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” didn’t know what they were talking about.
Okay. I get it. They had a small point. Whenever someone imitates you, it clearly shows that they’re watching you and that something about what you’re doing has intrigued them.
But don’t be fooled.
When people copy, imitate or mimic who you are or what you’re doing, they’re stealing … flat out stealing. They’re showing you and the world that they’re not confident or clever enough to create their own vision and live by it. It’s probably also pure laziness and the desire for a quick payoff of some sort.
I have an artist friend who was outraged when another artist was opening an exhibition that was clearly an imitation of his long established concept. The originator had perfected his own vision which took years and the product clearly shows it. He contacted me one day and told me that he planned to fight which he did. He consulted with an attorney and was able to get the other artist to back down and change the exhibition.
Since the existence of my own concept and website, ArtBookGuy, I have seen several others come along and CLEARLY steal my concept. I know who they are and they know who they are. It’s deplorable.
Imitation is ultimately about stealing something that belongs to someone else and claiming it as your own. Once you’ve done that, the final phase is to completely replace your predecessor with the hope that everyone will forget them and focus on you. This has happened to me in the virtual world and in the real world.
I don’t necessarily believe in “Karma,” but I do think that there’s something to it. I think people can always spot authenticity. People know a fake and a phony when they see one. A backstabbing rise makes for a bitch of a fall. Believe me, the fall will happen … and not because anyone is wishing for it … but it will happen simply because … Justice demands it.
Have you ever copied, imitated or mimicked someone? You better backtrack. That’s a slippery slope. You may think you’re getting away with it, but you’re building your already shaky foundation on quicksand.
I’m not so worried about the online imitators. I’ve got things under control. That’s where copyrights and trademarks enter the picture. Everything is cool.
As for the imitators in the real world? Eat, drink and be merry while you can. Treachery digs its own grave.
The universe is watching and patiently awaiting its moment … and it has a bitter pill with YOUR name on it.