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CB Question of the Week: Is imitation flattery?

We’re all familiar with the saying “Imitation is the highest form of flattery,” but is that really so? Sure, as kids we learn by imitating those around us but now, as adults, is it acceptable — especially in the world of Art? That was our question this week, and we invited all to drop their two cents on the topic. For the most part, everyone who gave their point of view could see how it could be beneficial but agreed that there is a limit. Keep reading to see what they said.

Is imitation really the best form of flattery?

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“That’s a tough one. On one hand there’s nothing wrong with being influenced/inspired by someone else and their style…we all are or have been at one time or another…but on the other hand I’m not a fan of someone straight copying someone else’s work or style. Plus that’s a bad thing if you want to establish your own identity in your craft/field. If you’re copying someone else, people won’t associate your work with you but with the person you’re copying. Especially if that person has a healthy fanbase.”
— Sneaker artist Elom Bowman, of Ecentrik Artistry, from New York, USA

“I think it’s cool to learn new techniques from others and apply them into your own style. On the other side if you are purposely imitating them to try and be as successful as they are, I think that’s being lazy and you lack confidence in your own work. People will see your art and only think if the artist you imitated. Be unique and you’ll be remembered for you. In a way, this is why I frown on books like ‘How to draw like ____.'”
— Artist and illustrator Ernie Marin, based in California, USA

“Imitation = with quotation.. I guess is how I’d put it. That’s cool in my opinion. But biting is biting. No matter the context.”
— CrayonBeats reader Jay Bigg, from Victoria BC, Canada

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Written By: CrayonBeats