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Inspiration Vs. Imitation

Today’s blog is a “Break All Rules” blog that is posted on a Tuesday despite today being “Twisted Tuesday”. We’ve all had an incident where someone we’re close to has done something similar to something we’ve done. Sometimes, it’s eerily similar to the point of having troublesome feelings about that person. It’s hard to approach the issue, because many people derive their personal inspiration from others (We often call that role models.) So I’m going to attack the issue in the best way I know how. Hence today’s “Break All Rules Blog” (I get a freebie right?) entitled “Inspiration Vs. Imitation.

First, Let’s Break Down the Dictionary Difference.

This is the part where you call me bad names because my “Beyonce” diva attitude comes out. Yet, often times we are told “imitation is the best form of flattery” when that is indeed a false accusation. Inspiration is a phenomenal form of flattery. It means that someone saw your work and it touched their hearts, minds, soul, something! But imitation is walking into school tomorrow and seeing someone wearing the same outfit as you and now you feel unpretty.

So let’s whip out the Webster, shall we?

Let’s Start With Imitation

Imitation: (Noun) a thing intended to simulate or copy something else. Copy: a thing made to be similar or identical to another.

So, we get it. It means someone bases their entire foundation off of the premise of another person’s work. In the art world as well as the business world, that is frowned upon. It is seen as competition and immediately backfires. In the business world, it’s a brand. When you copy a brand, you’re basically pirating another corporation’s identity. Remember those commercials you watched as a kid that told you stealing a movie is like stealing a woman’s purse? Pirating. In the artistic world, it’s a style. Each artist has their own style which is their form of expression. When you copy a style, you are stealing. (I don’t know of too many exceptions to said rule.)

Let’s Move On To Inspiration.

Inspiration: (noun) the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative. Creative: relating to or involving the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.

Note the word original in the definition. In order not to to crowd you with more definitions, “Original” implies that it is genuine. You reached somewhere deep down in your imagination and concocted said idea. Yet, with inspiration, you didn’t exactly reach all the way down. You saw something on Pinterest, maybe a rad deck decor for a skateboard, and it made you think “What if…”

Jazz, I don’t see the difference.  Well dear reader, you’re in luck. This photographer had an brain blast!

This is Renee Jordan.

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Let me tell you that when I got home from this shoot with Renee, I was feeling inspired. She reminded me of what I loved most about fashion. The ability to look fierce but also to have fun. Suddenly, I wanted to start taking fashion portraits again. Maybe not on the same calibur but I just couldn’t get my mind off of it. Everyday proceeding this shoot, I kept an eye on my clothes. I kept waiting for something awesome that I could wear that could convey to Renee the inspiration that radiated from her and passed on to me. She sparked a creative flow in me.

Finally, this morning it happened. I remembered Renee and I talking about deals that we get on our clothes, and I sprung to some of the places I knew would have a deal on the image I saw in my head.

Let me tell you exactly what inspired me.

  • Renee puts her outfits together by herself in bulks which I think is awesome. She can spot a good deal from miles away. I could tell that just by our preshoot conversation.
  • Her poses screamed confidence in her clothes combinations all throughout the shoot. It wasn’t someone who had thrown things together, it was carefully created.
  • Lastly, each set of photos were all a different style of clothing but somehow still Renee’s style.

So. Oddly, I have a pretty unique style. At least, I’d like to think so. So, when it came down to it, I wanted something like Renee’s second shoot. It was natural, it was hers, it was business friendly, but it also was daring. (I mean a leather skirt, get out. who would’ve thought?”

This is what became born of it:

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Notice how the styles are different. The poses change, the setting is different, the outfits are different. Yet, if you look closely, you can tell where the inspiration is from. I’ve developed a pose that I would like to assume defines my fashion persona. Much like Renee’s it’s confident, it’s flexible. It’s not the same pose but it does to give a similar vibe.

Coincidentally, Renee and I both have a thing for heels. Mine moreso fit my specific style but they can easily be noted as well. By the offchance, this part is just coincidence but notice how I’m also wearing stockings. I hate my legs and though I think Renee is amazing for having the confidence to strut her bare legs, I much prefer my spiderweb sheer.

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Now do you See what I mean?

I was Inspired by Renee without actually stealing her entire shoot and calling it my own! All I’m saying is that if you want to be established in the world as your own business, your own artist, your own style… You need to do the research and a lot of it. I’m pretty sure Renee has worked for years to develop her identity as a fashion designer. I mean, simply put.. If you’re looking for someone who’s going to steal a person’s entire artistic style for their own, it ain’t me babe. I’m no fashion designer, but I did have a little fun in my closet and I hope Renee can tell when she sees the photos.

I can vouch for anyone when I say that it isn’t easy to become who you are but it’s a blessing once you do. You feel like you earned it instead of taking the easy way out. It’s okay to be inspired but know the line. There is one, and it’s no longer flattering when someone looks at your work and sees a mirror of themselves completely. It feels more like stealing. Then it becomes competitive, then you lose your inspiration forever due to your own carelessness.

Think about it.

PS: Sorry for interrupting your Twisted Tuesday, we will resume regularly scheduled programming come next Tuesday! Thank you all for reading.

for now, this fashionista is hasta la vista!
*high pitched voice* Dueeeeeces.

Jasemine-Denise

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