Let's Chat: Ideas

Cakies one of my favourite blogs posted a really great piece on her ideas and photos roaming the internet (click here to read it).  If you have ever been a victim of 'idea borrowing' then you will know all about what she is talking about.  No one person can completely own an idea or have a monopoly on a creative product, but we can certainly give credit if our work is inspired by others.  I am a firm believer in sharing ideas, sources, suppliers and information that can benefit others - I am sure you can tell by the resources post I did a while ago.  You need not giveaway your most treasured trade secret, but at times the small things are worth sharing. 

I have had some people 'borrow' ideas and although I am flattered it needs to be said that there is a difference between being inspired by something and coping something.

Remember this post is not meant to step on toes, ruffle feathers or point fingers, but rather open up an honest platform for sharing and giving credit when and where due.

To give you an example of an idea that inspired me...and how I went about making it my own:
The Package Project
When I started The Package Project I had seen something similar (Lovely Package Exchange) on Oh hello friend and emailed Danni to discuss my idea with her.  I took her idea as inspiration, but made sure I made The Package Project unique and she was more than happy for me to run it.  The idea in itself is simple, but the project is huge and so when people take the idea, simplify it and make me look as it I don't do regular ones it hurts a little.  I suppose as long as people are having fun, sharing great presents and sending love then there is no harm in it or how the idea is changed and used.  Last year the project attracted worldwide interest and coverage from Frankie Magazine, Trend Central and Google Blogs of Note.  More than 400 people took part and that is why I can only manage to do one each year.  The next one is scheduled for September.

The Package Project was inspired by oh hello friend's lovely package exchange

'Borrowed ideas' that pop up now and again...
My Brooches:
South Africa is to small a place to copy creative business ideas.  Again I am flattered when a brooch inspires work and I don't have some magic brooch monopoly, but make your brooches your own.  Think of something no one else is doing...you will reap the rewards and more stockists will be willing to sell your unique ideas.

The usual suspects:
I am no photographer.  I just enjoy snapping daily pics of life and the things I create so one is stealing my old happy snaps.  Fellow friends who are photographers have had their work posted in all kinds of places without credits.  It always makes a person feel really let down and sad when your work is drifting in the endless ocean that is the internet with no name, credit or reference.  A quick reminder to check out this very cool poster by Erin, Yvette & Pia featured on Design Sponge.

What are your thoughts about this controversial issue...don't be shy to speak your mind or email me to chat and tell me what you think.


  1. This is a touchy subject and often comes up in conversation on many of the USA blogs I follow. I have also added lots of these lovely ladies on FB and we often do private swaps! Many a time they find exact replicas of their work floating around on ebay and etsy stores,Or photos on other blogs with no credits! :(
    What amazes me though is the amazing generosity of these women when it comes to swaps(which they partake in regularly),they don't skrimp on anything!-they use their best buttons,papers and trims and make the receiver feel so so special! We can definately all learn from one another, but give credit where credit is due!

  2. I think you've raised a very valid point. I don't mind if people use my pics as long as I'm credited. I try not to copy an entire post from another blog although I did do that once recently ( after asking if it was okay ), and I was asked very nicely by the original blogger to edit it and I did so. However, I do get peeved when someone posts exactly the same thing a few days after I have and doesn't mention where they found it. That's just poor blogging etiquette.

  3. I think ideas can't be the sole ownership of one person.

    Have you ever thought of something, never expressed it to anyone and then days or months later seen your idea being executed? I used to feel that once my thought had been executed by someone else I couldn't do it myself which led to me just not doing anything at all for fear of being accused of 'copying'.

    I do agree that credit should be given where credit is due, especially in terms of pictures, but ideas are a dime a dozen, everyone has them, and if you're brave enough to execute them then big ups to you.

  4. Tabatha7/02/2011

    I completely agree with you. I just don't think people realize that they're taking others ideas. When dealing with people I don't think there is anyway to avoid it. They come up with what they think is an original idea, but it isn't and they've seen it somewhere, but that doesn't stop them from running with it. It's just part of life and there isn't anything we can do about it. If your idea is being taken then I say go above and beyond and show them that while they've taken the idea it isn't possible for the idea to be as brilliant and breathtaking as yours.

  5. Here here! I've been following the artist Kal Barteski, she also stood up and started the process with linkwithlove. http://linkwithlove.typepad.com/

    If trending an idea or image can get so far, perhaps this can start a new trend! :)

  6. I love this post! So great to hear such candid honesty. I've seen this happen a lot, especially with big corporate companies as well, which is even worse. Especially, as JP said, when you see a post very similar to your own a few days later, or even later the same day. It could be coincidence, but most likely not, when it's by local bloggers who you know are aware of your blog. It's sad, and lame.
    Keep going with your awesome original ideas, your creativity is inspiring :)

  7. Thank you for all these great and relevant comments!

  8. So good and true! I once found some of my pictures of a coffee shop on someones facebook album, among her bad quality phone pictures, with no credit.

    It did make me kinda mad! :) but I didn't do anything about it in the end


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