I admit...

...I have a professional deformation too...

Yesterday I read one of the many articles about plagiarism and copying. The article in humorous way shows the differences between the original and plagirism, and explains where and how the person made mistakes and made a bad copy of the original.

And so it is, we, the art teachers can easily see (= we have an eye for that so to say):
- who is an amateur and who is a trained artist
- who copied and who did not
- who made a drawing or painting after observation and who made it up (from his mind or imagination)
- who does so, as someone told him or taught him, and followed his feelings
- who didn't use his style
- ...

(Ivana Kobilca is my inspiration, from her works I learn a lot!)

When I see the various courses over the Internet, I can tell which participants attended which There is not enough encouraging to find their own way of expression. If the course would be held by a pro, then he would encourage the artistic mode of observation and explorations of their own expressive style. Then there would not be such, basic mistakes as: a black bordered mouth, eyes, which are typically drawn by school children in 3.grade, the background, which is not in harmony with the figure (because usually it is painted or treated separately)...
And so we have this huge amount of art works that resemble to one another, that they were not made in relaxed, spontaneous feelings, and they don't reflect the true feelings of the creator. This is something that is characteristic for the copied products. Realism or abstraction do not have any role here. Both have to have the same goal: to be expressed in their own way.
What we want to say with a product, what feelings we want to bring up?
Of course, the courses teach techniques to create, but it does not mean that we should generate almost identical things. You can look at the famous artists who sometimes gathered together and painted the same motif (Van Gogh and Gaugain, etc..) to see the approach. Did they really all used the same technique, same gestures, same colors, same light? No, each of them created their own work their own way and that's why we also recognize them as true artists even today.

But don't get me wrong - I have nothing against the Internet and other art courses (on the contrary, I think this is something great that came along with the tech growth), but I suggest that we choose the course that will actually teach us to express ourselves, rather than producing products reminiscent of copies and without any soul. Once you fall into the routine creating, it is very difficult to get out of this vicious circle, so we better move on before we fall into it!

(the same artist, the same style, but are these two works really 'the same'??)

And another thing to think about: creativity is not static, it is not 'punching' one thing after another until you drop dead, it is not copying every single dot. This is called 'Crafts' (even if this would be a rather lousy Crafts too), not creativity. And so, it's easy for us to recognize the copy, the picture that emerged after photography, naive 'art'... How wrong are those who think that the thing they've copied from a 'Japanese' web site will not be seen and recognized as a copy if they are from Slovenia! This is really naive thinking! (Boomerang will always return).

...And I admit, if you have a professional deformation, it is not easy as well. If you give a praise to such 'artistical' products, you encourage a person that he continues to create in that vicious circle. If you tell the truth, you can hurt the person to completely lose creative enthusiasm... How many times I have had to bite the tongue, so that there would be no resentment, to not look 'smart' or 'better'. In doing so, I don't do it to hurt somebody, I just want to help, but how to say that, hot to explain?

So far I found this way to resolve this for those who want to create in their own style and want to learn along the way: I prepare Creative Meetings, where people are open to criticism, debate about their works, praise, learn and grow. At the Meetings we learn to listen to our inner selves... I hope the Meetings will help them to get off the vicious circle in which they might have been caught...

So, I wish for you to find the art course that will teach you creativity, not 'craft', and I wish you many creative days and enjoyment in expressing yourselves, esp. in these upcoming festive days!
Good luck!