Your Work Matters
So… The somewhat-dicey topic of copy cats and rip-off artists. We’re going there.
There's always this back and forth when you’re confronted with something like this in your business… Am I gonna regret this if I post about it publicly? Should I just keep my mouth shut? If I do post about it — is it just gonna make me look like an asshole?
Back and forth… And here we are.
I decided I wanted to share my experience and thoughts on this because fuck it, there are some things I refuse to stay quiet about and this is one of them. I also feel a little less alone/crazy when other people share their experience with this kind of thing, so if there’s even just one person that this email resonates with, I’m good.
The other day I came across someone who had very blatantly ripped off a project I did for a client a couple years ago. I contacted them about it to attempt to have a conversation about it (something I would only ever do if it was very obvious they had copied my work, which it was), and as-per-usual with this kind of thing, they pretty much denied it and didn’t seem to care any less. I decided that it was simply not worth my time and energy to try and fight it, because I have better things to do than talk to a brick wall.
If you’ve ever had this happen to you, you’ll know how shit it feels. You put all of this time and effort and experience and resources into creating something, and then someone comes along and completely rips off the end result.
As much as this absolutely sucks balls, the thing about copy-cats... They miss the whole fucking process. They miss the WHY… And that will always, always be the most important part of any creative process.
You can mimic the end result, but you can never mimic what it took to get there — and that shit is where the real soul is at.
To anyone who has ever been ripped ripped off ::
You don’t have to buy into the ‘imitation is flattery’ bullshit. Be pissed about it for as long as you need to… Then let it go. Your work still has mad, mad value. Keep making epic stuff and keep levelling up on yourself. (And also — pick your battles. Your gut will tell you when to fight and when to let it go).
To anyone who’s not sure where the line between inspiration and imitation is ::
You don’t have to be anyone other than yourself. Your work matters. Your voice matters. By all means, be inspired by other people… But put a big old fucking dose of YOURSELF into everything you do. That’s how you build a truly unmistakable Brand.