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Well, now. I’ve watched these threads on CASEing many times over at the Splitcoast forums, CASEing is indeed a sensitive issue, for many reasons, and for that reason alone, generally speaking, I tend to refrain from commenting.

By the way, if you don’t know the definition of the acronym CASE, it means "Copy And Share Everything", or "Copy And Steal Everything"–some folks object to the "steal" reference cuz it sounds "not nice".   Over in the scrapbooking world, CASEing is frequently referred to as "Scrap-lifting". 

CASEing also has a range of interpretations, from "exact duplication of another work", to "modified duplication of another work", meaning that some minor changes have been made or "tweaked" to the original concept, from color scheme, to swapping out images used, etc.

As I watch the discussions, I find one key thing extremely disheartening:  a lack of understanding or an unwillingness, if you will, to recognize that not everybody "feels" the same about it and that that is OK. There is no "right" or "wrong" way to feel about the issue; there are merely different ways of feeling about it, and everybody is different.  Some feel flattered and others do not, and I find it puzzling when I see statements to the effect of, "You *should* feel flattered."  "What’s the big deal?  Get over it!" No matter what my own personal feelings are on it, I can certainly respect someone else’s right to feel differently. Who am I to tell someone else how they *should* feel about anything?  Feelings, like opinions, are what they are.

Stamping "etiquette", if you will, suggests that many folks feel *most* flattered, and overjoyed, when they are CASEd with appropriate credit when due.

When I upload a modified CASE of artwork shared over at SCS, I try very hard to credit the individual specifically
, simply out of courtesy and heart-felt appreciation to the originating artist for sharing the hard work and effort they put into their creation.  And, if I genuinely don’t know/can’t recall, I note that.

Sidebar:  Recently, I completely spaced one artist’s design when listing my sources of inspiration for a Dirty Dozen creation.  But, when the artist pointed out her original, I quickly, and gladly, added that information .  Now, did she invent the fold that was used?  Well, no–it’s been around.  And, I used different stamp images, but, Rene√©’s concept and use of it was uniquely clever, and there was no doubt it left a distinctive impression in my subconcious, right down to the color scheme she used!  And, my resulting project was nowhere nearly as cute as hers was, in the end. chuckle!

I took someone’s suggestion in another thread, and late last night, I did a search in the gallery for my userid.  To my surprise, and delight, discovered a number of my designs CASEd.  Most were not exact duplicates, but, a few were.

What an incredibly warm and happy feeling I had!!!  On one level, personally, as an artist, it just tickled me to death to know that something I had belabored over, fine-tuned, and then shared, actually inspired someone else in their own personal creative endeavors, and that they took the time to note this in the description box!  It made me feel like the thinking processes, and hours, spent developing those designs were genuinely appreciated and valued by those who used them.  This means more to artists, I suspect, than many folks actually realize!

As a free-lance (professional) designer, it is also tremendously appreciated and important.  Why?  Well, because I upload to public galleries to share and inspire others, but also, as a means of developing "name recognition", with regards to my own individual "fingerprint" or "style" in the art stamping industry and profession.

Developing name recognition by posting designs to public galleries enables manufacturers and such in the industry (who frequently lurk anonymously within such galleries) to take a closer look at a given artist, to see if their "style" is compatible with their products, and perhaps contract with them to do design work.

Having creations published in print is one way to develop name recognition, but it is very dependent on whether or not an editor actually selects one’s creations among hundreds of DAILY submissions, to print. 

Few people are aware, it seems, that design work for publication is such that designers spend an incredible amount of hours producing large quantities of designs, because, truth and reality be told, the ratio of acceptances is very low, vs. rejections.  It is grueling, time-consuming WORK!   There are constant deadlines, constant resubmissions of rejected designs to the next publication, in hopes it will be accepted, and you will therefore get paid for all the time, effort and creative energy put into it. 

Frequently, designs must be created to suit a theme or design "call", and the job of producing artwork that not only meet’s the publisher’s needs but, in addition, isn’t merely a regurgitation of stuff that’s already out there, is frequently a very daunting challenge. 

This leaves the individual in pursuit of professional work always juggling  what to share, how much to share, and what to reserve for possible income opportunities. I say "possible", because there are no guarantees the work will yield income.

If anyone has ever CASEd a project I shared for their personal use, I am truly honored, and if they took the time to include a reference to me as the source of inspiration when they uploaded it, I am most humbly appreciative both personally, and professionally.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart! (insert GINORMOUS BONE CRUSHING HUG HERE)

Here’s another fun Fishy design, I am finally at liberty to share now:

All images and notecard by A Muse Art Stamps.  Colorbox Fluid Chalk Inks; olive pastel, yellow citrus, tangerine, blue iris.  Memories Black Ink.  Stickles glitter glue in eucalyptus.  Waterbased markers.

  1. Thank you so much for the insight. I don’t think of myself as a creative person. I know I do a lot of CASEing and I do give credit most of the time. This article will make me do it all the time. You do beautiful work. Thanks for sharing it all.

  2. Julie – what you did with the circle punches and the paper piercing?….INCREDIBLE!

    Have you ever seen the coluzzle tag template? The nested images are too far apart! Not anymore…..can’t wait to go play.

  3. Julie

    Your blog is awesome…..how do I get on your email list?

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