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Annabearella Annabearella's
Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 17

This subject has also always been interesting to me as I of course started out using other people's patterns to make bears.  At that point when I made bears to sell, I used patterns that gave permission and I gave credit. 

After a while, I decided I wanted to come up with my own patterns based on styles, techniques, shapes, etc. that appealed to me.  It is difficult because while I did not directly use any existing patterns when working on my own, I know without a doubt that the influence of my experience is there.  As others have said, the basics are the basics.

Oh, and Wubbie, I'm not blind but some days I stab myself 800 times and come up with all kinds of colorful words too!  :crackup:

wubbiebear Braille Teddies
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Posts: 671

Well, I just finished sewing up half a bear and my poor fingers look like I've been playing the guitar, so yep, the bears I am surrounded by get their ears full.

Caroline D Posts: 150

I'm also curious about this subject. Looking at so many bear makers websites recently, after not making toys for years, I've noticed certain trends, like the mink bears,  the sorrowful eyes with a smidge of white showing under the iris, the large forehead/tiny eyes baby style bears or the huge nose/muzzle and feet bears, and so on.Some of these do look rather similar to others, and traditional bears look even more similar, with the long arms, pointy muzzles and shoe button eyes. At somewhere like Hugglets, surely some people must be looking at someone else's work and thinking, 'I thought of that look first.' So at what point is a design plagiarism?

dangerbears Dangerbears
Posts: 6,021
Caroline D wrote:

At somewhere like Hugglets, surely some people must be looking at someone else's work and thinking, 'I thought of that look first.' So at what point is a design plagiarism?

You're right that there are style trends in bear-making, but in my experience, it's quite seldom that anyone actually feels plagiarized. Most bear-makers achieve such a distinctive look that we can immediately recognize their bears when we see them, so an "imitation" would be easy to spot as well (though not very easy to achieve, I suspect).

I have seen a few complaints about someone copying the style of a popular artist, but the resulting bear never seems to be as good as it might be if the artist did the hard work of developing his or her own style.

That's my take, and I still maintain what I said two years ago in this thread--that even small differences in pattern shapes can make a big difference in the final bear. Even if the bear is of a certain type or fits into a category, the designer has probably done a lot of tweaking to achieve exactly the result she wants. And then there are the patterns that are quite different indeed (a quick look at one of Kelly Dean's bears will show you that). bear_happy

I guess I rambled my way back to the original poster's question about patterns, but on the subject of plagiarizing design styles, the variety I see in artist teddy bears seems nearly infinite. Whether their bears are classic or contemporary, each bear-maker builds in charm in unique ways.


jenny Three O'clock Bears
warwickshire uk
Posts: 4,413

I totally get what you mean here. I think its obvious when someone has taken the inspiration that we all get from other artists work and just tried to replicate it to make bears like someone elses. I think its hard not to notice what others do and be unaffected by it. I am not going to say that I never think ,' that's a great idea and maybe I can interpret that on my bears'  I'd be a liar if I said that.
I do think though that the demand for a certain genre of bears makes some people launch wholesale into creating that style purely out of driving their business. But, equally,  there are artists who go along making no changes to adapt to the demands of current trends and stick to their style whatever. Who is right? I don't know that its sensible flit from one style to another willy-nilly. I don't think that tactic helps to establish you as an artist, however if a style of bear was not selling for whatever reason, I would not continue with that design hoping it would catch on eventually.
So I tend to move along and go whatever way the wind blows me...doing whatever inspires me. I feel very grateful that I can do that.  I have been making bears for a relatively short time, 11 years, however, in that time I have seen fads come and go...everyone was doing anime bears, corded eyelids, needle-felted faces seem popular now. Is it copying? No, I don't think it is ..I think its just that artists feed off each others creativity and from that comes originality. If someone goes all out to replicate another artists work exactly , well that would be copying, but moving along with a trend is only the same as fashion designers do, creating their interpretation of a certain style.
I actually think that I would rather be flexible and experiment with new styles to keep my designs interesting, rather than putting blinkers on to avoid being influenced by popular trends in the market. I would think that would be very boring and the bears would soon reflect that.

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