I think it's time we had a conversation about trust. There's no wrong answer here and I hope that my colleagues, juniors and wannabes join in.
Protecting the idea...
Now, I'm married to a lawyer so I do have some insight from my countless rants and my husband's head-shakes; but I want to hear from YOU. Yup. You. The fellow idea creator and the not-so-fellow idea steal-er.
As many of us creative-types can agree - we have a flooding of ideas all the time. I think I have ideas more often than I pee.
Some we share, like creative herpes... maybe I should reference glitter here vs the herps...
and some ideas we hold dear and tight...
But regardless - there's a lot of flow in the garden of creative Eden.
Now with that creative flow - it needs to go somewhere... we can't bottle it up and since we left-brainers need to share and create, which is our second form of breathing - we'd explode if we don't. This is where trust and integrity should be insurmountable... alas...
Photo by me using my Canon 600D in Sri Lanka
I personally can tell you of many ideas that I've shared and have been implemented by others where the elephant in the room is pointing to the rightful owner of the idea (me)... Trust begins to waiver... yet, not sure about the rest of you but... I have this thing called "HELP I'M TALKING AND I CAN'T SHUT UP!!" my inner voice says 'don't share this one' but I shut her down and talk... It's a curse.
Also blog posts share ideas so... why milk the cow when she just gives it away...why buy the milk...? wait... what?... (that's a saying, right??)
I wrote a blog here on me wee random blogisphere about hair that a local magazine to Singapore wrote about as well (2 months later)... now, I know that their interns frequent my blog [direct analytics shows me so] SO: a) I'm flattered (but I know my beauty shiz so they should read... but perhaps they could consider crediting me as a source) and b) it's hard to finger-point and call out 'FOR SHAME!!!' because I've sat in rooms for creative brainstorming and have seen that many of us have similar to same ideas... One could argue that there are not really any new ideas anymore but variations of. Homages to each other - actually an homage will respectfully credit the originator...
Like this example of one idea I had: A beauty show that would take you to various parts of the world and show you what in that country is their idea of beauty and what are their beauty secrets... I pitched it in a very amateur way (because I stupidly trust human beings - I know. DUH) by sending an email to a reality TV production house in LA. I never heard back but then this aired over a year later... I'm not saying they took my idea. I know that would be insane. I also know that unless you have an in, the chances that someone tied to the show actually read my email pitch are slim to none. This shows you that many creatives would/could/should have a similar to same idea.
My good friend Sital Patel and fellow makeup artist sent me some whatsapp photos from a behind the scenes creative she did with glow in the dark makeup. It's awesome and so is she. I've pitched that exact shoot to a magazine here so immediately told Sital that I've been planning the same idea. We both know that we came up with this idea separately and inspired from various sources. So, see - creative minds can have a similar flow. #thinkalike!
The Risky Pitch disguised as a Go-See
One thing that I find incredibly frustrating is meeting a potential client for a potential job... a go-see as us industry folk call it... So we literally go and see people with our portfolios and ideas... You have to sell yourself which includes jamming ideas so they see that you come to the table with something... the risk is clear... you give ideas to hopefully get the job but you risk your ideas being snagged and they use someone else. In my 25 year career that has happened to me... thankfully not countless times. A handful. I know the clients who have done this and I'd love to name and shame but that's inappropriate. I have actually invoiced one and said that I noticed that they used my creative idea without me and so I expect to be paid for my idea. It's hard to put a price on ideas... since we don't really have the way to measure what kind of work would have accumulated from that one idea. Maybe nothing or maybe it was the new wheel... Bitches.
(In that SAME kinda idea - I've been pitched to, to do hair & makeup by description to find out after the shoot that what they referenced was actual published work/art and that annoys me. If you're stealing someone's idea and you want me to implement it - tell me that it's been done so I don't look like an asshole. This doesn't apply to trends. Trends are trends...)
This summer I was part of the fabulous group of 10 ladies to 'Embrace Paris' and within this bunch was the lovely Lisa Ferguson, Strengths Mentor. We each did a session test (Lisa - that's not the right term is it?) where we had our top 5 strengths shown to us after we've done an online Q&A. One of mine (or was it a weakness??) was my inner compass of morals. Really it kinda said that I'm super trustworthy and hold those accountable who do wrong. Yup, I'm perfect. There were some things I was shrugging to and thought: meh- dunno... but this inner compass YES! I think it's both a strength and a weakness. Strong because I do believe in good, trust - I'm not a liar and I pretty much want to make the world a better place. It's a weakness because I do not forgive and forget easily. Sure if you make good and apologize I can move on, but if you justify being an asshole than you stay an asshole. I try not to be the chief of the morality police but it's so friggin' hard... I see where this can be a problem... no need to try to educate me. ;)
Before I go way off topic...
I had a thought this morning which began this rant/conversation starter...
Specifically to my fellow artists:
Seniors (and I don't mean old people): Do you implement a one page NDA (none disclosure agreement) to assistants and potential clients so any ideas you schpeal remain yours?
Juniors: Would you think an idea mentioned to you by a client or senior is fair game in your climb up the ladder to success?
And to potential clients: If you haven't paid for the service of an artist would you think their pitch for the job is yours regardless if you hire them or not?
Again - not really a wrong answer - well - clearly I have a strong moral compass so I may think you're wrong if your answer isn't mine. (insert winky face with the tongue out)