Pattern Pulp: Do Restrictions Fuel Creativity?

Pattern Pulp: Do Restrictions Fuel Creativity?

There is an ongoing battle between the creative world, it’s observers, inspiration, and the act of plagiarism. So where should we draw the line?

Shayna Kulik, Pattern Pulp
  • 17 october 2012

This sign felt like a dare. I had to snap it. Was it art? A threat? Both? It was hanging at the entrance of Selfridges’s holiday retail art and pop up shop last year. It’s relevant today, as it succinctly illustrates the ongoing battle between the creative world, it’s observers, inspiration, and the act of plagiarism.

How many times have you ignored a ‘no photo’ sign? It almost feels like you’re getting a pass when you snap an ‘amateur’ photo with a smart phone, rather than a professional camera. There’s no doubt about it, the landscape of photography has shifted, with more photos being taken than ever before in 2011 alone. For the creative class – or for anyone who considers themselves to be strongly visual – having such easy access to instant-gratification feels essential.

It used to be that sketchpads and a set of Staedtlers were the primary tools in our toolkit. However, now that we all carry cameras, the photo almost feels like the lazy man’s approach to memory. We’re all guilty, who wouldn’t want an authentic image of the thing that caught our eye, un-meddled by memory or drawing skills?

I shot this while in Shanghai last year. It almost seems a bit ironic, though the corredor of artists  were a refreshing bunch. So this leads me to ask, does the ease of smart phone photography fuel or hinder our creativity? Both perhaps? Does a photo intensify a memory or dilute the activity?

I don’t know about you, but I have some wonderfully lush memories and quickly drawn notes from events I had, at the time, desperately wished to photograph. For years, it broke my heart a little to not have pictures, but more recently I’ve realized that your imagination will never fail you and illustrating memories is a nice exercise for the brain.

As creatives, the issue almost seems a bit hypocritical.  While I don’t believe any of us would pass on the photographic progress we’ve made over the years, we’re more concerned than ever about credits and rights management of the work we’ve dedicated our lives to.  It’s no secret to anyone that social media that the lack of proper attribution, copyright infringement and outright theft has risen along with smart phone photography and the subsequent popularity of instagram, tumblr, Pinterest and the like.So, where do we draw the line? Would love to hear your thoughts.

Written by Shayna Kulik & Emily Gup

Read the original article here.

Shayna Kulik is the founder and editor of Pattern Pulp which tracks ideas and emerging trends that expose, celebrate, share and connect pattern design across all creative platforms. She is also a New York-based designer. Read more at Pattern Pulp.


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