One of the most sacred tenets in art is to be original and true to one’s own vision. This unspoken rule in the lawless lands of creative expression is one kept close to the heart. However as time goes on and technology makes the world smaller, trends become more valuable than originality. That intrinsic value is not lost in the abstract of personal worth. It has a cash, take it to the bank value.
Matter of fact you don’t even have to go to the bank. They’ll transfer the funds directly to the account of your choice. The ease of the easy income has made it that much more logical to just mimic, rebrand, and find an audience that will still invest in your brand. No matter how similar or flat out identical it is to another creatives work. To put it frankly, the shit still sells. Identical sells. Familiar sells more so now than ever. Making mimicry a business, a big business at that. The tenets of creative expression have changed it would seem. I understand that mimicry and flat out copying has always existed, but in the creative space, the way it is being done now is new.
The “mimicers” have become savvy with their marketing. So the originals have to be a tad more strategic. A tad more resourceful. Careful that their ideas won’t get over shadowed by the well marketed recreation. As tech and perspective changes the way we do everything, including marketing ourselves has to change. In the wild animals evolve over time to adapt to their environment. The rate of evolution in this modern space has to be at a faster rate than most artists are used to. There isn’t much of a grace period anymore. The opportunity to profit is almost immediate.
You have to respect it though. There is an art to it, to being able to mimic something in a way that allows you to stand out. The wild part is there is room for everyone. To quote a favorite movie of mine, “everybody eats b!” Everyone can eat. Everyone can make some money out here. Everyone can thrive. There would have been a time where I’d have been salty about someone rehashing an idea to suit them, but that’s just what is done now.
Warhol, Basquiat, Haring… Countless pioneers of their respected styles, all mimicked. These masters of mimicry manage to exist undetected and even tolerated. Free to profit off a style that is not their own. These are the times we are in. So grow adapt and learn quickly. Refine your style, and hope yours is dope enough to be paid the tribute of mimicry.