|An amazing day for The Fiber Nation!|
I'm floored by the overwhelming reaction to yesterdays post. I had no idea there were so many quilter's and fiber artists out there that feel the same I do about the stuffiness of the the traditional quilting world. (I'm also impressed that no one freaked out on me assuming I meant ALL traditional quilters and guilds are oppressive.)
I'm humbled that I shared some of who I really am, and was not rejected but rather embraced by an online community that's floating out here on the internets. I've been writing for quite some time now, and I have never had a post generate so much buzz. It goes to show that it pays to be yourself! Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of the comments. And also bigs thanks to Melanie Testa, and Bad Ass Quilters Society who shared my post with their readers.
My Shit, Your Shit: A Lesson in Passive Aggressiveness
I'm getting on my soap box again to bitch about something I see a lot in this "biz". As a community, quilters seem to share what they are working on with others quite a bit. This is a wonderful thing to do, at the same time it sometimes ends in accusations of stealing/copying/mimicking. Everyone is worried about copyrighting this, trademarking that. People get sued for using fabrics of licensed designers. I read one story where a hotel used the image of someone's quilt and had carpeting made for the hotel from that image.
Let me tell you about some of my experiences that I have experienced or witnessed first hand.
I once was asked to do a lecture on a specific topic. I shared the experience with another woman, and I suggested to her that she do the lecture. I suggested we maybe give it together. She kept saying no, so I conceded and agreed to do the lecture. I spent hours taking photos, and putting together an overhead presentation. I gave the lecture - free of charge. I was then asked by another quilting group to give the lecture, I agreed and was paid. That's where the situation changed. Before I was giving my experience away, and now I received payment. Suddenly the "other woman" was not "comfortable" with my giving the lecture. This, even though I mentioned her in the lecture, that she was the one who had worked with me, where her website was, and that they should contact her, blah, blah, blah. Not once did I take all credit for the process we had gone through.
I stopped giving that lecture. Guess what? She's now giving the lecture on that very topic. Albeit it will be HER account of the experience with it, it still pisses me off. Why didn't she agree to do it in the first place or agree to do it with me? If I'd kept doing the lecture for free, would she have been fine?
A woman I know writes mystery patterns. She was one of the first to start writing them. It's kinda what she is known for.
I took her to a guild meeting, there was a speaker we wanted to see. Someone shared a quilt that they had made from a recent retreat mystery pattern by a guild member. It was nearly dead on the first woman's pattern. I believe the conversation revealed that the pattern was different because "x" part was a "different size". *insert eye roll here*
There are two women. Woman1 and Woman2. Woman1 is working on a quilt and is at a loss for what to do. She keeps asking Woman2 what she thinks, and every time Woman2 suggests something, Woman1 does it on her piece. Bit by bit. At the end of the process, Woman2 and suggested the vast majority of the ideas for the quilt. Woman1 never says thank you, and never mentions to anyone that this quilt was by all accounts a collaborative effort at this point.
|Journal page - Inspired by the work of Susan Shie|
Passive aggressive shows up again here. The "other" pattern designer claims that it's different because it's a different "size". Really?? This now puts the original designer in the position of "Bitch" if she wants to push that it really is her design. And, changing the size of something doesn't make it YOURS.
The passive aggressive nature is a little more insidious here. It lies in the fact that Woman1 didn't really know what she wanted to do, and didn't want to make the decisions in case it "ruined" the piece. So she asked for an "opinion" on what to do next. Over and over again. Passively - she didn't want to make the choices and come up with ideas, and Aggressively she then went on to take complete credit for the whole piece.
From now on, I'm thinking about having a label made up called "My Shit". That way there is no mistake about it. If it has that sticker, it's "My Shit", if it doesn't, then it's "Your Shit".
As a community we need to still be able to share our work with each other for encouragement, critiques, etc. We need to be able to help each other out with ideas, but not expect the other person to essentially complete the project for us. And if we need that much help, then the project becomes collaborative and we give credit where it's due.
I'm all for sharing work, ideas, opinions, etc. But I'm also all for sharing the credit as a result. As a community we need to hammer out the ethics involved in being an art community. Until those conversations start happening, and boundaries start getting set, I will be picky and choosy what works I share with the world, and who I help and give advice to. I'm very picky and careful about who I will collaborate with as well now.
What about you? Have you experience the passive aggressive boundary issues in the quilt and fiber art world? IS is a predominantly female issue?
|This is where I usually write.|