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June 23, 2011


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TJ, I'm always wary of using anything I didn't produce myself, so I support your posing this issue in your blog. Whenever I start to use a found image/pattern/design, I usually talk myself out of it by saying, "Hmmm...someone designed/drew/photographed/composed that piece, so I shouldn't claim it as mine." Then, I get creative and come up with my own stuff to ensure originality. It feels so much better to actually create the work from start to finish myself. I usually "fake" writing/text when I need it, so the script or lettering is in my own hand; so I avoid wasting time on wondering about meaning, copyright issues, etc.
Just my .02 though. :-)


This post made me think of a shirt I bought in Bangkok. It had chinese characters printed on it and someone explained to me that it's the direction to the central railway station mixed with a recipe for something tomato-related. Like: take a left turn at the intersection and mix the tomatos with coconut-juice.

I still love the shirt but am hella relieved it's something harmless-weird. Plus chinese people get a good laugh out of it. And don't even let me start on my chinese tattoo and how many people I enquired about if the meaning really WAS what I thought. :)



To bounce of Skytimes quote, a friend of mine is a counselor, and a client of his made him a quilt. She mistakenly thought he was Jewish and the center of the quilt had a block of Hebrew writing lovingly stitched. He asked if I could read Hebrew, and while I can't, I recognized the bold statement in the middle of the quilt: Kosher for Passover.

What you use in your art is a reflection of you, your thoughts and your judgment. It's smart not to use what you don't understand.


I think I would stay away from strange languages if I really don't understand a thing about it. But if you do know that the book in Arabic is about gardening.... it might be not so harmful after all?

Also, just use pieces of the text - don't use complete pages. Cut one piece from one page, cut through the paragraph and glue another piece of text (about gardening) to the first piece.

I think that you will be safe this way! :-)

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