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Rot over at Pumpkin Rot has said it all; all that I haven’t been able to put into words but have felt/thought for some time now. Many of us Home Haunters have seen props and creations that we want but couldn’t afford. Most of us set out to re-create the things we find in store’s, etc., due to either affordability or because we liked the idea but wanted to change it in some way. Then there are the times our creative juices have stopped flowing and we look for inspiration from others.
In keeping with the wisdom of Rot’s words, I’m going to post his entire blog entry, yes I could just post a link and you could travel over to see his blog…maybe you will see the point I’m attempting to make, and the point he so eloquently made in his post, with me copying his entry (and his Sentinels, with Cucur, heh!)

Here is the post, along with the link to the Blog entry.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Integrity: The Artistic Variety

I’ve always had a problem with the word “artist.” I remember a Halloween night where an older woman was inspecting all of my props and was fascinated by the use of glue mache to make a lawn of undead. With each cluster of children coming up for candy, she’d step away and let them, and me, do our thing. Then she’d return and study each prop. When she was preparing to leave, she complimented the display and said “You must be an artist.” I replied, “Nah, I just love Halloween.”

For me, art is something that a person does. It’s how you spend the bulk of your free time. Even if it’s dark and twisted and offensive, I think art is a form of sanity. Kurt Vonnegut Jr. once wrote that the arts are “a very human way of making life more bearable.” And if you’re passionate about your art form, it’s magic. Sadly, I think very few people are fortunate enough to make a living from something they’re passionate about. Thus the sanity requirement. I work in a business setting. As far away from creativity as a person can get. I keep a pad next to my computer where I’ll jot words down like “corn witch” or “black paint for cloaks” or “sentinels” or “cheesecloth” or “Tin Man”… SANITY. Huge doses of it.

I love that my passion is a slave to Halloween. It’s truly all I ever think about. Everything in my life is murky and inked and stained by it. And I respect it. I think a major component of my joy and success with my creative output is the respect I have for it. It’s a way of staying on target, of pushing myself, of avoiding lazy pitfalls.

One of the things I absolutely love about having a Halloween blog is the exposure to other people’s artwork. I’m always hunting for works that excite me. That can be original masterpieces or works that are re-imagined pieces. The haunting community is a neat and respectful one. It’s always cool to see someone following a how-to on someone’s site or recreating a popular prop with their own personal spin. The key here is integrity. If I’m building a piece that has been inspired from somewhere other than my brain, I’ll make sure to cite the source. My HOLLOW scarecrow is a good example of that (scroll to the bottom). If one of my works would not have existed had I not seen it elsewhere, I make sure I mention it. It’s really the only way I could keep that respect thing going.

I’ve been meaning to write about this topic for a while now, but never got around to it. A friend of mine sent me an Etsy.com link that brought it all home:
Check it out here.

This is a perfect example of integrity. Sure the guy has a right to sell Halloween items on his shop. There were people selling pumpkins and corpses long before we started to. And thankfully there will always be macabre peddlers selling their dark and creepy wares. But it comes down to the litmus test of artistic integrity: Would this have existed had I not seen it elsewhere? Respect yourself when you answer that question. It’s the key to creativity, originality, and integrity. And your artwork is going to show it.

Posted by Rot at 7:04 AM

One Response to “Rot’s words of wisdom…”

  • That is what makes the internet such a great place AND a dark place. I am amazed at what home haunters come up with and then have it copied, borrowed or even stolen without so much as a ‘Thank You’.

    He truly is an Artist and those of us that know his work, can spot the knock-offs with ease. As much as I would like to think that it is a form of flattery, to me it reeks!

    Thanks for sharing!

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