I've occasionally hinted in my blog about the frustrations of having my work copied and used in classes, it's not an easy topic to talk about. Mostly because it really, really hurts when you find out about it, and anything you say publicly has a way of coming out sour grapes, however carefully it phrased. So it has been interesting and something of a relief to read fellow designers blogs, in particular Sabine Lippert's honest appeal for fairness. This got the ball rolling, Marcia DeCoster also had thoughts to share... and now many other designers too.
What was refreshing for me, and eloquently put by others, is the degree of fairness and respect we would like to receive. I like the way everyone (designers and store owners together), thought through how to resolve the issues in positive ways.
The knee jerk reaction is 'You'll never stop it happening', easy to say, easy to look away and of course we won't... instead we are starting something great happening!
Now there is the Bead Designers Alliance, I like the approach, bead stores can sign up to support the designers, designers can sign up to be heard and their work seen. Designers are donating free patterns for participating store owners to use for classes; plus access to designers who travel to teach.
The most important people in this cycle of creativity and bead acquiring get to enjoy a wide range designs, buy more beads, find out about the creators and innovators and choose to support stores that endorse the simple fairness of respecting designer's work.
For me, I now have a new sense of belonging. It is good to be able to show a logo, share a web address with the backing of my peers instead of the dreadfully lonely moment of standing in front of class trying to explain the reasons why it is not acceptable to take my work and go teach it elsewhere.
There is a facebook page too, where you can keep up to date with how it's all working and growing... with a banner that changes daily to showcases designers work; today it was my turn to head up the page which made me hugely happy!