The Urban Outfitters’ scandal has brought to many people’s attention how often Indie artists are ripped off by major corporations. I consider myself more of a consumer of art so my perspective is different than most artists’. First, if you are outraged, support the artist, Truche, whose design was copied, with a purchase here. You have no excuse because she has many great designs to choose from. Second, this did not shock me. Over the years I have noticed many Indie designs ripped off by major brands. Make no mistake, it is different when a major corporation copies an artist’s design versus one artist imitating another one. When two artists imitate one another they can build a trend and there is enough room in the market to support multiple, small-volume artists. When a major corporation copies an artist’s style and mass reproduce it, they saturate the market and make the design commercial, ultimately destroying its artistic merit. How can an art enthusiast help struggling artist? Simple, build better buying habits.
Art isn’t limited to two-dimensional forms like paintings. It can include everything from prints to pottery, from jewelery to clothing. Before making a purchase, first check if an artist or studio produces work that would meet your need. There are plenty of great artists you can find on the Web. Start by browsing Etsy, eBay and searching on Google. The Internet has made buying original art easy; so, again, there is no excuse for not buying directly from an artist. In addition, see if your city has Indie fairs or art festivals where you can see the art and meet the artist in person. When you buy Indie art you financially and directly support the artists, and in return, get something unique and become a part of the art community. Be a responsible consumer of art and purchase directly from artist and studios.
P.S. If you don’t know where to start we have some review of our favorite artists here.