In all creative endeavors, many good ideas have already been done. This isn’t to say that true originality is impossible, but it does mean that it’s hard and that almost everything we do is influenced by someone or something else, whether we consciously realize it or not. That’s how art has always worked, and we embrace that reality.
Stocksy accepted each of you into the co-op because we felt you could offer our collection something unique. We are all on the same Stocksy team, and all benefit from a collection that visually stands out from our competitors. We seek to help you grow as artists and encourage you to push the boundaries of what is possible in this market and create new content that reflects your style, vision, and skill. New content shouldn’t imitate what already exists, but the same concept explored in a new way makes our collection more valuable and robust.
We don’t stop people from uploading the same subjects because clients want to see topics explored in various ways. However, rehashing the same content without evolution devalues your work and the work of your peers and fails to help grow our collection to meet our clients’ needs. As tempting as it may be to create new work directly inspired by Stocksy artists that you admire or believe are selling well, this is not the way to find success and growth here, and it may lead us to re-evaluate your membership.
In short: take inspiration wherever you find it, but always make the results your own.
What should you do if you see something in the collection that you feel was too inspired by your work?
Please contact Support. We take all reports seriously and carefully review them before deciding on the next steps. Our review can take time, as we will thoroughly research within our collection, the broader marketplace, and inspiration outside the Co-op (often, members are inspired by the same external source material). In some cases, we will take down the offending content. If not, we’ll explain why.
What if someone outside Stocksy copies me?
It happens–a lot. It’s an unfortunate side effect of having wonderful artists and a stellar collection.
If this happens to you, please let us know via Support. Our Legal team has successfully worked with other agencies to remove copied content. It’s not always possible, but if there’s something we can reasonably do to protect your work, we’ll do it.