There was an interesting post on Whiskey Shots yesterday about the line between imitation and innovation. Whiskey wrote:
We are each influenced by everything we see. Taking inspiration from everything, including other artists, is a natural part of the creative process. Inspiration is essential, and it can come from anywhere. An artist incorporates that inspiration into their own vision (pardon my artsy fartsy lingo here) and creates a work that, while influenced and inspired by other things, is still truly an original work of art.In music, it's the difference between tribute band versions of a song and covers by artists who reinterpret it through their own voice. A dozen authentic artists can create vastly different versions of a single song even though the chord progression, basic melody and lyrics are the same.
Nevertheless, there is a joy in performing or recreating faithful versions of songs we love. And in visual art, imitation is often step on the way to artistic reinterpretation. Such rote exercises seldom made it out of the studio before the internet. But since LOLCats, shared visual riffs on unoriginal themes has become common and part of the connected culture.
It ain't art, but that's okay. With one exception. I got dibs on creepy doll head swaps.