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Artistic Liberties?

Soooo, I am taking a break with my normal 'I am opening a shop! I am so happy now! blahblahblah!' To actually ask you guys a question *gaspshockhorror*! Here it goes:

How much 'artistic liberty' do you think an artist/maker can take with their work?

Where does this question come from? Well my lovely sister in-law is leaving her work and she asked me to crochet her some Maneki-neko key chains for her favourite patients so she can give them as gifts.

Maneki-neko (full description in the link above) are little Japanese kitties normally used as a good luck charm. Or if you are from my native Thailand a give-me-money! charm. What makes them recognizable is their little paw next to their cheek and the large coin they wear around their neck. When I finished the five white kitties she asked me to make, I decided to leave out the paw because it just looked ugly and the things were too darn cute already. I took that artistic liberty :P.

When I run my RP chronicle I take a lot of artistic liberties with history in order to give my players a good story, but somehow twisting history with words (perhaps because that is all it is) does not feel as wrong to me as when I was making the Maneki-neko without hands. For EpicxCloth I have consciously decided that artistic liberties can be taken in the name of cuteness (yay!) For RP I have decided that artistic liberties can be taken in the name of a good story, but it has left me wondering where the border of this is? Or is there even a border in the name of art?

I have no idea, what do you think?


  1. I think you can do this like you want! Ithink they are very cute Lizzie and thats what counts. Perhaps you can make some place in it for a good wish? Or on there belly something like: luck or love?

    good luck you too!

    Groetjes van Ellen

  2. Everything is allowed as long as the end-user appreciates it! Simple as that! Hopefully their wishes correspond with your own creative impulses, but it seems that this is the case. So I'd say: Carry on!

    And by the way, isn't making little changes also progress? If you would only reproduce things, you wouldn't stand out anymore. Which is bad for business of course!


  3. That is a good idea Ellen, I had the idea to write something on the coin. Maybe that is an idea for the future. Also, you make a good point Arjen, maybe artistic liberties are just a form of progress.

  4. Taking artistic liberties with traditional objects is a part of what it means to be an artist. For instance take the Mona Lisa--that is an icon that for years has been used by artists in pursuit of artistic liberties, a famous one being by Andy Wharol. There is a portrait in my office of a female gorilla by a well known artist whose name escapes me at this time, and I swear she has that Mona Lisa enigmatic smile and the eyes that follow.
    And those kitties are sooo cute. Did you say they attract money?


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