Blog / 2014 / A Work’s Genealogy: Milt Kobayashi’s Influence on Nancy Rhodes Harper
September 15, 2014
Most of the time, artists don’t cite their sources. They can have any number of reasons for not giving credit to the artists who inspire them:
- they want to come across as some original genius
- they’re afraid to get sued by the artist who influenced them
- they don’t understand how fascinating it can be for the viewer to understand the lineage of a work
But not all artists fail to name their teachers. For example, Nancy Rhodes Harper, whose work is on the right in these pairs, makes no bones about being inspired by Milt Kobayashi, whose work is on the left. She says in her bio that the ladies she paints come from her studies with Kobayashi.
And the delightful thing about this situation is that, as far as I can tell from Harper’s website, her admission that she’s imitating another artist’s style has not stopped her from selling her work.
All of which is to say that creatives should maybe consider being a bit more open about their inspirations. I am and I don’t think it’s caused my career to suffer one bit either!
Maybe this post made you think of something you want to share with me? Or perhaps you have a question about my art? I’d love to hear from you!
To receive an email every time I publish a new article or video, sign up for my special mailing list.
If you enjoyed this post, Ko-fi allows you to donate. Every dollar you give is worth a bajillion to me!
Would you like to spend some time painting with me? I have regular online open studio hours on Twitch every Monday and Thursday.