So, browsing facebook this morning I stumbled across a hot topic, the sharing of ideas/skills you learn at workshops or in books. The writers of these two posts here & here, feel they have been ripped off because someone who took their online class in mixed media techniques either shared their password to allow a friend access (which I agree was wrong) or shared what they had learned blow by blow in some other way, in person perhaps. The friend who hadn’t paid then shared what she had learned on her blog.She didn’t give the name of the friend, or credit to the workshop artists.

Now I am apparently in the minority in feeling that nothing much of great evil happened here. I am wondering how many of you have been to a workshop/retreat or taken a class in person or online and then shared something you learned with a friend out of excitement or enthusiasm?Is that stealing?

I teach quite a large number of classes, I assume people will go home and share what they learn from me. I freely share my handouts and techniques online and in person with students and other educators. I don’t consider my knowledge something proprietary. Once it is in the public it becomes public domain. I don’t teach any online classes in techniques, only in art history, but I am always willing to email those lectures to people free of charge too. I know through my own spiritual work that part of my sacred contract is to teach, to share what the great creator has so generously and freely given to me in the way of talent and ability.

I realize that I am courting a lot of negative feeling here by saying this. Most of my income comes from teaching, I am not a tenured professor, only an adjunct, so I am not financially set for life. I have three kids in college,  two weddings next summer, my daughter & my sister, and a stack of unpaid medical bills. I know how hard it is to make ends meet in this creative life. But I am so blessed it seems mean spirited and small to hoard what I know and keep it from people who could be creative but can’t afford the price of admission.

Now back to the beginning. Maybe these two women set out to rip these artists off. Maybe they can both afford to pay for the class but choose not to. I don’t know.I realize that the blogger got something for nothing, but there really is nothing new under the art sun. I am sorry these two great artists whose blogs I read feel so violated, I guess I just wouldn’t under the same circumstances. I know that’s a personal thing. I am not making any value judgments here. Just wondering how everyone else who teaches feels about this issue.

So there’s a can of worms, anyone want to let me have it?

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