What should I do about this? (sorry for the super long post)

Okay so I am currently in the last art class at my high school. Let me just start off by saying that I admit that I am not the best artist I know, but I do take great pride in my creativity. My problem is that I have a friend, who has been my friend since first grade. She was the person that got me in to art in the first place. But now, I just can't stand her and I don't know what to do. Here's why:

She is a better artist than I am, and I know it. I don't deny it, or even get worked up about it. But a large part of the reason that her art is better than mine is that she traces almost everything. She doesn't spend any time on her things and always prints off pictures and takes them to the light box. Now, that alone doesn't bother me that much. What bothers me is that if I tell her ANY of my ideas for a future project she either does it before me or copies what I've done after the fact. Regardless of who finishes first, everyone assumes that it was her idea because usually hers looks better than mine. I don't know what to do, because if I don't tell her what I'm going to do, she will pester me about it endlessly. It's even gotten so bad that she has started making a project that was based of my favorite book series... that she has never even read! I don't know how to handle this without seeming childish by telling on her or jealous by telling everyone she traces. IT really bothers me and discourages me from making art because the teacher uses her work as examples even though it was my idea, and I can recall more than one time that someone has come up to me and just said "Andrea's is better than yours." I usually hide my anger and just say "I know." but it's hard.
Can someone please help or tell me if I should just deal with it? Thanks.

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9 replies since 5th March 2013 • Last reply 5th March 2013

Tracing does NOT make someone a good artist. Time, patience, and talent makes someone a good artist. I spent 3 years in college and all of my high schooling taking art classes, and tracing was largely frowned upon, even moreso in high school than in college.

Your friend is being a jerk stealing your ideas and taking the credit for them, especially when she only seems good because she's tracing.

Tracing is the lazy person's way of making things... and I bet that if the light box mysteriously disappears or stops working, she is going to make some pretty bad art.

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^^^AGREED. High School art classes are awful. But for people that actually understand/appreciate art, they would look at her as being BAD if they knew that she traced the whole thing (including your teacher, if they knew). I would start blatantly tell everyone that she traces it all, after they say that she's good.( Everyone's would look good if they traced) ...which honestly I don't think is childish at all, it's The Truth. "Wow that's good, so pretty" "...um yeah bc she traced the whole thing. We all could've done that."
She won't get any credit or admiration if she was doing that in college (shed fail & be laughed at). She's also not learning anything either, except being a cheater/liar. You are not born a good artist, you become one thru time, practice, passion for it.

She also does not sound like a good friend at all if she's stealing all of your ideas. I would just not tell her anything at all....ever. Keep telling her that you haven't decided yet, or lie & tell her something else. If she keeps being a jerk & pestering, honestly tell her that its none of her business & you like to keep your ideas to yourself ...then we'll see what "masterpiece" she comes up with. Lmao
Sometimes the truth hurts, & you should just tell her. Bc shes basically using you. A good friend would stop & get over it, & still be your friend. Don't put you & your work down bc of her, she has no talent or creativity of her own it sounds like.

There was a girl just like her in my HS art classes, that sucked up to my teacher & even won awards & everything. But me & my friends knew that we were better artists bc we drew it & came up with it all ourselves. ...& now that same girl (who wanted to be a teacher lol) couldn't make it thru the college art classes. HaHa! (& we did bc we practice & love it)

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Art is about far more than making something that looks like a photo. Its about creativity and making something that's original and expresses a feeling. Her tracing and copying will only take her so far and she won't be able to trace in exam conditions. Also a good art teacher will be able to spot tracings once they have had a good opportunity to study her work up close. Tracing leaves a very even (too even) finish where as when you draw something for real you have additional markings, rubbings out, shading and you don't get the same outlined look that a tracing gets. Also an external examiner will scrutinise things much more closely.

In terms of her nicking your ideas I think you have to start being much more vague when you say what you're doing. If she pushes then tell her you haven't decided yet and that you're playing round with a few ideas. If she keeps going deflect it back on her and tell her what a 'wonderful' artist she is and that you're far more interested in hearing her ideas. If she won't take the hint then you're going to have to tell her to butt out. Art is very personal and needs space to be developed. You shouldn't have to share something till you feel ready to and if she's your friend she should respect that. Also have confidence in yourself. If you need reassurance talk about your ideas to your teacher/tutor and ask their advice on how to execute them. Remember technique can be learnt but creativity is much harder to come by. It sounds like you are creative but just need to polish your technique and that will come with practice.

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tell her the wrong idea and then make something better teach her a lesson thats what i do when ppl try to cheat off of me

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I wonder how people can behave like this to their own friends. My best friend (who now hates me for made-up reasons) who went on to art school- I never liked her art though, she scribbled everything. I spent so much time shading in hair and shadow and she'd just make a bunch of scribbles and then use a blending tool or her finger to smudge the lines. It was so lazy it would drive me nuts. But she never stole my ideas. I agree with KitKat, turn the tables on her and ask her what she's doing instead. And in the meantime be flattered that she's so uncreative she has to copy your ideas. After all, it is the sincerest form of flattery.

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You call it sincere, I would call it annoying. lol

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Thanks for all the replies, guys. I guess I'll just try harder to not tell her what I'm doing. And it is very annoying lol
It's funny though, i think a member who thinks I am someone else saw this post and thought it was about them because I just got a message telling me to "F off" xD

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That's a bit off. Maybe worth reporting it to Cat as its not the sort of message someone should be sending someone on here. Even if you knew the person outside of CO&K its still uncalled for.

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^agreed

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