Saguaro Market was built with the idea that you get back what you put into the world and that you treat others the way you want to be treated. I know that not everything I do will be perceived as good or kind but I know in my heart that these are the guiding principles I use to navigate life and I am at peace with what anyone else thinks.
I was recently involved in a situation that just felt bad, so much so that I felt compelled to write this blog post. Without going into the details of the situation an artist whose work we carry at the store was accused of copying the work of another artist whose work we carry. I was chastised and accused of supporting copyright infringement. The interaction was mean spirited and inappropriate but I did investigate the accusation and am 100% certain that there is no copying going on and that both artists are producing their own original and authentic work.
The entire interaction was unsettling and unnecessary. When I started Saguaro Market it was with the intent to be additive to the maker community not competitive within it. I'm seeking to find the opportunity that has not yet been solved. I want to provide the things my customers are craving that are either not currently being provided or are not being provided within an experience that feels good. There's no need to compete because there's plenty of opportunity for us all. My actions and decision may not always be perceived this way but I always know in my heart that I follow my guiding principles.
This same mindset can be applied to art and the work of local makers. We all live in a desert and most of us are inspired at least in part by our surroundings. Many of us also use the same or similar mediums and tools to create our work. It's therefore natural to assume that there will be some repetitive themes and color patterns. At what point do we say hey, you made a screenprint tea towel with green cacti on it and so did I, you therefore must have copied me? Where's the assumption of positive intent in that thinking?
Tucson is a big city and Arizona is a huge state. Whether you create awesome products, provide amazing services, or support the creation and sale of either of those things there's more than enough space for us all. The job of each of us participating in the maker community is to find our own unique voice and put out into the world the things that are uniquely our own. Don't worry about what the person or business next to you is doing. Instead seek to empower your own gift and assume positive intent.